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European Journal of Law Reform

About this journal  
Issue 4, 2017 Expand all abstracts

Jonathan Teasdale
Jonathan Teasdale is an associate research fellow at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (University of London) in the Sir William Dale Centre for Legislative Studies, and co-leader (with Dr Enrico Albanesi) of the IALS Law Reform Project. He is a barrister (now non-practising) and former lawyer with the Law Commission for England and Wales, and one time was a local authority chief executive.
Article

Codification in a Civil Law Jurisdiction: A Northern European Perspective

Keywords codification, types, civil law, legal certainty, ICT
Authors Patricia Popelier
AbstractAuthor's information

    In western civil law jurisdictions, 19th century large-scale codification projects have made way for more specific, technical operations. While several terms for various operations are used – from coordination to consolidation or recasting – they all serve to compile normative texts within one single document for the sake of clarity and legal certainty. A more fundamental distinction can be made between formal and substantial codifications, the one more technical, the other large and fundamental. Substantial law reforms are problematized in this era of multilevel governance and digitalization. Nowadays, substantial codifications are essentially non-exhaustive, inconsistent, and fragmentized. Also, they rely upon formal consolidations, and generate new formal consolidations. While formal consolidations are still treated as logistic projects, more developed ICT tools may enable their transformation into continuous processes.


Patricia Popelier
Professor Constitutional Law and Legislative Studies, University of Antwerp.
Article

Codification in a Civil Law Jurisdiction: An Italian Perspective

Keywords civil law jurisdictions, codification, consolidation, legislative drafting, judicial review
Authors Enrico Albanesi
AbstractAuthor's information

    The aim of this article is to describe the mechanism of codification in a civil law jurisdiction. The case study will be based on the Italian system. The history and developments of the Italian codification will also be described here.
    In Italy codification is called riassetto, it is normally carried out by the government but the changes to existing law must be within the strict boundaries of the principles and criteria set out by the parliament. By contrast, the mechanism to amalgamate existing texts dealing with a single topic without radical changes is called consolidamento. It is carried out by the government as delegated by parliament. However, as the tools to carry out riassetto and consolidamento are the same (decreto legislativo: a decree issued by the government, which is delegated by the parliament), it is not always easy to understand when the government is allowed to carry out consolidamento only or riassetto too. Actually, how fundamentally the government is allowed to change existing legislation depends on what the principles and criteria of the enabling Act of Parliament allows.
    A decreto legislativo that is not in compliance with the principles and criteria established by the Act of Parliament, could be declared void by the Corte costituzionale (the Italian Constitutional Court). Therefore, if the government exceeds the boundaries of consolidamento or riassetto, the decreto legislativo could be declared void.
    This essay will also focus on the different drafting techniques of consolidamento and riassetto from a theoretical perspective and from the point of view of the jurisprudence of the Consiglio di Stato and the Corte costituzionale. Finally, it will look at the drafting process for codes in Italy, underlying the differences with systems where law reform agencies have been established.


Enrico Albanesi
Lecturer in Constitutional Law at the University of Genoa (Italy) and Associate Research Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS), University of London. Co-leader of the IALS Law Reform Project.
Article

Time for a Code: Reform of Sentencing Law in England and Wales

Keywords Law Commission, codification, consolidation, consultation, criminal procedure
Authors Harry O’Sullivan and David Ormerod
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Law Commission of England and Wales is currently working to produce a New Sentencing Code that will seek to remedy problems with one of the most heavily used and unsatisfactory areas of statutory law. It responds to the problems of complexity and inaccessibility in the current sentencing legislation, and more fundamentally in the process by which sentencing legislation is created and implemented. The aim is to introduce the new Code as a consolidation Bill in 2018 with a view to it being in force from early 2019. This article provides an overview of the problems endemic to the current law and how the Commission envisages that the new Sentencing Code will provide not only a remedy, but a lasting one.
    It is important to understand from the outset that the scope of the Commission’s work on sentencing is to reform procedure. The project and the resulting legislation will not alter the length or level of sentence imposed in any case. The penalties available to the court in relation to an offence are not within the scope of the project and will not change. The change will be in the process by which each sentence is arrived at.


Harry O’Sullivan
Harry O’Sullivan is a pupil at Goldsmith Chambers and was formerly a research assistant at the Law Commission.

David Ormerod
Professor David Ormerod QC is the Criminal Law Commissioner.
Article

The Reform and Harmonization of Commercial Laws in the East African Community

Keywords law reform, harmonization of laws, commercial laws, legal transplants, East African Community
Authors Agasha Mugasha
AbstractAuthor's information

    The partner states in the East African Community (EAC) have modernized their commercial laws to claim their post-colonial identity and facilitate development. While law reform and the harmonization of laws are both methods of shaping laws, the national law reform programmes in the EAC mainly aim to ensure that the laws reflect the domestic socioeconomic circumstances, in contrast to the harmonization of national commercial laws, which focuses on the attainment of economic development. This article observes that the reformed and harmonized commercial laws in the EAC are mainly legal transplants of the principles of transnational commercial law that have been adapted to meet domestic needs and aspirations.


Agasha Mugasha
Professor of Law, University of Essex; and former Chairperson, Uganda Law Reform Commission 2011-2015.