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European Journal of Law Reform

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Issue 1, 2018 Expand all abstracts

Sean J. Kealy
Sean J. Kealy is a Clinical Associate Professor of Law, Director of the Legislative Clinics, Boston University School of Law.
Article

Access_open In Memoriam Robert B. Seidman

Authors Maureen A. O’Rourke
AbstractAuthor's information

    From 1974 until 2013, Boston University School of Law was enriched by the presence of Professor Robert Seidman and his wife and academic partner Ann. Bob worked until the age of 93 and passed away shortly after retiring from what was a truly extraordinary career.


Maureen A. O’Rourke
Professor of Law and Michaels Faculty Research Scholar. Prof O’Rourke has been the Dean of Boston University School of Law since 2006.
Article

From Legal Imposition to Legal Invitation

From Transplants to Mutual Learning, Benchmarks and Best-Practice-Inspiration

Keywords legal transplants, comparative constitutional law, endurance of constitutions, transposition of EU directives, Councils for the Judiciary
Authors Wim J.M. Voermans
AbstractAuthor's information

    Ever since Alan Watson published his thought-provoking book on legal transplant, legal scholars seem to have imported their own ‘do-institutions-matter’ debate. Strong positions have been taken in the debate on the possibility of legal transplants. Some deem context-free legal transplants impossible or at least unwarranted, whereas others rally for a more liberal stance. Bob and Ann Seidman were always working at the heart of this most topical, scholarly debate – one of the most interesting debates on the crossroads of law and (political) societies in our age of globalization. This article tries to get at the heart of the debate on legal transplants, which is rooted in the immediate wake of decolonization and the ideological strife during the Cold War. Since then the world has changed dramatically. We now live in the age of globalization and possibilities for mass communication, information sharing and cooperation in ways unfathomable 40 years ago. This has undoubtedly had an impact on how jurisdictions learn and borrow legal concepts, rules and solutions from one another. Have these new developments and experiences outdated the legal-transplant debate or is it still relevant? The article argues that Bob and Ann Seidman’s position in the debate is still very relevant for present-day practices of legal borrowing and legal transplants. Key to this is their notion of contextual legal-legitimacy.


Wim J.M. Voermans
Wim Voermans is professor of Constitutional and Administrative Law at Leiden University, Director of the Institute of Public Law at Leiden Law School and vice-President of the International Association for Legislation (IAL).
Article

Implementing Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development in Africa

Is It Time to Shift the Paradigm on Law and Development?

Keywords Agenda 2030, Law and Development, Sustainable Development Goals, Rule of Law, Professor Robert Seidman, Institutionalist Legislative Theory and Methodology, Goal 16, Jurisprudence of Development
Authors Elizabeth Bakibinga-Gaswaga
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article discusses the relevance of Law and Development theories to the successful implementation or attainment of goals set out in Agenda 2030 in Africa. It zeros in on Sustainable Development Goal 16 and the role of rule of law to development. This article focuses on the work of the Law and Development movement and highlights the contribution of Prof. Robert Seidman to law and development for decades in newly independent African states. It examines the application of the Institutionalist Legislative Theory and Methodology, including the strengths and flaws, and makes recommendations on relevant lessons for rule of law practitioners, especially in terms of developing institutions and legal frameworks, promoting law and development research and building capacity through legal education. While this article does not provide recommendations on the best law and development model or theory, it raises some pertinent issues and makes practical recommendations on the way forward in the short to medium term.


Elizabeth Bakibinga-Gaswaga
Legal Adviser on the rule of law at The Commonwealth Secretariat. Former Vice President of Commonwealth Association of Legislative Counsel (CALC).
Article

The Reliability of Evidence in Evidence-Based Legislation

Keywords evidence-based legislation, Institutional Legislative Theory and Methodology (ILTAM), reliable evidence, Professor Robert Seidman
Authors Sean J. Kealy and Alex Forney
AbstractAuthor's information

    As evidence-based legislation develops, and as technology puts more information at our fingertips, there should be a better understanding of what exactly constitutes reliable evidence. Robert and Ann Seidman devoted their professional careers to developing the evidence-based Institutional Legislative Theory and Methodology and teaching it to legislative drafters around the world. Although ILTAM was firmly grounded in – and driven by – evidence, the question becomes what evidence is reliable and a worthy input for the methodology. Further, how can the drafter avoid the misuses of evidence such as confirmation bias and naïve beliefs? We aim to give a guide for using evidence by offering examples of evidence-based legislation in practice and through a proposed hierarchy of evidence from most to least reliable:

    1. Experiments within the jurisdiction / lessons from other jurisdictions.

    2. Information on a topic or issue that was formally requested by the legislature or produced to the legislature under oath or under the penalties of perjury.

    3. Studies / information provided by a government agency.

    4. Expert or scientific studies.

    5. Economic or mathematical models and statistics.

    6. Information provided by special interests.

    7. Stories, apocrypha and uncorroborated tales.


    We hope that this hierarchy provides a starting point for discussion to refine and improve evidence-based legislation.


Sean J. Kealy
Sean J. Kealy is a Clinical Associate Professor of Law, Director of the Legislative Clinics, Boston University School of Law. This article expands upon a concept that he first wrote about in Designing Legislation (APKN, 2011). Professor Kealy wishes to thank Professor Richard Briffault, Joseph P. Chamberlain Professor of Legislation at Columbia Law School, and Professor William W. Buzbee, Georgetown Law School, for reading and commenting on this article at the American Association of Law Schools 2017 Conference.

Alex Forney
Alex Forney earned his Juris Doctor, Boston University School of Law, 2016.
Article

Promoting Legislative Objectives Throughout Diverse Sub-National Jurisdictions

Keywords devolution, informal jurisdiction, rule of law, disparate impacts, participatory problem-solving, intransitive law, legislative standardization
Authors Lorna Seitz
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article outlines an approach, derived from Ann and Robert Seidman’s Institutionalist Legislative Drafting Theory and Methodology (ILTAM), for drafting laws and developing implementing policies and programmes to realize legislative objectives and promote necessary behavioural change throughout a jurisdiction despite significant sub-jurisdictional socio-economic differences. ILTAM can serve as a powerful tool for catalysing the development of situationally appropriate programmes to initiate and sustain behavioural change in furtherance of legislative objectives. The article begins by discussing the movement towards legislative standardization, and its benefits and failings. It then introduces the concept of informal jurisdictions, and highlights modifications to ILTAM that improve the methodology’s efficacy in devising solutions that work in those jurisdictions. The article then describes the power of intransitive law as a mechanism for catalysing progress towards shared objectives in a manner that allows for localized approaches, promotes governmental responsiveness, brings innovation, and maximizes participatory governance. Lastly, it describes the importance that Ann and Robert Seidman placed on institutionalizing on-going monitoring, evaluation and learning processes; and describes how intransitive drafting techniques can focus implementation on motivating behavioural change while systematically identifying needed policy and law reforms in response to suboptimal legislative outcomes.


Lorna Seitz
The Legis Institute. Seitz earned her JD from Boston University (BU), where she served as Editor-in-Chief of Professor Seidman’s Legislative Clinics. After graduating, Seitz served as the Director of the BU/ICLAD Legislative Distance Drafting Program for several years, taught in the BU Legislative Clinics (and overseas) alongside Professor Seidman, and served as principal for the International Consortium for Law and Development (a non-profit co-founded by the Seidmans) from 2004-2014. Seitz co-founded The Legis Institute to realize the combined potential of ILTAM and 21st Century technology to overcome barriers to inclusive, responsive, evidence-based policy and law development and governance.