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Article

The International Criminal Court and Africa

Contextualizing the Anti-ICC Narrative

Journal African Journal of International Criminal Justice, Issue 1-2 2016
Keywords International Criminal Court (ICC), security, African Union (AU), war crimes, international law
Authors Brendon J. Cannon, Dominic R. Pkalya and Bosire Maragia
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article critiques attempts by some in Africa to brand the International Criminal Court (ICC) as a neocolonial institution and stooge of the West. These arguments accuse the ICC of playing a double standard, being overly focused on trying African defendants, and warn that the Court risks exacerbating factionalism and ethnic divisions thereby threatening peace and reconciliation efforts. Although we neither defend nor champion the ICC’s mandate, we deem such criticisms as hyperbole. At best, they attempt to whitewash the instrumental role played by African states in the birth of the Court and ignore the fact that many of the ICC cases were referred there by African governments. Furthermore, the current African narrative understates the ICC’s potential to midwife local judiciaries and contribute positively towards conflict resolution in Africa through the promotion of at least a measure of accountability and offers of justice, thereby taming elite immunity and impunity in states where justice regimes are either weak or non-existent. Until African states strengthen their judiciaries to ensure such references to the ICC are indeed a last resort, the Court will continue to remain the only credible forum for states emerging from conflict and seeking justice and reconciliation.


Brendon J. Cannon
Brendon J. Cannon is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Khalifa University’s Institute of International and Civil Security (IICS) in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Dominic R. Pkalya
Dominic R. Pkalya is a post-graduate student at Kisii University, Faculty of Social Sciences in Nairobi, Kenya.

Bosire Maragia
Bosire Maragia is an Adjunct Lecturer of Political Science (African Politics) at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, USA and works for the United States Federal Government. The views expressed herein are his and do not reflect or constitute official US government policy.
Article

Parliament versus Constitutional Court

Selected Issues Pertaining to the Constitutional Dispute in Poland

Journal Hungarian Yearbook of International Law and European Law, Issue 1 2016
Authors Marcin Stębelski
Author's information

Marcin Stębelski
Assistant professor, Department of Constitutional Law Faculty of Law and Administration, University of Warsaw.

    The UK Supreme Court has held that the mistreatment of two Nigerian employees based on their vulnerable immigration status, did not amount to direct or indirect discrimination. The question for the Court was whether the employees had been discriminated against on the basis of their nationality. The Court accepted that immigration status is a function of nationality, but that it is not the same thing.


Hayley Band
Hayley Band is a Paralegal at Lewis Silkin LLP, www.lewissilkin.com.

James Davies
James Davies is Joint Head of Employment team at Lewis Silkin LLP in London, www.lewissilkin.com.

    The Supreme Court of Lithuania recently affirmed that the courts have no competence to assess the merits of an employer’s decision to restructure and make staff redundant, as the decision was at the employer’s discretion to make.


Inga Klimašauskienė
Inga Klimašauskienė is an Associate Partner at GLIMSTEDT Law Firm in Vilnius, www.glimstedt.lt.

    The Employment Appeal Tribunal (‘EAT’) has upheld an Employment Tribunal’s (‘ET’s’) finding that Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (‘ECHR’) was not engaged when an employer used private material obtained by the police during a criminal investigation as part of an internal disciplinary investigation into one of its employees. This material had been taken from the claimant’s phone by the police, who then provided it to the employer (stating that it could be used for the purposes of their investigation). The facts in this case were unusual. Whether or not an employee has a reasonable expectation of privacy in similar circumstances will depend on all the facts, including the source of the information, whether the employee has expressly objected to its use, and whether the relevant conduct took place in, or was brought into, the workplace.


Anna Bond
Anna Bond is an associate at Lewis Silkin LLP: www.lewissilkin.com.

Ram S. Jakhu
Prof. Ram S. Jakhu, McGill University, Canada: ram.jakhu@mcgill.ca

Steven Freeland
Prof. Steven Freeland, Western Sydney University, Australia: s.freeland@westernsydney.edu.au
Article

E-Commerce, ICTs and Online Dispute Resolution: Is This the Beginning of a New Professional Profile?

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 2 2015
Keywords Mobile phones, ADR, ODR, mediation, conflict resolution
Authors Aura Esther Vilalta and Rosa Pérez Martell
AbstractAuthor's information

    There is a close link between the growth of Internet usage, the development of mobile technology, the expansion of markets and the increasing number of online dispute resolution mechanisms (ODRs). This article seeks to start a conversation about the need to provide justice by means of effective mechanisms, in particular for e-commerce disputes and transnational litigation. It also provides some information on the recent international initiatives towards the regulation of this new arena, and concludes with an early approach to the future challenges and the impact on training, qualifications and expertise of ODR professionals and service providers.


Aura Esther Vilalta
Senior Lecturer in Civil Law at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), Barcelona, Spain. Fellow of the National Center of Technology and Dispute Resolution (NCTDR), University of Massachusetts – Amherst; CEO of Iusmediare, mediator and arbitrator. Vilalta has been Spanish national representative at UNCITRAL, WG III (Online Dispute Resolution) and Deputy Magistrate in the Barcelona Court of Appeals.

Rosa Pérez Martell
Senior Lecturer in Procedural Law at Las Palmas de Gran Canaria University, lecturer at the Open University of Catalonia and member of the Mediation Commission at the Gran Canaria Government.

    The Kenyan Situation pending before the International Criminal Court (ICC) is the first situation in which the prosecutor exercised his power to initiate cases “proprio motu” under Article 15 of the Rome Statute. In the wake of the comments from the former Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Luis Moreno-Ocampo, that there was political interference from foreign diplomats during the investigation stage of the cases, it is prudent to re-examine the standards provided under the Rome Statute regarding prosecutorial discretion and evaluate the prosecutorial power and how the Kenyan cases may shape this discretionary power in order to align it with the Preamble of the Rome Statute. The Preamble affirms that the most serious crimes of concern to the international community must not go unpunished. Further, that their effective prosecution must be ensured for the purposes of ending impunity for the perpetrators of international crimes and thus to contribute to the prevention of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crimes of aggression.


Simeon P. Sungi
Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at the United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya. He is also an Advocate of the High Court of Tanzania and the High Court of Kenya. Dr. Sungi holds a PhD in Criminal Justice from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana; an MA in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana; and an LLM in International Human Rights Law from Indiana University School of Law (now Robert H. McKinney School of Law) in Indianapolis, Indiana, all in the United States of America. He also holds an LL.B. Hons degree from the Open University of Tanzania. He is a former United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda staff member. The views expressed herein are his own; ssungi@alumni.iu.edu.
Article

Accountability for Forced Displacement in Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda before the International Criminal Court

Journal African Journal of International Criminal Justice, Issue 2 2015
Keywords Forced displacement, International Criminal Court, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, reparations
Authors Luke Moffett
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article examines the challenges of investigating and prosecuting forced displacement in the Central African countries of Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda, where higher loss of life was caused by forced displacement, than by any other. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, armed groups intentionally attacked civilian populations displacing them from their homes, to cut them off from food and medical supplies. In Northern Uganda, the government engaged in a forced displacement policy as part of its counter-insurgency against the Lord’s Resistance Army, driving the civilian population into “protected villages”, where at one point the weekly death toll was over 1,000 in these camps. This article critically evaluates how criminal responsibility can be established for forced displacement and alternative approaches to accountability through reparations.


Luke Moffett
Lecturer and Director of the Human Rights Centre, Queen’s University Belfast, l.moffett@qub.ac.uk.

    Over the last decade, Nigeria has witnessed several high-intensity conflicts. It became a country under preliminary investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC) following allegations of serious crimes. In 2013, the boko haram insurgency was classified as a “non-international armed conflict.” Commentators appear divided over the capacity and willingness of domestic institutions to manage crimes arising from or connected with conflicts in Nigeria. Those who argue for unwillingness often point to the struggle to domesticate the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (Rome Statute) as one of the clearest indication that there is not sufficient interest. This article interrogates the question of seeming impunity for serious crimes in Nigeria and makes a case for domesticating the Rome Statute through an amendment to the Crimes against Humanity, War Crimes, Genocide and Related Offences Bill, 2012 pending before the National Assembly.


Stanley Ibe
LL.B. (Lagos State University, Nigeria); LL.M. (Maastricht University, The Netherlands); Postgraduate Diploma in International Protection of Human Rights (Abo Akademi, Finland). Ibe is an associate legal officer for Africa at the Open Society Justice Initiative. He writes in a private capacity.
Article

Access_open Austerity’s Effect on English Civil Justice

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 4 2015
Keywords Austerity, court fees and legal aid, adversarial and inquisitorial process, McKenzie Friends, simplified process
Authors John Sorabji
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article considers the effect of austerity-induced public spending cuts on the English civil justice system. In doing so it initially examines two fundamental changes engendered by the effect austerity has had on civil court fees and legal aid: first, a challenge to the traditional commitment in English procedure to adversarial process, and a concomitant increase in inquisitorial or investigative processes; and secondly, the growth in use of unqualified individuals to act as advocates in court for individual litigants who are unable to afford legal representation. It then turns to consider what, if any, effect austerity has had on simplified processes available in English civil procedure.


John Sorabji
DPhil, Senior Fellow, UCL Judicial Institute, University College, London, email: j.sorabji@ucl.ac.uk.
Article

Access_open The Impact of the Economic Downturn in the Spanish Civil Justice System

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 4 2015
Keywords judiciary, judge-made justice, court fees, legal aid, ADR-methods
Authors Laura Carballo Piñeiro and Jordi Nieva Fenoll
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Spanish justice system has been shaken by the economic downturn as many other institutions have. This article addresses in the first place some statistical data that shed light as regards to the number of judges and the costs and length of the procedure in Spain. These figures help to understand, in the second place, the impact of austerity measures on the judiciary, namely, the freeze on the hiring of judges and the establishing of high court fees. While they mainly concern the supply side of justice services, others such cost reductions in legal aid have had, in the third place, an impact on the demand side, driving many citizens to social exclusion and to resorting to self-defence mechanisms. The final part of this article addresses some remedies that may alleviate judiciary’s workload, but that fall short of doing it. All in all, the Spanish justice system seems to require a holistic approach to patch up edges, but one in which the role of judge-made justice in a democratic society has to be central again.


Laura Carballo Piñeiro
Laura Carballo Piñeiro is Associate Professor of Private International Law at the Common Law Department of the University of Santiago de Compostela.

Jordi Nieva Fenoll
Jordi Nieva Fenoll is Professor of Procedure Law at the Administrative and Procedure Law Department of the University of Barcelona.
Article

Access_open Austerity in Civil Procedure

A Critical Assessment of the Impact of Global Economic Downturn on Civil Justice in Ghana

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 4 2015
Keywords austerity, small claims, civil justice, civil procedure, Ghana civil procedure
Authors Ernest Owusu-Dapaa and Ebenezer Adjei Bediako
AbstractAuthor's information

    The demand for and availability of civil justice procedures for small claims can neither be disentangled nor extricated from the health of the economic climate of the relevant country concerned. In this article, it is argued that despite not being a developed country, Ghana was not completely insulated from the hardships or implementation of austerity measures that were triggered by the global economic meltdown. The inevitability of behavioural changes on the part of the Government of Ghana as lawmaker and provider of the machinery for civil justice on the one hand and small claims litigants as users of the civil procedure on the other hand are also explored in the article. After properly situating the exploration in the relevant economic context, the article makes recommendations regarding how to minimise the impact of the austerity measures on small claims litigants.


Ernest Owusu-Dapaa
Ernest Owusu-Dapaa is Lecturer in Law at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana. Email: eodapaa@yahoo.com.

Ebenezer Adjei Bediako
Ebenezer Adjei Bediako is Principal Research Assistant at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana.
Article

Access_open A View from the Sky

A General Overview about Civil Litigation in the United States with Reference to the Relief in Small and Simple Matters

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 4 2015
Keywords civil procedure, United States, small and simple matters
Authors Manuel Gomez and Juan Carlos Gomez
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article, which is based on the research conducted for the General Report ‘Relief in Small and Simple Matters in an Age of Austerity’ presented at the XV World Congress of Procedural Law, provides a contextualised and broad overview of these phenomena in the United States. After describing the general features of the federal and state judiciaries, including its adversarial model of judging, and the importance of the jury system, the article turns its attention to discuss the factors that affect the cost of litigation in the United States, the different models of litigation funding, the available legal aid mechanisms, and the procedural tools available for handling small and simple disputes. Furthermore, this article briefly revisits the discussion about the effect of austerity on the functioning of the United States legal system on the handling of small and simple matters and ends with a brief conclusion that summarises its contribution and sketches the points for future research on this important topic.


Manuel Gomez
Manuel Gomez is Associate Professor of Law and Associate Dean of International and Graduate Students at the Florida International University College of Law.

Juan Carlos Gomez
Juan Carlos Gomez is Director of the Carlos A. Costa Immigration and Human Rights Clinic at the Florida International University College of Law.

Nikolett Papp
PhD student, University of Debrecen, Géza Marton Doctoral School of Legal Studies.

Christina Binder
Professor of International Law at the University of Vienna.

Thomas Schobesberger
Research Assistant in International Law at the University of Vienna.

Réka Varga
PhD, senior lecturer, Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Department of Public International Law; international law advisor to the Hungarian Red Cross; former legal advisor of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Zsuzsanna Miszti-Blasiusné Szabó
Junior lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of Debrecen.

Snežana Trifunovska
Associate Professor, Radboud University, Law Faculty.
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