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Article

Access_open Legal Constraints on the Indeterminate Control of ‘Dangerous’ Sex Offenders in the Community: The French Perspective

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 2 2016
Keywords Preventive detention, mandatory supervision, sex offenders, retrospective penal laws, legality principle
Authors Martine Herzog-Evans
AbstractAuthor's information

    France literally ‘discovered’ sexual abuse following neighbour Belgium’s Dutroux case in the late 1990s. Since then, sex offenders have been the focus of politicians, media and law-makers’ attention. Further law reforms have aimed at imposing mandatory supervision and treatment, and in rare cases, preventive detention. The legal framework for mandatory supervision and detention is rather complex, ranging from a mixed sentence (custodial and mandatory supervision and treatment upon release or as a stand-alone sentence) to so-called ‘safety measures’, which supposedly do not aim at punishing an offence, but at protecting society. The difference between the concepts of sentences and safety measures is nevertheless rather blurry. In practice, however, courts have used safety measures quite sparingly and have preferred mandatory supervision as attached to a sentence, notably because it is compatible with cardinal legal principles. Procedural constraints have also contributed to this limited use. Moreover, the type of supervision and treatment that can thus be imposed is virtually identical to that of ordinary probation. It is, however, noteworthy that a higher number of offenders with mental health issues who are deemed ‘dangerous’ are placed in special psychiatric units, something that has not drawn much attention on the part of human rights lawyers.


Martine Herzog-Evans
Martine H-Evans, PhD, is a Professor at the Department of Law, Universite de Reims Champagne-Ardenne.
Article

Ethical Principles for Online Dispute Resolution

A GPS Device for the Field

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2016
Keywords ODR, ethics, alternative dispute resolution, technology
Authors Leah Wing
AbstractAuthor's information

    The disruptive force of technology has led to innovative dispute resolution practices that increase access to justice and also raise new ethical considerations. In response, there have been assertions about the importance of applying to online dispute resolution (ODR) the shared values already enshrined within alternative dispute resolution (ADR) as well as calls to more carefully assess ways they may be insufficient or need refining to adequately address the new ethical challenges emerging in ODR. As ODR is increasingly incorporated into legislation, regulation and a wide variety of sectors in society, it is timely to explore the importance of ethical principles specifically for ODR. In the hope of contributing to these efforts, this article examines the benefits and challenges of articulating a set of ethical principles to guide the development and implementation of ODR systems, technology and processes.


Leah Wing
Leah Wing is Co-Director, National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution, and Senior Lecturer, Legal Studies Program, Department of Political Science, University of Massachusetts at Amherst (USA).
Article

Quo Vadis, Europa?

Loopholes in the EU Law and Difficulties in the Implementation Process

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2 2016
Keywords EU Law, Quality of Legislation, Loopholes, Implementation, Joint Practical Guide
Authors Markéta Whelanová
AbstractAuthor's information

    EU law is a very wide-ranging legal system that comprises thousands of legal acts. It endeavours to regulate many relationships in the Member States of the European Union and effects everyday lives both of individuals and public bodies. EU law is, however, not always positively accepted. Such non-acceptance often follows from the increasing number of cases when EU law cannot be effectively applied on the national level. Significant reason for that lies in the poor quality of EU law.
    The article describes features that cause ambiquity of EU legislation, its complexity and incompleteness, that have a very detrimental effect on the application of EU law on the national level. Further it refers to defects of form of certain pieces of EU legislation that give rise to questions concerning legal certainty and due implementation into national legal orders. The article contains many illustrative examples supporting the presented points of view and indicates ways to be taken in the future.


Markéta Whelanová
Head of the Analytical Unit of the Department for Compatibility with EU Law of the Czech Office of the Government and Deputy Director of this Department. Vice-president of the Working Commission for EU Law of the Legislation Council of the Czech Government.
Article

Defining ‘Better’

Investigating a New Framework to Understand Quality of Regulation

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2 2016
Keywords better regulation, businesses, cross-disciplinary approaches, quality of regulation, European Union
Authors Morten Jarlbæk Pedersen
AbstractAuthor's information

    Better regulation is a political and scholarly theme, which has gained in both relevance and salience throughout the last two decades or so. Regulatory quality is the epicentre of these discussions. Despite this, quality is seldom conceptualized in its own right. Thus, beyond loose principles, we are rarely aware of what we mean by ‘better’ regulation, and academic discussions hereof usually centre themselves on other topics such as meta-regulation and processes. This leaves the notion of quality hard to asses especially from a comparative perspective. In this article, a core concept of quality is suggested. This concept is founded on an acknowledgement of the importance of the legal texts when it comes to achieving regulatory aims and objectives. The concept and methodology proposed has components from both law and political science and is sought to be of relevance to scholars and practitioners alike.


Morten Jarlbæk Pedersen
Morten Jarlbæk Pedersen is a Ph.D. fellow at the Department of Political Science at the University of Copenhagen. He has an affiliation with the Confederation of Danish Enterprise, where he has been employed for 5 years before engaging in this research project. For the purpose of the project, he was relieved of responsibilities as a consultant at the Confederation.
Article

The Quality of Regulation in the Service of Preventing Corruption

Corruption Impact Assessment (CIA)

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2 2016
Keywords corruption, regulation, quality, impact assessment, risk
Authors Luca Di Donato
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article describes the Corruption Impact Assessment (CIA), which is a better regulation tool suggested by the OECD, with the fundamental purpose to enhance the regulatory quality.
    The first part explains some risk-corruption factors of the legal framework. The first factor is represented by the number and complexity of rules, which can be a negative incentive to corruption as well as to produce negative consequences for the proper functioning of the market. The second factor is intrinsically linked to the ambiguity in legal drafting, which does not encourage the right interpretation of norms; therefore, there is the question of the rule of law. The third factor refers to the lack of regulation concerning pressure group participation in the regulatory process and, as a result, the lack of transparency in identifying both benefits from norms and the relevant beneficiaries.
    The second part focuses on CIA, which is considered a sub-category of traditional Regulatory Impact Assessment. It detects the factors in regulations that cause corruption, and its main potential is to prevent future corruption facilitated by bad regulation. Then, this part illustrates the implementation of CIA by Korean governments: the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission (ACRC) carries out the CIA, realizes its guidelines – which are based on three fundamental criteria, i.e., compliance, discretionality and transparency – and supports the application of the tool in the regulatory cycle.
    Finally, the third part discusses the results given by CIA. This new anti-corruption strategy needs that regulators take into account the results, providing for their publication to inform stakeholders; otherwise there is the possibility of the CIA use being formal, rather than substantial.


Luca Di Donato
PhD candidate at LUISS University.
Article

Asymmetry as an Instrument of Differentiated Integration

The Case of the European Union

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2 2016
Keywords asymmetry, comparative and EU law, differentiated integration, crisis, economic governance
Authors Giuseppe Martinico
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article offers a reflection on asymmetry as an instrument of differentiated integration in the current phase of the EU integration process. As for the structure, this work is divided into four parts: First, I shall clarify what I mean by asymmetry as an instrument of integration relying on comparative law. This comparative exercise is particularly useful because it allows us to acknowledge the strong integrative function performed by asymmetry in contexts different from but comparable to the EU system. Second, I shall look at EU law and recall the main features of asymmetry in this particular legal system. In the third part of the article I shall look at the implications of the financial crisis, which has increased the resort to asymmetric instruments. In the last part I shall deal with some recent proposals concerning the differentiated representation of the Eurozone. The idea of differentiated integration and that of asymmetry have been extended and adapted to many different processes by scholars over the years, but to avoid misunderstandings I would like to make clear that in this work I shall analyse those forms of asymmetries that are allowed and carried out only when respect for an untouchable core of integration is guaranteed. This is crucial to conceive asymmetry as an instrument of integration.


Giuseppe Martinico
Associate Professor of Comparative Public Law, Scuola Sant’Anna, Pisa; Research Fellow, Centre for Studies on Federalism, Turin; Honorary Professor at the European law research centre, University of Henan, Kaifeng, China. Article Completed on 23 February 2016. This article is part of the project "Gobernanza económica europea y transformación constitucional”, (MINECO, DER2014-57116P).
Article

Comparative Legislative Drafting

Comparing across Legal Systems

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2 2016
Keywords comparative legislative drafting, comparative law, drafting process
Authors Constantin Stefanou
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article is an original, first attempt at establishing a list of comparative criteria for the comparative study of legislative drafting or aspects of legislative drafting between the two families of legal systems: common law and civil law. Because of the limited bibliography in the field of legislative drafting – let alone in comparative legislative drafting between common law and civil law systems – this article adds to existing scholarship on the field aiming to become a basis for further comparative research in legislative drafting. The list of criteria can be used on its own for different jurisdictions within the same family of legal systems, or the two lists can be used to juxtapose civil and common law experiences in legislative drafting. As this is the first time that such lists of comparative criteria in legislative drafting have been produced, it should be stressed that the lists are certainly not exhaustive. The aim of this article is to generate comparative research in legislative drafting, and so, inevitably, such comparative research might add or even subtract criteria from the lists depending on results.


Constantin Stefanou
Dr Constantin Stefanou is the director of the Sir William Dale Centre for Legislative Studies, at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (School of Advanced Study, University of London). He is also the convener of the oldest master’s programme in the field of legislative drafting (LLM in advanced legislative studies) at the IALS.
Article

Enforcement of Judgments in SEE, CIS, Georgia and Mongolia

Challenges and Solutions

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2 2016
Keywords enforcement, bailiffs, judgments, CIS, SEE
Authors Kim O’Sullivan and Veronica Bradautanu
AbstractAuthor's information

    The article considers the results of the Assessment of enforcement systems for commercial cases, carried out by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in 2013-2014. In phase I the Assessment looked at the systems in thirteen countries, namely Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, Mongolia, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan (“CIS+ region”); and in phase II another eight countries were reviewed: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, FYR Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia (“SEE region”).
    On the basis of the information gathered during the Assessment, the article compares the three forms of enforcement systems and their manifestation in the assessed regions: public (state), private and mixed (hybrid) systems. Using examples from the reviewed jurisdictions, the article discusses the benefits and downsides of each form. There is no preferred form; however, each may borrow elements from the other to result in a stronger system.
    The Assessment attempted to provide a comprehensive overview of the enforcement frameworks and practices and to pinpoint areas that might need reform and attention in order to improve the quality of the service. It looked at the following elements of enforcement: resources and framework, supervision and integrity issues, searching for assets, seizure of assets, sale of assets, speed of enforcement, cost and fees.
    The article discusses in detail the two areas of enforcement that emerged from the Assessment as most challenging: searching for debtors’ assets and sale of seized assets. Facilitated access to registers, wider use of electronic means of communications and clear process are identified among the contributors to better practice in searching for assets. Similarly, use of electronic platforms, establishing a fair price, ensuring sufficient flexibility in methods and process of sale would help improve the outcome of enforcement.
    The article further analyses another two components often overlooked by the regulatory bodies and policymakers, which permeate the enforcement system, significantly influencing the enforcement process. This refers to gathering of statistical data about the results of enforcement and its effective use; as well as efficient supervisory system over enforcement agents. The article argues that gathering data about, for example, enforcement timeline and percentage of recovered claims, and publicizing such data shall contribute to improved results. Furthermore, having an adequate complaints system will help build trust in the enforcement profession.


Kim O’Sullivan
Kim O’Sullivan is a Principal Counsel at EBRD.

Veronica Bradautanu
Veronica Bradautanu is a Consultant to the EBRD.

    The comparative discussions held during this seminar show that the different jurisdictions make use of – approximately – the same ingredients for their legislation on adult guardianship measures and continuing powers of attorney. Given the common international framework (for example the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities) and given the common societal context (cfr. the strong increase of the ageing population) this may not come as a surprise. Despite these common ingredients, the different jurisdictions have managed to arrive at different dishes spiced with specific local flavours. Given that each jurisdiction bears its own history and specific policy plans, this may not come as a surprise either. The adage ‘same same but different’ is in this respect a suitable bromide.
    For my own research, the several invitations – that implicitly or explicitly arose from the different discussions – to rethink important concepts or assumptions were of most relevance and importance. A particular example that comes to mind is the suggestion to ‘reverse the jurisprudence’ and to take persons with disabilities instead of healthy adult persons as a point of reference. Also, the invitation to rethink the relationship between the limitation of capacity and the attribution of a guard comes to mind as the juxtaposition of the different jurisdictions showed that these two aspects don’t need to be automatically combined. Also the discussion on the interference between the continuing powers of attorney and the supervision by the court, provoked further reflection on hybrid forms of protection on my part. Finally, the ethical and medical-legal approaches may lead to a reconsideration of the traditional underlying concepts of autonomy and the assessment of capacity.


Veerle Vanderhulst Ph.D.
Veerle Vanderhulst works at the Faculty of Law and Criminology, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Article

Access_open The Right to Mental Health in the Digital Era

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 3 2016
Keywords E-health, e-mental health, right to health, right to mental health
Authors Fatemeh Kokabisaghi, Iris Bakx and Blerta Zenelaj
AbstractAuthor's information

    People with mental illness usually experience higher rates of disability and mortality. Often, health care systems do not adequately respond to the burden of mental disorders worldwide. The number of health care providers dealing with mental health care is insufficient in many countries. Equal access to necessary health services should be granted to mentally ill people without any discrimination. E-mental health is expected to enhance the quality of care as well as accessibility, availability and affordability of services. This paper examines under what conditions e-mental health can contribute to realising the right to health by using the availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality (AAAQ) framework that is developed by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Research shows e-mental health facilitates dissemination of information, remote consultation and patient monitoring and might increase access to mental health care. Furthermore, patient participation might increase, and stigma and discrimination might be reduced by the use of e-mental health. However, e-mental health might not increase the access to health care for everyone, such as the digitally illiterate or those who do not have access to the Internet. The affordability of this service, when it is not covered by insurance, can be a barrier to access to this service. In addition, not all e-mental health services are acceptable and of good quality. Policy makers should adopt new legal policies to respond to the present and future developments of modern technologies in health, as well as e-Mental health. To analyse the impact of e-mental health on the right to health, additional research is necessary.


Fatemeh Kokabisaghi
Fatemeh Kokabisaghi, Iris Bakx and Blerta Zenelaj are Ph.D. candidates at the Institute of Health Policy and Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam. All authors contributed equally.

Iris Bakx
Fatemeh Kokabisaghi, Iris Bakx and Blerta Zenelaj are Ph.D. candidates at the Institute of Health Policy and Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam. All authors contributed equally.

Blerta Zenelaj
Fatemeh Kokabisaghi, Iris Bakx and Blerta Zenelaj are Ph.D. candidates at the Institute of Health Policy and Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam. All authors contributed equally.
Article

Access_open Exit, Voice and Loyalty from the Perspective of Hedge Funds Activism in Corporate Governance

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 4 2016
Keywords Uncertainty, entrepreneurship, agency costs, loyalty shares, institutional investors
Authors Alessio M. Pacces
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article discusses hedge funds activism based on Hirschman’s classic. It is argued that hedge funds do not create the loyalty concerns underlying the usual short-termism critique of their activism, because the arbiters of such activism are typically indexed funds, which cannot choose short-term exit. Nevertheless, the voice activated by hedge funds can be excessive for a particular company. Furthermore, this article claims that the short-termism debate cannot shed light on the desirability of hedge funds activism. Neither theory nor empirical evidence can tell whether hedge funds activism leads to short-termism or long-termism. The real issue with activism is a conflict of entrepreneurship, namely a conflict between the opposing views of the activists and the incumbent management regarding in how long an individual company should be profitable. Leaving the choice between these views to institutional investors is not efficient for every company at every point in time. Consequently, this article argues that regulation should enable individual companies to choose whether to curb hedge funds activism depending on what is efficient for them. The recent European experience reveals that loyalty shares enable such choice, even in the midstream, operating as dual-class shares in disguise. However, loyalty shares can often be introduced without institutional investors’ consent. This outcome could be improved by allowing dual-class recapitalisations, instead of loyalty shares, but only with a majority of minority vote. This solution would screen for the companies for which temporarily curbing activism is efficient, and induce these companies to negotiate sunset clauses with institutional investors.


Alessio M. Pacces
Professor of Law & Finance, Erasmus School of Law, and Research Associate, European Corporate Governance Institute.
Article

Access_open The Categorisation of Tax Jurisdictions in Comparative Tax Law Research

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 4 2016
Keywords Classification of jurisdictions, international comparative tax law, tax law methodology
Authors Renate Buijze
AbstractAuthor's information

    The number of comparative tax law studies is substantial. The available literature on the methodology behind these tax comparisons, however, is rather limited and underdeveloped. This article aims to contribute to the theoretical background of tax comparisons by explicating methodological considerations in a comparative tax research on tax incentives for cross-border donations and relating it to the available methodological literature. Two aspects of tax law make comparative research in tax law a challenging endeavour: its complexity and fast-changing nature. To overcome these issues, this article proposes to divide jurisdictions into a limited number of categories. In this process the different legal levels are analysed systematically, resulting in categories of jurisdictions. Among the jurisdictions in one category, common characteristics are identified. This results in an abstract description of the category. I use the term ‘ideal types’ for these categories. The high level of abstraction in the use of ideal types allows for comparison of tax jurisdictions, without the risk that the comparison gets outdated. An additional advantage of working with ideal types is that the conclusions of the comparison can be applied to all jurisdictions that fit in the ideal type. This increases the generalisability of the conclusions of the comparative tax research.


Renate Buijze
PhD candidate at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Email: buijze@law.eur.nl.
Article

Prohibition of Discrimination: Citizenship as a Possible Discrimination Basis

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2016
Keywords anti-discrimination law, Serbian Law, harmonization, right to a personal name, European Court of Justice
Authors Olga Jović-Prlainović and Jelena Belović
AbstractAuthor's information

    In modern society, the right to equality is not just a universal moral obligation; it is rather an expression of a generally accepted rule in international law that all people have equal rights, independently of differences based on innate or acquired personal characteristics. Prohibition of discrimination is a civilization heritage, and it is determined by systematically overcoming prejudices and stereotypes as key factors of discrimination, where educational institutions, media, public authority, and non-governmental organizations all have a vital role. Tackling with discrimination is not just the application of rules regulated by law and taking necessary measures towards social groups which are in an unequal position, but it is also a continuous development of tolerance when it comes to ethnicity, religion, gender, minorities, as well as acceptance of the existing interpersonal differences. It is well known that the area of West Balkans is often a breeding ground where stereotypes and prejudices thrive for decades. The strategic aim of the Republic of Serbia is membership in the European Union, and so nation-wide law regulation concerning this matter is directed at complying with the European Union Law since the prohibition of discrimination is one of the pillars of the European Union Law. In this article, the influence of the European Union Law and practical measures taken by the European Court of Human Rights in order to prohibit discrimination in a specific international and private domain are analyzed.


Olga Jović-Prlainović
Olga Jović-Prlainović is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Pristina, Kosovska Mitrovica.

Jelena Belović
Jelena Belović is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Pristina, Kosovska Mitrovica.
Article

Prologue: The IALS Law Reform Project

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2016
Keywords statute, common law, codification, consolidation, implementation
Authors Jonathan Teasdale
AbstractAuthor's information

    Law, particularly enacted law, needs to be as simple and as accessible as possible, clear and concise and – perhaps above all – fit for the purposes of modern society. Laws passed in one decade may prove to be less than adequate for the needs of later generations because of changes in the social fabric or social mores or because of technological advance or economic challenge. Societies needs mechanisms for keeping law under review, particularly when governments are focused on introducing more law – sometimes layered on top of existing law – to fulfil electoral promises. The position is compounded in common law systems where the senior judiciary add to the legal corpus.
    Different jurisdictions have differing needs. The IALS Law Reform Project (at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London) has set itself the task of identifying the range of law reform mechanisms employed across the common law and civil law worlds with a view to establishing which of the components are core, and identifying others which could be improved. The starting point, of course, is: what is law reform? Are reform and revision the same? Does reform need to be legislative? Why does codification work in civil law jurisdictions but is eschewed in parts of the common law world? This is about the processes of law reform; substantive reform is for another day.


Jonathan Teasdale
LL.B, LL.M, Barrister (England and Wales), FRSA. Presently associate research fellow in the Sir William Dale Centre for Legislative Studies at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (University of London) specializing in law reform, and formerly a lawyer with the Law Commission for England and Wales.
Article

Managing the EU Acquis

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2016
Keywords EU, legislation, accessibility, updating
Authors William Robinson
AbstractAuthor's information

    EU legislation plays a key role in filling in the gaps in the framework created by the EU Treaties. The body of EU legislation known as the acquis has grown piecemeal over 60 years to a confused and confusing patchwork of over 100,000 pages. There is an urgent need for a more coherent approach to updating, condensing and revising that legislation to ensure that it is readily accessible. New mechanisms should be established for those tasks, or else the existing mechanisms should be enhanced and exploited to the full.


William Robinson
Associate Research Fellow, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, London.
Article

The Mechanisms Used to Review Existing Legislation in the Civil Law System

Case Study – Italy

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2016
Keywords codification, consolidation, law revision, legal restatement, legislative scrutiny
Authors Enrico Albanesi
AbstractAuthor's information

    The aim of this article is to describe the mechanisms that are used in the civil law system to review existing legislation. The case study will be based on the Italian system. In the civil law system we are not familiar with the concept of law reform, in the sense used in the common law system, because there is no law reform agency in the civil law world. The mechanisms used to review the existing law in civil law systems are: codification, consolidation, repeal, law revision and legal restatement. To understand how the mechanisms used to review existing legislation work in Italy, an overview of the Italian law-making and drafting processes will be carried out here, underlying the bad impact that the Italian equal bicameralism has on the quality of legislation and also on the mechanisms to review existing legislation. After this, the article will focus on the specific tools that are used in Italy for codification and consolidation (decreti legislativi), for law revision (the so-called taglia-leggi) and for legal restatement (examining the role of the Consiglio di Stato). Particular attention will also be paid to the parliamentary scrutiny on the quality of legislation. Finally, the article will focus on the constitutional amendment process Italy carried out in 2014-2016 and that was expected to fundamentally change the Italian law-making process, superseding the equal bicameralism arrangement (a referendum on this was held on 4 December 2016, and the reform was rejected by the Italian people).


Enrico Albanesi
Lecturer in Constitutional Law at the University of Genoa (Italy) and Associate Research Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS), University of London. Co-leader of the IALS Law Reform Project.
Article

The New Handshake: Where We Are Now

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 2 2016
Keywords consumers, consumer protection, online dispute resolution (ODR), remedies, e-commerce
Authors Amy J. Schmitz and Colin Rule
AbstractAuthor's information

    The internet has empowered consumers in new and exciting ways. It has opened more efficient avenues for consumers to buy just about anything. Want proof? Just pull out your smartphone, swipe your finger across the screen a few times, and presto – your collector’s edition Notorious RBG bobblehead is on its way from China. Unfortunately, however, the internet has not yet delivered on its promise to improve consumer protection.


Amy J. Schmitz
Amy J. Schmitz is the Elwood L. Thomas Missouri Endowed Professor at the University of Missouri School of Law and Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution, and the founder of MyConsumertips.info.

Colin Rule
Colin Rule is co-founder and Chairman of Modria.com and the former Director of Online Dispute Resolution for eBay and PayPal.
Article

ChAFTA, Trade, and Food Safety

When the Rubber Hits the Road

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 4 2016
Keywords food safety laws in China and implementation issues, China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA), agricultural trade, corporate social responsibility, collaborative governance
Authors Ying Chen
AbstractAuthor's information

    Over the past decade, food safety has evolved into a compelling issue in China. The Chinese government has been committed to strengthening the regulatory framework. A series of laws and regulations ensuring the quality and safety of food in the interests of public health have been promulgated. However, a fairly comprehensive set of laws, along with harsh punishments, does not substantially deter food safety violations. Rather, foodborne illnesses continue to occur on a daily basis. How to improve food safety has become China’s national priority; it is also the main focus of this research. This article determines that one of the main obstacles to food safety is poor implementation of laws. It identifies the external and internal impediments to food safety governance in China. It further proposes an evolving series of potential solutions. Externally, weak enforcement undermines the credibility of the food safety laws. Internally, food manufacturers and distributors in China lack the sense of corporate social responsibility (CSR). To effectively reduce or even remove the external impediment, it is imperative to improve the overall governance in various sectors. As for the internal impediment, incorporating CSR principles into business operations is vital for food safety governance. In fact, the enforcement of many regional trade agreements, in particular, the enforcement of China–Australia FTA (ChAFTA) will largely increase market share of Australian food products in China. Undoubtedly, Chinese food businesses will face unprecedented competition. The pressure to gain competitive advantages in food markets yields an enormous change in motivation for Chinese food businesses. Chinese food companies will ultimately be forced to ‘voluntarily’ integrate CSR principles into their business operations. A significant change in the food sector is expected to be seen within the next decade. The article concludes that better practice in food safety governance in China requires two essential elements: a comprehensive regulatory and cooperative framework with essential rules and institutions, and an effective implementation mechanism involving both the public and private sectors.


Ying Chen
Dr. Ying Chen, Lecturer in Law, University of New England School of Law, Armidale, NSW2351, Australia. Email: ychen56@une.edu.au.
Article

Credibility of Sunnah

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 4 2016
Keywords Sunnah, Hadith, traditions of Prophet Muhammad, sources of Islamic Law, rules of Hadith acceptance
Authors Ahmad Alomar
AbstractAuthor's information

    Islamic Law (Sharia) consists primarily of the Qur’an, the actual word of God revealed to Prophet Muhammad during his lifetime. The Qur’an itself is relatively short, compact and immutable. It was revealed in Classical Arabic and in a very poetic and elaborate format. Many parts of it are not easy to understand even for educated speakers of Arabic. In order to understand the meaning of some of its provisions and to be able to apply its teachings to changing times and societies, recourse is often made to other sources of Islamic law, first and foremost the Sunnah, or traditions of the Prophet Muhammad. The Sunnah consists of historic records of things the Prophet did or said in various situations during his lifetime. Because of the Prophet’s exalted position as God’s messenger, his words and deeds are considered supreme guidance for Muslims anywhere, as they are seeking to understand the teachings of Islam and its application to their lives. The problem with the Sunnah is, however, that the historic record of the words and deeds of the Prophet is not always clear and reliable. Therefore, giving the force of law to these words and deeds can be problematic. Distinguishing reliable and unreliable Sunnah is critically important. Muslim believe in many hadiths that may directly contradict the Qur’an, scientific evidence, fundamental principles of law and human rights, or each other. This article examines the Sunnah and the science of verifying hadith and argues that a more cautious approach should be taken and that Muslims around the world are being taught many rules that are supposedly rules of Islamic law where at the very least we cannot be sure. Instead of declaring thousands of weak hadith to be binding elements of Islamic law, we should be more discerning between strong and weak hadith and only treat those that are verifiable as binding. Other rules can still be persuasive if they meet certain conditions, in particular compatibility with the Qur’an itself, but they must not be used to impose rules on Muslims against their will, let alone against the provisions of the Qur’an.


Ahmad Alomar
S.J.D Candidate at IU McKinney School of Law, Faculty Member at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals.
Article

A More Forceful Collective Redress Schemes in the EU Competition Law

What Is the Potential for Achieving Full Compensation?

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 4 2016
Keywords full compensation, private enforcement, damages actions, collective actions, deterrence
Authors Žygimantas Juška
AbstractAuthor's information

    The damages actions reform of the European Union is predetermined to fail in achieving its stated goal of full compensation. There are two main reasons for this. First, the Directive on damages actions fails to maintain a balance between the claims of direct and indirect purchasers. Second, the EU policy is not designed to collect a large group of antitrust victims, who have suffered only a low-value harm (e.g., end consumers). The only way to achieve compensation effectiveness is to overstep the bounds of the EU compensatory regime, which is trapped in the grip of conservatism. In such circumstances, this article will explore three forceful scenarios of collective redress that include different types of deterrence-based remedies. The principal aim is to assess the chances of these scenarios in achieving full compensation. After assessing them, the best possible mechanism for compensating victims will be designed. In turn, it will allow the evaluation of to what extent such a scheme can ensure the achievement of full compensation.


Žygimantas Juška
PhD candidate at Leiden University. The author was the EU Fulbright Schuman grantee at Stanford University and the University of Michigan (2015-2016). Hence, this article is based on the study performed in the United States.
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