Search result: 35 articles

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ECJ Court Watch

ECJ 13 July 2017, case C-354/16 (Kleinsteuber), Part-time work and sex discrimination

Ute Kleinsteuber – v – Mars GmbH, German case

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 3 2017
Keywords Part-time work, Gender discrimination
Abstract

    Distinctions made for part-time workers in calculating occupational pension can be acceptable, as long as the calculations are based on legitimate objectives in accordance with law.

Case Reports

2017/31 Lawful positive discrimination in favour of women (FR)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 3 2017
Keywords Discrimination (other), Positive discrimination
Authors Claire Toumieux and Susan Ekrami
AbstractAuthor's information

    Company agreement provisions granting a half-day of leave to female employees on International Women’s Day constitute lawful positive discrimination in favour of women.


Claire Toumieux
Claire Toumieux is a partner with Allen & Overy LLP in Paris (www.allenovery.com).

Susan Ekrami
Susan Ekrami is a senior associate with Allen & Overy LLP in Paris (www.allenovery.com).
Article

Consultations, Citizen Narratives and Evidence-Based Regulation

The Strange Case of the Consultation on the Collaborative Economy

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1-2 2017
Keywords Better Regulation, consultations, evidence-based lawmaking, sharing economy, narratives
Authors Sofia Ranchordás
AbstractAuthor's information

    The 2015 Better Regulation Communication advocates an evidence-based approach to regulation, which includes better consultations and broader civic engagement. In this article, I consider the recent EU public consultation on the regulatory environment of online platforms and the collaborative economy. I enquire in this context whether citizens were seriously regarded as evidence providers and how their knowledge that materialized in individual narratives could contribute to more legitimate and thus better regulation. I argue that an evidence-based approach to regulation should also include citizen narratives as they can provide first-hand and diverse perspectives, which might not be considered in standard consultation questions. I contend that citizen narratives can be particularly useful in complex and rapidly evolving fields where there is still little empirical evidence and where participants are likely to have diverse personal experiences. Drawing on the literature on narratives, I contend that this method of collecting information can help regulators identify new problems and structure solutions in rapidly changing and diverse regulatory fields such as the collaborative economy.


Sofia Ranchordás
Sofia Ranchordás is an Assistant Professor of Administrative and Constitutional Law at Leiden Law School, the Netherlands, and Affiliated Fellow of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School.
Article

The Politicization of ex post Policy Evaluation in the EU

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1-2 2017
Keywords policy evaluation, Better Regulation, participation, REFIT, politicization
Authors Stijn Smismans
AbstractAuthor's information

    The European Commission’s 2015 Better Regulation package has placed ex post evaluation at the centre of European governance. This strengthens a trend of gradual politicization of evaluation in European policymaking. This article analyses how the European Commission’s approach to ex post policy evaluation has changed over the last decade. It shows how evaluation has developed from a rather technical process to a more politicized process, which is clearly linked to political priority setting, subject to centralized control, and involving a wider set of actors. At the same time, the Commission avoids a profound debate on the merits and objectives of the process of evaluation itself. The article concludes on the merits and risks of evaluation at times of rising populism.


Stijn Smismans
Stijn Smismans is a professor of law at the School of Law and Politics and director of the Centre for European Law and Governance at Cardiff University.
Article

Regulatory Review of European Commission Impact Assessments

What Kind for Which Better Regulation Scenario?

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1-2 2017
Keywords impact assessment, Better Regulation, non-judicial review, regulatory scrutiny, European Union
Authors Anne C.M. Meuwese
AbstractAuthor's information

    The article maps the various ways in which review of Commission impact assessments takes place by the Regulatory Scrutiny Board, the European Ombudsman, the European Court of Auditors, and the Court of Justice of the European Union, among others, and assesses the effect these review activities have on the framework and functioning of this primary Better Regulation tool.


Anne C.M. Meuwese
Tilburg Law School, The Netherlands, Professor of European and Comparative Public Law.

    Ongeveer 20% van de echtscheidingen loopt uit op een zogenaamde conflict- of vechtscheiding. Om deze complexe echtscheidingszaken effectief aan te pakken, dienen professionals in het veld te beschikken over wetenschappelijk onderbouwde kennis over werkzame interventies. Mediation wordt vaak beschouwd als dé oplossing voor conflictscheidingen. Wetenschappelijk onderzoek laat echter een beperkte effectiviteit zien van mediation bij conflictscheidingen. Dit heeft onder andere te maken met de hoge prevalentie (rond 40%) van huiselijk geweld in conflictscheidingsgezinnen.
    In dit onderzoek is de visie van Nederlandse professionals over conflictscheidingen onderzocht en vergeleken met de kennis uit de wetenschappelijke literatuur. Met behulp van een online vragenlijst testten we het kennisniveau van 863 professionals die werken met conflictscheidingsgezinnen. Dit waren advocaten, professionals uit de jeugdzorg/-bescherming, mediators en professionals uit de GGZ.
    Professionals behaalden een gemiddelde score van 6,5 correcte antwoorden op een totaal van 11, waarbij juridische professionals significant beter scoorden dan sociale professionals. Slechts 17% van de professionals wist dat in bijna de helft van de conflictscheidingen huiselijk geweld een rol speelt. 55% van de professionals adviseerde in een geval van een al 7 jaar durende conflictscheiding mediation als effectieve interventie. 46% van de respondenten overschatte de prevalentie van valse beschuldigingen van huiselijk geweld en kindermishandeling bij conflictscheidingen.
    In opleidingen voor Nederlandse juridische en sociale professionals die werken met conflictscheidingsgezinnen dient meer aandacht besteed te worden aan wetenschappelijke kennis, zodat professionals handelen op basis van kennis in plaats van persoonlijke opvattingen en mythen.
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    High conflict divorces are among the 20% of divorce cases that continue to escalate over time. In order to help solve these complex divorce cases, it is important that professionals in the field possess evidence-based knowledge to provide effective interventions. One of these possible interventions is mediation, which is often seen as a panacea for high-conflict divorce (HCD) cases. However, scientific research has shown limited effectiveness of mediation in HCD cases. This is partially associated with the high prevalence (around 40%) of domestic violence in HCD.
    The present study examined professionals’ perspectives on high conflict-divorce cases and compared their views with the available scientific evidence. By means of a web-survey, we tested the knowledge of different professional groups (N = 863) who work with HCD families. The sample consisted of lawyers, child welfare/child protection professionals, mediators and mental health professionals.
    The results showed that professionals on average gave 6.5 correct responses out of 11 questions in total and that legal professionals scored significantly better than social professionals. Only 17% of the professionals were aware that in almost half of all high-conflict divorce cases domestic violence is a problem. For a high-conflict divorce case spanning 7 years, mediation was advised as an effective intervention by 55% of professionals. 46% of respondents overestimated the prevalence of false allegations of child abuse in HCD cases.
    More attention to scientific knowledge on HCD in the educational curricula for Dutch legal and social professionals is needed, in order to assure that their professional activities and decision making are based on scientific evidence instead of personal biases and myths.


Prof. dr. Corine de Ruiter
Prof. dr. Corine de Ruiter is a licensed clinical psychologist (BIG) in The Netherlands. She serves as professor of Forensic Psychology at Maastricht University. She also has a private practice. Her research focuses on the interface between psychopathology and crime. She has a special interest in the prevention of child abuse and intimate partner violence because they are both very common and often overlooked in practice.

Brigitte van Pol Msc
Brigitte van Pol studied Psychology and Law at Maastricht University. Her involvement in this research dates from her Master’s thesis on the role of mediation in high conflict divorce. The authors would like to thank the participants for their time and effort in completing our websurvey.

    A claim for compensation for discrimination was not excluded simply because the applicant did not have the ‘objective qualifications’ necessary for the job. According to the German General Equal Treatment Act (the ‘Allgemeines Gleichbehandlungsgesetz’, or ‘AGG’), what is necessary for a compensation claim is a ‘comparable situation’. According to the latest decision of the German Federal Labour Court (the ‘Bundesarbeitsgericht’, or ‘BAG’) this can occur even if the applicant does not fulfill the general requirements to do the job.


Paul Schreiner
Paul Schreiner and Nina Stephan are respectively partner and associate with Luther Rechtsanwaltgesellschaft MbH, www.luther-lawfirm.com.

Nina Stephan
Paul Schreiner and Nina Stephan are respectively partner and associate with Luther Rechtsanwaltgesellschaft MbH, www.luther-lawfirm.com.
Case Reports

2017/1 Early retirement pension cannot justify age discrimination (AU)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 1 2017
Keywords Age discrimination
Authors Peter C. Schöffmann and Andreas Tinhofer
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Austrian Supreme Court has held that the selection of employees for redundancy because of their entitlement to an early retirement pension constitutes unfair dismissal on grounds of direct age discrimination. Although it was accepted that individual employers (here the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation) can pursue a legitimate aim within the meaning of Article 6(1) of Directive 2000/78/EC, the means to achieve that aim were not considered appropriate and necessary. The Court stressed that a balance must be struck between the interests of older and younger employees, taking into account that it is generally easier for younger employees to find a new job. In the case at hand, however, the employer had not managed to show that its redundancy selection programme met that requirement.


Peter C. Schöffmann
Peter C. Schöffmann and Andreas Tinhofer are respectively an associate and partner at MOSATI Rechtsanwälte, www.mosati.at.

Andreas Tinhofer
Peter C. Schöffmann and Andreas Tinhofer are respectively an associate and partner at MOSATI Rechtsanwälte, www.mosati.at.

    In a precedent-setting case, the Danish Supreme Court recently ruled that a pregnant employee under notice, who claimed discrimination because she had not been reassigned to a vacant position that arose during the notice period, was not discriminated against.


Mariann Norrbom
Mariann Norrbom is a lawyer at Norrbom Vinding in Copenhagen, www.norrbomvinding.com.

    For the first time, a Belgian court has relied on the Kaltoft case, which holds that obesity may constitute a disability. That case gives rise to protection against discrimination, according to the Labour Tribunal of Liège, even if it is falsely presumed. This is the case where an employer sends an email to an applicant stating that the applicant cannot be hired because his or her obesity is a disability in relation to the job.


Gautier Busschaert
Gautier Busschaert is an attorney at Van Olmen & Wynant in Brussels, www.vow.be.

    The dismissal of a pregnant employee upon her employer’s business takeover was deemed to be unlawful discrimination.


Christiana Michael
Christiana Michael is a lawyer at George Z Georgiou & Associates LLC, www.georgezgeorgiou.com.
Article

Het geslacht van de kandidaat als heuristisch stemmotief

Een onderzoek naar het effect van politieke sofisticatie en electorale context op gender-based stemgedrag

Journal Res Publica, Issue 2 2017
Authors Sjifra de Leeuw
AbstractAuthor's information

    In this paper, I study gender-based voting behavior in the Belgian proportional electoral system. In particular, I investigate two possible causes for why voters experience the need to simplify their voting decision by using a gender-cue. First, in line with the findings of previous studies, I find that voters with lower levels of political sophistication who are less able to collect and process political information, are consequently more likely to use the sex of a candidate as a shortcut. However, the effect of political sophistication on gender-based voting behavior is limited. Second, based on the literature, I expect that the low information context of the second-order European elections would cause both high and low information voters to become more reliant on gendercues to simplify their voting decision and by extent would cause the effect of political sophistication on gender-based voting to diminish. Against theoretical expectations, I find that the effect of the electoral context is negligible.


Sjifra de Leeuw
Sjifra de Leeuw is masterstudente Politieke Wetenschappen, Statistiek en Sociologie aan de KU Leuven. Vanaf september 2017 is zij doctoraatsstudent politieke communicatie aan de Amsterdam School of Communication Research (Universiteit van Amsterdam).

    Nederlandse kinderen lijken minder te weten over kinder- en mensenrechten dan andere kinderen in Europa. Om die reden zien beleidsmakers, wetenschappers en maatschappelijke organisaties een noodzaak om formele educatie op deze onderwerpen te introduceren in alle onderwijsniveaus. Wat denken middelbare leerlingen zelf hier echter over? Dit artikel onderzoekt het rechtsbewustzijn van kinderen in drie Nederlandse middelbare scholen ten aanzien van hun specifieke rechten als kinderen. Het wordt duidelijk dat kinderen ideeën en meningen hebben over hun rechten en daarmee een rechtsbewustzijn hebben, ook als zij geen rechtenjargon gebruiken. Hun rechtsbewustzijn bestaat uit moraliteit, wat verklaart dat zij bepaalde rechten zelf bedenken: sommige thema’s vinden zij zo belangrijk dat zij voelen dat ze deel uitmaken van hun fundamentele rechten als kinderen. Het integreren van mensenrechteneducatie in het schoolcurriculum zou een nodige, maar is een onvoldoende oplossing voor het ‘probleem’ dat voor ons ligt. Het is namelijk niet bewezen of meer kennis op deze onderwerpen ook leidt tot verandering van gedrag. De kinderen maakten namelijk ook bewuste keuzes om níet hun rechten in te roepen, maar om hun problemen anderszins op te lossen. Dit moet worden meegenomen om interventies effectief te laten zijn, zodat niet het tegenovergestelde van wat gewenst is, wordt bereikt. En effectieve interventies dienen daarnaast aan te sluiten bij het dagelijks leven van de kinderen. Volgens de leerlingen zijn kinderrechten vooral ook iets dat we moeten doen en oefenen.
    Dutch children seem to be less informed about children’s and human rights than their peers in other European states. Therefore, policy makers, academics and CSOs recognise a need to introduce formal education on these matters in all levels of schooling. But what do secondary school children themselves think about this? This article explores the legal consciousness of children in three Dutch schools on their specific rights as children. It has been evidenced that children have ideas and opinions about their rights and therefore have a legal consciousness, though without using the language of the law. Their legal consciousness consists of morality, which explains their ‘invention’ of certain rights: some themes are of such importance that they feel these are part of their fundamental rights as children. Integrating human rights education into the school curriculum may be a necessary, but is an insufficient solution to the ‘problem’ at hand. It has not been evidenced whether more knowledge changes their behavior. The children made informed decisions to not invoke their rights, and to solve their problems differently. Effective interventions need to take this into account in order to relate to their everyday lives and avoid having the opposite effect of what is intended. According to the students, children’s rights are mostly something to be done or practiced.


Carrie van der Kroon LL.M.
Carrie van der Kroon works as a programme officer on girls’ rights in the Global South at Defence for Children International – ECPAT the Netherlands. She obtained her masters in Legal Research (Cum Laude) at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, specialising in international children’s rights from a socio-legal perspective.

    In recent years, there has been a strong diffusion of the concept of the G1000 in the Low countries. Yet, empirical research that concerns the democratic value of these mini-publics is sparse. This raises the question as to how democratic the G1000 initiatives in Belgium and the Netherlands are. To answer this question, we compare the Belgian and the Dutch G1000’s and assess these against a set of deliberative democratic criteria. We conclude that the G1000’s to a large extent meet the process criteria of deliberation. At the same time, the connection with the formal decision-making process appears to be weak. Another lesson to be drawn is that deliberative democratic criteria often seem to conflict with each other, which points to continuing tensions within the ideal of deliberative democracy.


Ank Michels
Ank Michels is politicoloog en als universitair docent verbonden aan het Departement Bestuurs- en Organisatiewetenschap van de Universiteit Utrecht. In haar onderzoek houdt zij zich bezig met nieuwe vormen van besturen en democratie, burgerparticipatie en deliberatie. Ze is mede-auteur van het boek G1000. Ervaringen met burgertoppen (2016) en auteur van onder meer ‘Innovations in democratic governance. How does citizen participation contribute to a better democracy’ (2011) en ‘Participation in citizens’ summits and public engagement’ (2017), beide in International Review of Administrative Sciences.

Didier Caluwaerts
Didier Caluwaerts is als docent verbonden aan de Vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen van de Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Zijn onderzoek handelt over democratische innovatie, met een specifieke focus op deliberatieve democratie. In 2011 was hij mede-organisator van de G1000 Burgertop in België. Hij is ook mede-auteur van Democratic deliberation in deeply divided societies: From conflict to common ground (Palgrave, 2014) en publiceerde onlangs ‘Generating democratic legitimacy through deliberative innovations: The role of embeddedness and disruptiveness (2016, Representation) en ‘Coproduction in health planning: Challenging the need for “open” policy-making processes’ (2016, International Journal of Public Administration).
Research Note

Lost in the mainstream?

Gender in het kerncurriculum van de Nederlandse bacheloropleidingen politicologie

Journal Res Publica, Issue 1 2017
Authors Saskia Bonjour, Liza Mügge and Conny Roggeband
Author's information

Saskia Bonjour
Saskia Bonjour is universitair docent politicologie aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam, bestuurslid van het Amsterdam Research Centre of Gender and Sexuality (ARC-GS) en de Dutch Association for Migration Research (DAMR) en lid van de Adviescommissie Vreemdelingenzaken. Haar onderzoeks- en onderwijsinteresses zijn familiemigratie, integratie, burgerschap, gender en migratie en europeanisering.

Liza Mügge
Liza Mügge is universitair hoofddocent politicologie, directeur van het Amsterdam Research Centre of Gender and Sexuality (ARC-GS) en coördinator van de bachelor minor gender & sexuality aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam. Ze publiceerde op het terrein van politieke vertegenwoordiging, gender, intersectionaliteit en transnationalisme.

Conny Roggeband
Conny Roggeband is universitair docent politicologie aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam en lid van het bestuur van het Amsterdam Research Centre of Gender and Sexuality (ARC-GS). Ze is ook verbonden aan de Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO) in Ecuador. Ze schreef over gender en beleid, gender mainstreaming, sociale bewegingen en transnationale beleidsnetwerken in Europa en Latijns-Amerika.
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