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Tamás Molnár
Adjunct professor, Corvinus University of Budapest, Institute of International Studies.

Lucrezia Palandri
Ph.D. in Comparative Law at the University of Florence, Italy.

Snežana Trifunovska
Associate Professor, Radboud University, Law Faculty.
Article

Access_open Religion Ain’t Sacrosanct

How to Fight Obsolete Accounts of Religious Freedom

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2015
Keywords Hobby Lobby, Hosanna-Tabor, tolerance-leaning liberalism, equality-leaning liberalism
Authors Roland Pierik
AbstractAuthor's information

    This paper is largely an endorsement and a further elaboration of Cohen’s critical discussion of the Hobby Lobby and Hosanna-Tabor cases and the conceptual overstretch of religious freedom they embody. I disagree with Cohen, however, on the proper interpretation of this debate. Cohen construes the ominous Court cases as an anti-liberal attack on the liberal state order. My main thesis is that the root of this dispute can be traced back to a fault line within liberalism between a more tolerance-leaning and a more equality-leaning tradition. I argue that the ominous cases are instances of the tolerance-leaning tradition in liberalism, which once was characteristic of the liberal tradition. Still, I agree with Cohen that this tradition should be rejected because it reverts to an obsolete interpretation of religious freedom that defends unwarranted privileges for certain groups that are out of sync with the egalitarian underpinnings of contemporary liberal political orders.


Roland Pierik
Roland Pierik is Associate Professor of Legal Philosophy at the University of Amsterdam Law School.
Article

Access_open Group Pluralism versus Group Accommodation

A Commentary on Jean Cohen

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2015
Keywords group pluralism, multiculturalism, religious accommodation
Authors Avigail Eisenberg
AbstractAuthor's information

    In this paper, I sharply distinguish between religious group-based pluralism and religious accommodation, which are each reflected in the cases examined in Jean Cohen’s paper and thereby provide a clearer understanding of different kinds of challenges to protecting religious freedom today and explain how these two approaches sometimes pull interpretations of religious freedom in different directions.


Avigail Eisenberg
Avigail Eisenberg is Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Victoria, Canada.
Article

Access_open Directors’ Disqualification in the Netherlands

An International Comparative Re-Evaluation of an Amended Disqualification Proposal

Journal The Dovenschmidt Quarterly, Issue 1 2015
Keywords directors’ disqualification, directors’ liability, fraud, company law, insolvency law
Authors Tom Reker
AbstractAuthor's information

    In response to the effects of the global financial crisis on bankruptcy tendencies and the role of fraudulent company directors within that context, the Dutch government has introduced a proposal for a civil law directors’ disqualification instrument. This proposal aims to prevent both fraudulent conduct (by barring directors) and financial harm to corporate stakeholders, as well as to safeguard competitiveness and the trust which is necessary for effective trade. The fact that Dutch criminal law already allows for disqualification of directors in certain circumstances, which are partly similar to those in the proposal, raises doubts about the necessity of a civil law equivalent. This article concludes that the current proposal seems to have lost value vis-à-vis an earlier draft due to alterations to the disqualification and exculpation criteria, which may result in an overlap of the civil law and criminal law instruments. Consequently, there is a more pressing need for demarcation and reallocation of certain aspects of the proposal. By comparing the proposal with foreign (UK, US, Australian and German) counterparts, several suggestions are formulated to both counteract the overlap which the proposal may cause in Dutch law and to contribute to a model of effective disqualification instruments in general.


Tom Reker
Tom Reker recently graduated from the Leiden Law School, Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands. Email: tomreker_1@hotmail.com.
Article

Access_open Corporate Social Responsibility via Shareholders’ Proposals

Journal The Dovenschmidt Quarterly, Issue 1 2015
Keywords corporate social responsibility, shareholders, Rule 14a-8, social proposals, strategy
Authors Maria Paz Godoy Uson
AbstractAuthor's information

    Can shareholders’ proposals be considered as a mainstream alternative to incorporate social and environmental policies into the core businesses strategy? Proposing non-financial resolutions at the general meeting of shareholders is a form of shareholders’ activism that is shaping company’s direction. The American court case Lovenheim v. Iroquois Brands, Ltd. confirms that social and environmental issues, when significantly related to the core business, can give rise to new business directions firmly promoted by shareholders, resting authorial power to the board of directors in conducting the company’s direction. The US SEC Rule 14a-8 is widely used by social activists and institutional investors to influence the direction of business in becoming more sustainable. In virtue of the American Rule 14a-8, shareholders may include proposals in the company’s proxy materials and, thereby, compel a vote on the issue at the annual shareholders’ meeting. The result is that American shareholders’ proposals are being considered as an effective gateway to improve corporations’ social and environmental behaviour. This article examines, from a comparative perspective, the further developments of shareholders’ social proposals with the attempt to incorporate social and environmental policies into the core business. The article also suggests that the increasing demand of social proposals promoted by American shareholders versus the limited activity of shareholders’ proposals in Continental European jurisdictions is precipitating the process of converge between the main corporate governance models; the shareholder-oriented model and the stakeholder-oriented model, respectively. The issue of CSR via shareholders’ proposals as presented here is primarily based on literature and various cases related to SEC 14a-8, more in particular on lessons drawn from Lovenheim v. Iroquois Brands, Ltd.


Maria Paz Godoy Uson
PhD Fellow Maastricht University.

Kumar Abhijeet
Assistant Professor of Law, National Law School of India University, Bangalore. Doctoral Candidate Institute of Air and Space Law, University of Cologne, Germany.
Article

Access_open Religie en cultuur in familierechtelijke beslissingen over kinderen

Journal Family & Law, September 2015
Authors Mr. dr. Merel Jonker, Rozemarijn van Spaendonck and Mr. dr. Jet Tigchelaar
AbstractAuthor's information

    In deze bijdrage worden de resultaten gepresenteerd van een uitgebreid jurisprudentieonderzoek naar de wijze waarop religie en cultuur betrokken worden in de overwegingen van de rechter in familierechtelijke beslissingen over kinderen in Nederland. Naast een kwantitatief overzicht van de gepubliceerde jurisprudentie worden de uitspraken inhoudelijk ontsloten en geanalyseerd aan de hand van thema's zoals bloedtransfusies, cultuurverschillen en identiteitsontwikkeling, rituelen (besnijdenis en doop) en schoolkeuze. Bij de analyse wordt onderscheid gemaakt tussen de rechten van het kind en de rechten van ouders, en wordt ingegaan op de vraag welke criteria de rechter hanteert voor de afweging van de rechten van het kind en diens ouders. Ook wordt besproken in hoeverre internationale normen herkenbaar zijn in de overwegingen van de rechter. Uit de 79 rechtszaken waarin de rechter overwegingen wijdt aan religie en cultuur, blijkt dat deze aspecten zowel positieve als negatieve effecten kunnen hebben op het belang van het kind en met name op de identiteitsontwikkeling van het kind. De rechter hanteert hierbij criteria zoals: schade voor de gezondheid van het kind, sociale aansluiting met anderen van dezelfde religieuze of culturele achtergrond, en praktische overwegingen.
    This contribution presents the results of an extensive Dutch case law study on the way in which religion and culture play a role in the considerations of judges in family law decisions regarding children. In addition to a quantitative overview of the published case law in the Netherlands, the decisions are analysed on the basis of themes such as blood transfusion, culture differences and identity development, rituals (circumcision and baptism), and choosing a school. In the analysis, a distinction is made between the rights of the child and the rights of parents. Furthermore, the criteria which the judge deploys to balance the rights of the child and the rights of its parents are addressed. Finally, the extent to which international legal standards can be identified in the considerations of the judge is discussed. From the 79 cases in which the judge consider to religion and culture, it appears that these aspects can have both positive and negative effects upon the best interests of the child, and in particular upon the identity development of the child. In these cases, the judge uses criteria such as: harm to the health of the child, social connections with others of the same religious and cultural background, and practical day-to-day considerations.


Mr. dr. Merel Jonker
Merel Jonker is als universitair docent verbonden aan de vakgroep Privaatrecht van de Universiteit Utrecht en aan het Utrecht Centre for European research into Family Law (UCERF).

Rozemarijn van Spaendonck
Rozemarijn van Spaendonck is Legal Research Master student en is vanaf 1 november 2015 als aio verbonden aan de vakgroep Strafrecht van de Universiteit Utrecht.

Mr. dr. Jet Tigchelaar
Jet Tigchelaar is als universitair docent verbonden aan de vakgroep Staats- en bestuursrecht en rechtstheorie van de Universiteit Utrecht en aan het Utrecht Centre for European research into Family Law (UCERF).

    The paper aims at justifying an interpretation of Dworkin’s theory of Law as Integrity that brings it closer to philosophical pragmatism despite his rejection of legal pragmatism. In order to achieve this aim, this work employs a classification of philosophical commitments that define pragmatism in a broad and in a narrow sense and shows that legal pragmatism follows the main thinkers of pragmatism in the narrow sense in committing to instrumentalism. The attribution of a pragmatist character to Dworkin’s theory of law rests on the idea that the adoption of a commitment to instrumentalism is not implicated by its adoption of other pragmatist commitments.


Thiago Lopes Decat
Thiago Lopes Decat, Ph.D., is Adjunct Professor at the Department of Propedeutic and Critical Disciplines of the Faculdade de Direito Milton Campos, Nova Lima, Brazil.

    When discussing O. W. Holmes’s answer to the question What constitutes the law? Morton White underlines the fact that Holmes’s inquiry didn’t focus on developing the concept of law. White states: '…Holmes said little in The Path of the Law about the notion of legal authority, perhaps because he was interested not in what he called a "useless quintessence of all legal systems" but in "an accurate anatomy of one"'. Such ambition (or lack of ambition) is characteristic of many pragmatic enterprises in the field of jurisprudence. However, sometimes the opposition between legal pragmatism and other legal theories is built upon a reference to the notion of the 'nature' or 'essence' of law. Many legal philosophers who aim to reveal the very 'nature of law' (or 'the concept of law' as H. L. A. Hart did) try to interpret Holmes and other pragmatists as offering a competitive view to their own. I will follow White’s early intuition that such a construal of the controversy is simply wrong. Afterwards I will sketch a portrait of legal pragmatism in the context of White’s own inquiry and his version of 'holistic pragmatism'; thirdly, I will present in brief the main reasons for exploring the concept of law in the contemporary analytic philosophy of law. Then I will show that traditionally 'pragmatic' and 'analytic' efforts in legal theory are situated on different levels of generality and conceptuality. However, these efforts can be, at least to some extent, reordered under the aegis of holistic pragmatism.


Adam Michał Dyrda
Adjunct Professor, Department of Legal Theory, Faculty of Law, Jagiellonian University, Cracow, Poland. Contact: adam.dyrda@uj.edu.pl; http://jagiellonian.academia.edu/AdamDyrda.

    Op 11 februari 2015 heeft het Comité van Ministers van de Raad van Europa de Recommendation on preventing and resolving disputes on child relocation aangenomen. Dit is het eerste Europese instrument over het verhuizen met kinderen na scheiding. De Recommendation heeft een duidelijk tweeledig doel: het voorkomen van conflicten over verhuizingen met kinderen en, indien een conflict is gerezen, het bieden van richtsnoeren voor het oplossen daarvan. In deze bijdrage staan in de eerste plaats de inhoud van de Recommendation en de daarbij gemaakte keuzes centraal. Daarnaast wordt ingegaan op de vraag wat deze Recommendation kan betekenen voor het Nederlandse recht en de toepassing daarvan in verhuiszaken. In de Recommendation worden enige, naar het oordeel van de auteur verstandige keuzes gemaakt. Zo verdient het stevig inzetten op alternatieve geschiloplossing steun. Daarnaast is de aanbevolen afzonderlijke beoordeling van het belang van het kind, zonder dat dit belang echter de doorslag hoeft te geven, in overeenstemming met vaste rechtspraak van de Hoge Raad in verhuiszaken. Ook het pleidooi voor een neutrale, kind-gecentreerde, casuïstische benadering door de rechter strookt met de wijze waarop Nederlandse rechters tot hun beslissingen in verhuiszaken komen. Specifieke verhuiswetgeving op deze punten, zoals de Recommendation voorstelt, acht de auteur dan ook niet nodig. Wel zou de wettelijke verankering van de in de Recommendation voorgestelde formele notificatieplicht kunnen bijdragen aan het voorkomen van verhuisconflicten. Krachtens deze plicht dient de ouder met een verhuiswens de andere ouder – schriftelijk en binnen een redelijke termijn – te informeren over de voorgenomen verhuizing. Hoewel de verwachtingen van het daadwerkelijke effect van de Recommendation als niet-bindend instrument niet al te hoog gespannen moeten zijn, draagt deze bij aan de erkenning van verhuizing met kinderen als een (hoog)potentieel conflictueuze aangelegenheid.
    On the 11th February 2015 the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted the Recommendation on preventing and resolving disputes on child relocation. This is the first European instrument on child relocation. The aim of the Recommendation is twofold: preventing relocation disputes, and in case of a dispute, providing guidelines for solving them. This contribution firstly intends to examine the principles of the Recommendation and the choices that has been made during the drafting process. Secondly, it will look at the question of to what extent the Recommendation could lead to any adjustments of Dutch law and its application in relocation cases. In the opinion of the author, a number of prudent choices have been made in the Recommendation. In the first place, the encouragement of alternative dispute resolution ought to be supported. Secondly, the recommended individual and separate assessment of the best interests of the child (whose interests are, however, not decisive) is in accordance with the case law of the Supreme Court of the Netherlands in relocation cases. The plea for a neutral, child centered, case-by-case approach by the court is also consistent with the way in which Dutch courts make their decisions in relocation cases. Specific relocation legislation in this regard is not necessary in the opinion of the author. However, a legislative provision requiring the relocating parent to inform the other parent prior to the intended relocation might contribute to the prevention of disputes on child relocation. Although expectations concerning the actual effect of the Recommendation as a non-binding instrument should not be too high, it nevertheless contributes to the recognition of child relocation as an issue with a high potential for conflict.


Prof. mr. Lieke Coenraad
Prof. mr. Lieke Coenraad is Professor of Private Law and Dispute Resolution at the law faculty of VU University Amsterdam. She is also deputy judge at the Court of Appeal of Amsterdam.
Article

The Role of Non-Governmental Organizations in Advancing International Criminal Justice

Journal African Journal of International Criminal Justice, Issue 1 2015
Keywords Non-governmental organizations, NGOs and international criminal justice, civil society and human rights, non-state actors in international law
Authors Charles Chernor Jalloh
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article examines the role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in advancing international criminal justice. I argue that NGOs have had considerable impact by contributing, among other things, to the global struggle against impunity through advocacy for the creation of more robust institutional mechanisms to prosecute those who perpetrate such crimes. This ranges from supporting the processes that led to the creation of several ad hoc international tribunals for Yugoslavia, Rwanda and Sierra Leone, all the way through to their support for the establishment of an independent permanent international penal court based in The Hague. The crux of my claim is that a historically sensitive approach to evaluating the role of NGOs in international governance shows that these entities are not only willing, but also capable of enhancing the protection of human rights and international criminal justice especially but not exclusively in less developed regions of the world.


Charles Chernor Jalloh
Associate Professor, Florida International University, College of Law, Miami, USA. Email: jallohc@gmail.com.

    To ensure its continued viability, the International Criminal Court must find “practical” ways to appeal to its African (and global) audience, options that do not require substantial additional funding or revisions to the Rome Statute while remaining true to fundamental principles of international justice. Subject to such limitations, this article examines the “end product” of the ICC – the judgments authored by the Trial Chambers to date. Unfortunately, these opinions are simply incomprehensible to any but a few specially trained, highly interested stakeholders. They are extraordinarily complex and lengthy and fail to emphasize or address issues that are clearly important to the audiences in states where atrocities have occurred. The article reviews existing judgments and provides suggestions for future improvements, thereby increasing accessibility to African leadership, civil society organizations, and the public at large. Such efforts will contribute to increased legitimacy and, consequently, the long-term impact and relevancy of the Court.


Matthew C. Kane
Matthew C. Kane is a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Oklahoma College of Law, teaching courses on criminal law, torts, and international and comparative criminal law. He also serves a director and shareholder of Ryan Whaley Coldiron Jantzen Peters & Webber PLLC, concentrating on criminal and complex civil law matters. Special thanks to The Hague University of Applied Sciences, which organized the conference “Africans and Hague Justice,” where this paper was originally presented.
Article

Article 15 Brussels II-bis

Two Views from Different Sides of the Channel

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2 2015
Keywords international jurisdiction, transfer of proceedings, international parental responsibility
Authors Ian Curry-Sumner and Maria Wright
AbstractAuthor's information

    Article 15 Brussels II-bis provides for the transfer of jurisdiction from one Member State to another. This contribution examines the conditions and practice surrounding the application of Article 15 Brussels II-bis from two jurisdictions, namely the Netherlands, and England and Wales. From this comparison it is clear that there are evident divergent viewpoints as to the approach to be taken with Article 15 Brussels II-bis. This article is, therefore, aimed at bringing those differences in approach to the forefront so as to assist the European legislature in the ongoing evaluation of the Brussels II-bis Regulation.


Ian Curry-Sumner
Ian Curry-Sumner is the owner of Voorts Legal Services (a legal consultancy firm specialized in training and advice in the field of international family law based in Dordrecht, the Netherlands).

Maria Wright
Maria Wright is a family law solicitor based at Freemans Solicitors in London, United Kingdom.
Article

Access_open The Casuistry of International Criminal Law: Exploring A New Field of Research

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2015
Keywords international criminal law, judicial reasoning, casuistry, genocide
Authors Marjolein Cupido
AbstractAuthor's information

    International criminal courts have made an important contribution to the development of international criminal law. Through case law, the courts have fine-tuned and modernized outdated concepts of international crimes and liability theories. In studying this practice, scholars have so far focused on the judicial interpretation of statutory and customary rules, thereby paying little attention to the rules’ application in individual cases. In this article, I reveal the limitations of this approach and illustrate how insights from casuistry can advance international criminal law discourse. In particular, I use the example of genocide to show that casuistic case law analyses can help scholars clarify the meaning of the law and appraise the application of substantive legal concepts in individual cases. Based on these observations, I argue that scholars should complement their current research with studies into the casuistry of international criminal law.


Marjolein Cupido
Marjolein Cupido is Assistant Professor at the Department of Criminal Law at VU University Amsterdam and fellow of the Center for International Criminal Justice.
Article

Process Pluralism in Transitional-Restorative Justice

Lessons from Dispute Resolution for Cultural Variations in Goals beyond Rule of Law and Democracy Development (Argentina and Chile)

Journal International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution, Issue 1 2015
Keywords transitional justice, conflict resolution, process pluralism, cultural variation, individual and collective justice
Authors Carrie Menkel-Meadow
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article reviews some of the key issues in transitional justice process and institutional design, based on my research and experience working and living in several post-conflict societies, and suggests that cultural and political variations in transitional justice design, practices, and processes are necessary to accomplish plural goals. The idea of process pluralism, derived from the more general fields of conflict resolution and ‘alternative dispute resolution’ in legal contexts, is an essential part of transitional justice, where multiple processes may occur simultaneously or in sequence over time (e.g. truth and reconciliation processes, with or without amnesty, prosecutions, lustration and/or more local legal and communitarian processes), depending on both individual and collective preferences and resources. Transitional justice is itself ‘in transition’ as iterative learning has developed from assessment of different processes in different contexts (post-military dictatorships, civil wars, and international and sub-national conflicts). This article draws on examples from Argentina’s and Chile’s emergence from post-military dictatorships to describe and analyze a plurality of processes, including more formal governmental processes, but also those formed by civil society groups at sub-national levels. This article suggests that ‘democracy development’ and legalistic ‘rule of law’ goals and institutional design may not necessarily be the only desiderata in transitional justice, where more than the ‘legal’ and ‘governmental’ is at stake for more peaceful human flourishing. To use an important concept from dispute resolution, the “forum must fit the fuss”, and there are many different kinds of ‘fusses’ to be dealt with in transitional justice, at different levels of society – more than legal and governmental but also social, cultural and reparative.


Carrie Menkel-Meadow
Carrie Menkel-Meadow is Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Political Science, University of California, Irvine.
Article

Transformation of Dispute Resolution in Africa

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2015
Keywords Lagos Court of Arbitration, Mauritius International Arbitration Court, ODR in Africa, Commonwealth States, UNCITRAL Working Group on ODR
Authors Ijeoma Ononogbu
AbstractAuthor's information

    Online Dispute Resolution ODR) is the new frontier in dispute resolution process. There has been an overwhelming positive expectation on the way ODR will work globally and Africa is likely to join the evolving dispute resolution concept.
    In recent years, technology has taken over virtually all aspects of our lives. This is from online shopping, online banking, online education, to online games, the list goes on and on.
    Online dispute resolution has been used in e-mediation and turned out a great success for e-commerce. The emergence of ODR and its successes are notable in eBay, which boasts of resolving over 35 million disputes using its ODR services. Africa as a continent is a goldmine of technological exploration. The success of M-Pesa in East Africa, which uses technology in mobile money transfer is a testament to the advantages and great advancements the continent has made in its use of the vast population of youngsters. With a recommendation, for African legal practitioners to join the global movement.


Ijeoma Ononogbu
Barrister & Solicitor, Nigeria, and Solicitor in International Dispute Resolution, England & Wales.
Article

Creating New Pathways to Justice Using Simple Artificial Intelligence and Online Dispute Resolution

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2015
Keywords expert system, online dispute resolution, artificial intelligence, access to justice, legal information technology
Authors Darin Thompson
AbstractAuthor's information

    Access to justice in can be improved significantly through implementation of simple artificial intelligence (AI) based expert systems deployed within a broader online dispute resolution (ODR) framework.
    Simple expert systems can bridge the ‘implementation gap’ that continues to impede the adoption of AI in the justice domain. This gap can be narrowed further through the design of multi-disciplinary expert systems that address user needs through simple, non-legalistic user interfaces.
    This article provides a non-technical conceptual description of an expert system designed to enhance access to justice for non-experts. The system’s knowledge base would be populated with expert knowledge from the justice and dispute resolution domains. A conditional logic rule-based system forms the basis of the inference engine located between the knowledge base and a questionnaire-based user interface.
    The expert system’s functions include problem diagnosis, delivery of customized information, self-help support, triage and streaming into subsequent ODR processes. Its usability is optimized through the engagement of human computer interaction (HCI) and affective computing techniques that engage the social and emotional sides of technology.
    The conceptual descriptions offered in this article draw support from empirical observations of an innovative project aimed at creating an expert system for an ODR-enabled civil justice tribunal.


Darin Thompson
Legal Counsel, BC Ministry of Justice; Adjunct Law Professor, University of Victoria; Adjunct Law Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School. Email: darinmobile@gmail.com.
Article

Using Online Arbitration in E-Commerce Disputes

A Study on B2B, B2C and C2C Disputes

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2015
Keywords online arbitration, e-commerce disputes, electronic market exchange
Authors Farzaneh Badiei
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article provides a thorough analysis of the use of online arbitration in online disputes. It first defines online arbitration and provides a categorization of its different kinds. It then establishes which category of online arbitration is more suitable for e-commerce disputes considering the nature of the disputes, the relation between the parties and the parties’ access to technology. It concludes that using binding or non-binding online arbitration depends on the existence of trust between the parties. It then goes on to analyse the extent to which online arbitration can be held on the Internet without using offline mechanisms, and concludes that this is dependent on the nature of the transaction, the parties’ access to technology and the enforcement mechanisms.


Farzaneh Badiei
Farzaneh Badiei is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Law and Economics, Hamburg University. The program is funded by the German Science Foundation. She holds an LLM from Kingston University, UK and was a visiting scholar at Syracuse University School of Information Studies, USA.
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