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Article

Access_open The Justification of Basic Rights

A Discourse-Theoretical Approach

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2016
Keywords Basic rights, Right to justification, Discourse theory, Non-domination, Kant
Authors Rainer Forst
AbstractAuthor's information

    In this paper, I suggest a discourse theory of basic legal rights that is superior to rival approaches, such as a will-based or an interest-based theory of rights. Basic rights are reciprocally and generally justifiable and binding claims on others (agents or institutions) that they should do (or refrain from doing) certain things determined by the content of these rights. We call these rights basic because they define the status of persons as full members of a normative order in such a way that they provide protection from severe forms of legal, political and social domination. The very ground of these rights is the status of persons as free and equal normative authorities within the order they are subject to. In other words, these rights are grounded in a fundamental moral right to justification.


Rainer Forst
Rainer Forst is professor of Political Theory and Philosophy at the Goethe Universität, Frankfurt am Main.
Article

The Truth of Fiction: Literature as a Source of Insight into Social Conflict and Its Resolution

Journal International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution, Issue 2 2016
Keywords literary approaches to conflict resolution, narrative theory, mass movements, social transformation, social injustice
Authors Angelica R. Martinez and Richard E. Rubenstein
AbstractAuthor's information

    The study of literature, although relatively new to the field of peace and conflict studies, has proven to be a valuable way to develop our understanding of violent social conflicts and the possible methods of resolving or transforming them. Literary texts present students of human conflict and conflict resolution with an appreciation of the power of “thick” descriptions of the human experience and the problems with “thin” modes of expression. Narrative and literary works reveal the indelible marks that violence and conflict inscribe on those left in their wake. Examining conflict through literature also grants students access to the ethical and moral dilemmas that people face as they navigate complex and oppressive social systems. A graduate-level course in “Conflict and Literature” taught for the past ten years at George Mason University provides evidence of these uses and suggests the possibility of further pedagogical developments.


Angelica R. Martinez
Angelica R. Martinez is a PhD candidate at George Mason University and the Branch Chief of Policy and Assessment for NATO’s Allied Land Command in Izmir, Turkey. She taught in the Department of Social Sciences at the U.S. Military Academy (West Point).

Richard E. Rubenstein
Richard E. Rubenstein is University Professor of Conflict Resolution and Public Affairs at George Mason University’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution. His most recent book is Resolving Structural Conflicts: How Violent Systems Can Be Transformed (2017).
ECJ Court Watch

Case C-158/16. Fixed-term employment

Margarita Isabel Vega González – v – Consejería de Hacienda y Sector Público de la Administración del Principado de Asturias, reference lodged by the Spanish Juzgado Contencioso-Administrativo No 1 de Oviedo on 16 March 2016

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 3 2016
Keywords Fixed-term employment
Case Reports

2016/42 Court finds fixed-term employee eligible for contract of indefinite duration (CY)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 3 2016
Keywords Dismissal, conversion fixed term contracts
Authors Michalis Hadjigiovanni
AbstractAuthor's information

    Where an employee’s working time exceeds the 30 months prescribed by law, a fixed term contract will be converted into an indefinite term contract.


Michalis Hadjigiovanni
Michalis Hadjigiovanni is a lawyer with George Z. Georgiou & Associates LLC in Nicosia, www.gzg.com.cy.

    A company had leased some employees from a temporary work agency between 2008 and 2012 to work alongside its own employees on a continuous basis. The collective bargaining agreement that the company was bound by restricted the use of temporary agency workers to situations in which the work could not be performed by the company’s own staff. The trade union brought an action before the Labour Court claiming that the company had used temporary agency workers continuously to a greater extent than permitted by the collective bargaining agreement and that the employers’ association, of which the company was a member, had breached its supervisory duty. In a preliminary ruling, the ECJ held that the Temporary Agency Work Directive (2008/104/EC) does not oblige national courts to refuse to apply national law containing prohibitions or restrictions, even if those restrictions were not justified. Having confirmed that national restrictions may be applied, the Labour Court imposed a compensatory fine of € 3,000 on the company and € 4,000 on the employers’ association.


Kaj Swanljung

Janne Nurminen
Kaj Swanljung and Janne Nurminen are, respectively, Senior Counsel and Senior Associate, with Roschier in Helsinki, www.roschier.com.

    The Danish Supreme Court has ruled that a provision in a collective agreement allowing employers to pay reduced allowances for working in the evenings, on nights and at weekends to employees under the age of 25 in full-time education and working no more than 15 hours a week was not in conflict with the Danish Anti-Discrimination Act since it was justified by a legitimate aim.


Mariann Norrbom
Mariann Norrbom is a partner of Norrbom Vinding, Copenhagen, www.norrbomvinding.com.

    An employee challenged whether her employer’s refusal to provide childcare vouchers during maternity leave was discriminatory. The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) determined, somewhat tentatively, that where childcare vouchers are provided through a salary sacrifice scheme, it is not discriminatory for employers to cease to provide childcare vouchers during maternity leave.


Catherine Hayes
Catherine Hayes is an Associate at Lewis Silkin LLP: www.lewissilkin.com.
ECJ Court Watch

Case C-631/15. Fixed-term work

Carlos Alvarez Santirso – v – Consejería de Educación, Cultura y Deporte del Principado de Asturias, reference lodged by the Spanish Juzgado Contencioso-Administrativo de Oviedo on 27 November 2015

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 2 2016
Keywords Fixed-term work

    In businesses employing fewer than ten employees, the rules on unfair dismissal do not apply. However, those on discrimination do. This fact made it possible for the 63 year-old employee in this case to claim damages, effectively for unfair dismissal. She had been dismissed following a reduction in the available work. She was selected for redundancy because she was less qualified than her colleagues. However, her termination letter mentioned that she had become “eligible for retirement”. This remark created a presumption of age discrimination, which the employer was not able to rebut.


Paul Schreiner

Dagmar Hellenkemper
Paul Schreiner and Dagmar Hellenkemper are lawyers with Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH, www.luther-lawfirm.com.

    The Supreme Court in this case establishes conditions to be met in order for the member of a Board of Directors to qualify as a self-employed “entrepreneur”. In light of these conditions, Directors must be considered to have the status of “individual contractor”, obligating them to pay increased social security contributions.


Marcin Wujczyk Ph.D.
Marcin Wujczyk, Ph.D., is a partner with Ksiazek & Bigaj in Krakow, www.ksiazeklegal.pl.

    The Belgian Labour Court decided in this case that the attitude/behaviour of an employer towards an employee constitutes harassment and discrimination, as the behaviour was such that the employee could have had the impression that he could lose his job because of his state of health. The employee resumed work after long-term incapacity owing to heart disease, but only on a part-time basis.
    The Court considered that the successive actions of the employer towards his employee were aimed at ending his employment rather than actively promoting reintegration. Such behaviour, on the facts, could be considered as harassment and discrimination.
    Moreover, the Court specified that the health of the employee, who had partially resumed work after being off sick for heart disease, could be regarded as a disability in accordance with EU Directive 2000/78. The Court explicitly referred to the ECJ HK Danmark case.


Isabel Plets

Karl Goethals
Isabel Plets and Karl Goethals are lawyers with Lydian in Brussels, www.lydian.be.

    This paper interprets the presumption of innocence as a conceptual antidote for sacrificial tendencies in criminal law. Using Girard’s philosophy of scapegoat mechanisms and sacrifice as hermeneutical framework, the consanguinity of legal and sacrificial order is explored. We argue that some legal concepts found in the ius commune’s criminal system (12th-18th century), like torture, infamy, or punishment for mere suspicion, are affiliated with scapegoat dynamics and operate, to some extent, in the spirit of sacrifice. By indicating how these concepts entail more or less flagrant breaches of our contemporary conception of due process molded by the presumption of innocence, an antithesis emerges between the presumption of innocence and sacrificial inclinations in criminal law. Furthermore, when facing fundamental threats like heresy, the ius commune’s due process could be suspended. What emerges in this state of exception allowing for swift and relentless repression, is elucidated as legal order’s sacrificial infrastructure.


Rafael Van Damme
Rafael Van Damme is PhD-student in philosophy.
Editorial

The Dynamic Interdependencies of Practice and Scholarship

Journal International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution, Issue 1 2016
Keywords peace research, scholar-practitioner, peacebuilding, peace education
Authors John Paul Lederach and George A. Lopez
Author's information

John Paul Lederach
John Paul Lederach is Professor of International Peacebuilding at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame and Senior Fellow, Humanity United.

George A. Lopez
George A. Lopez is Hesburgh Chair of Peace Studies Emeritus at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame.

Elina Morozova
Head of International & Legal Service, Intersputnik International Organization of Space Communications, morozova@intersputnik.com.
ECJ Court Watch

Case C-614/15. Fixed Term Work

Rodica Popescu –v– Directia Sanitar Veterinara si pentru Siguranta Alimentelor Gorj, reference lodged by the Romanian Curtea de Apel Craiova

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 1 2016
Keywords fixed term work
Case Reports

2016/3 Supreme Court allows transferee to differentiate between ‘own’ and acquired employees (PL)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 1 2016
Keywords Differing the monthly wages after the workplace has been moved on to another employer
Authors Ph.D Marcin Wujczyk
AbstractAuthor's information

    Paying employees acquired by way of the transfer of an undertaking less than the transferee’s original staff not discriminatory. The Supreme Court recently came to this conclusion based on a rather daring interpretation of a provision of national law aimed at transposing an EU directive. Although Polish law obligates employers to treat employees who perform the same work equally regardless of personal characteristics, the provision at issue should be read more narrowly.


Ph.D Marcin Wujczyk
Marcin Wujczyk, Ph. D., is a partner with Ksiazek & Bigaj in Krakow, www.ksiazeklegal.pl.

    The compensation for an employee who is a victim of unlawful dismissal should be as comprehensive as possible, but only harm that is directly linked to the dismissal should be compensated. Material damage suffered by an employee in a senior position may include benefits such as profit shares received in his or her position as an equity partner. In this case, the Court of Appeal ordered a firm to pay a former employee the exceptional amount of more than one million Euros in compensation for wrongful dismissal.


Michel Molitor
Michel Molitor is an avocat with MOLITOR, www.molitorlegal.lu.
ECtHR Court Watch

ECtHR 26 November 2015, application 64846/11. (Ebrahimian), Religious Discrimination

Christiane Ebrahimian –v– France, French case

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 1 2016
Keywords Religious Discrimination

    The Employment Appeal Tribunal (‘EAT’) held that a university lecturer’s complaints of less favourable treatment over a series of fixed term contracts were sufficiently linked to amount to ‘a series of similar acts’ and therefore could fall within the time limit of three months for bringing a claim in the Employment Tribunal.


Helen Coombes
Helen Coombes is an Associate at Lewis Silkin LLP: www.lewissilkin.com.
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