Search result: 13 articles

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Article

Covid-19 Emergency Prison Release Policy: A Public Health Imperative and a Rule of Law Challenge

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 4 2020
Keywords emergency prison release, rule of law, democracy, reducing prison overcrowding, prisoner rights, appropriate sanctions for white collar criminals, alternatives to custodial sentences
Authors Victoria Jennett
AbstractAuthor's information

    Many countries are implementing emergency releases of people from prison to mitigate the spread of Covid-19. Such measures, while critical to public health, can enable the unjust release from prison of politically connected and wealthy individuals convicted of corruption offences, thereby undermining the rule of law and democratic values by weakening public trust in the justice system. To reduce overcrowding of prisons while ensuring that white-collar criminals are appropriately sanctioned, one strategy is to impose alternatives to custodial sentences that ensure appropriate sanctioning of convicted criminals while de-densifying prisons – an approach that could be considered for non-emergency times as well.
    Main points:

    • Emergency prison release mechanisms to prevent the spread of Covid-19 can pose corruption risks owing to weak design, uneven implementation and inadequate oversight.

    • Such releases take three main forms: prisoner amnesties declared by governments; emergency release procedures drafted by governments and implemented by prison directors; and court decisions to release individual prisoners or set out frameworks to determine who is eligible for release.

    • These emergency procedures can enable the unjust release of politically connected prisoners convicted of corruption offences and undermine public trust in the rule of law and the justice system.

    • To help maintain rule of law during the emergency, alternatives to custodial sentences in line with international standards can be imposed on newly released persons who have been convicted of corruption crimes.

    • Conditions attached to releases can include, among others, status penalties, economic sanctions and monetary penalties, confiscation or expropriation of assets, and restitution or compensation to victims.

    • In non-emergency times, as well, alternatives to custodial sentences can be used to sanction those convicted of corruption crimes as a means to mitigate financial and social damage caused by corruption and reduce prison overcrowding.


Victoria Jennett
Dr. Victoria Jennett is an independent consultant to governments and international organisations on justice sector reform. She acknowledges the insights from Sofie Arjon Shuette at the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, UNODC colleagues and prison officials in the UK and the USA on an earlier version of this paper.
Article

Access_open Alternative Dispute Resolution in the Digital Sector

A Dejurisdictionalization Process?

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 2 2020
Keywords European legislation, Alternative Dispute Resolution, civil procedure
Authors Rebecca Berto
AbstractAuthor's information

    Alternative Dispute Resolution (=ADR) is a generic reference to consensus-based processes that provide an alternative to litigation and to binding arbitration procedures. Analysing European provisions, the European legislator pushes Alternative Dispute Resolution methods as a means of resolving not only consumer-to-business disputes but also business-to-business. This may determine over the long term a sort of ‘dejurisdictionalization’ process, moving disputes from tribunals to Alternative Dispute Resolution methods. Procedural rights, however, such as raising interpretative questions to the European Court of Justice, may only be exercised before a court.
    Therefore, Alternative Dispute Resolution and national civil procedure are separated by a sort of procedural ‘Chinese wall’: this legislator’s forma mentis, repeated also in more recent directives, hinders the development of cross-border procedural provisions capable of tackling the legal and procedural questions posed by communication services and new technologies, such as blockchain, whose technical features are not limited by geographical boundaries.
    This article argues that, in the light of technological advancements, the European internal market needs new common procedural legislation fit for the cross-border economic and legal relationships carried out within it.


Rebecca Berto
Rebecca Berto is a lawyer with ECC-Italy: d.jur. University of Padua, Pg. Dipl. International Dispute Resolution (Arbitration) Queen Mary University – London, admitted to the Italian Bar. The views expressed herein are solely the author’s and represent neither that of ECC Italy nor of its host structures or any other of its public financiers. All opinions and errors are of the author. The author did not receive private or public funds for this article.
Article

E Pluribus Unum? Racial Injustice in the US and the International Response

Journal Hungarian Yearbook of International Law and European Law, Issue 1 2019
Keywords UN human rights machinery, prohibition of discrimination, segregation in the US, racial discrimination, UN Human Rights Council
Authors Thamil Venthan Ananthavinavagan
AbstractAuthor's information

    The UN issued a scathing report in 2016 stating that “[I]n particular, the legacy of colonial history, enslavement, racial subordination and segregation, racial terrorism and racial inequality in the US remains a serious challenge.” After international slave trade, abolition of slavery, Jim Crow laws, civil rights struggle, ongoing systemic police brutality against African Americans and a prison machinery with a high prison rate with African Americans inmates the question remains: has racial discrimination ever ended in the US? The rising strength of a white supremacist movement poses another significant threat to the national cohesion of different communities in the US. Moreover, it reveals the dormant white nationalism that has awakened in light of policies and rhetoric animated and nourished by leading politicians in the country. To this end, this paper will investigate the following question: what is the impact of the colonial past on the US and how did the UN respond to this past? Finally, what will be the role of the UN to enhance the US human rights infrastructure for African Americans and ameliorate their situation in light of rising white supremacism?


Thamil Venthan Ananthavinavagan
Lecturer, Griffith College, Dublin.
Article

Access_open Waste Away

Examining Systemic Drivers of Global Waste Trafficking Based on a Comparative Analysis of Two Dutch Cases

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 4 2019
Keywords environmental crime, waste industry, shipbreaking, waste trafficking, environmental enforcement
Authors Karin van Wingerde and Lieselot Bisschop
AbstractAuthor's information

    The increasing volume of waste generated globally is one of the most prominent environmental issues we face today. Companies responsible for the treatment or disposal of waste are therefore among the key actors in fostering a sustainable future. Yet the waste industry has often been characterised as a criminogenic one, causing environmental harm which disproportionately impacts the world’s most vulnerable regions and populations. In this article, we illustrate how companies operating in global supply chains exploit legal and enforcement asymmetries and market complexities to trade waste with countries where facilities for environmentally sound treatment and disposal of waste are lacking. We draw on two contemporary cases of corporate misconduct in the Global South by companies with operating headquarters in the Global North: Seatrade and Probo Koala. We compare these cases building on theories about corporate and environmental crime and its enforcement. This explorative comparative analysis aims to identify the key drivers and dynamics of illegal waste dumping, while also exploring innovative ways to make the waste sector more environmentally responsible and prevent the future externalisation of environmental harm.


Karin van Wingerde
Karin van Wingerde is Professor Corporate Crime and Governance, Department of Criminology, Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Lieselot Bisschop
Lieselot Bisschop is Professor Public and Private Interests, Department of Criminology and Erasmus Initiative on Dynamics of Inclusive Prosperity, Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Article

European Regulation on Online Dispute Resolution

A Comment on Its Enforcement in Italy

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 2 2017
Keywords European Regulation, ODR, ADR, Italian enforcement
Authors Rebecca Berto
AbstractAuthor's information

    The European single market is a symbol of European integration. Certainly, the European internal market brings great opportunities to its citizens and professionals, especially when the European legislators enact new provisions in order to boost the internal market.
    In May 2013, the European legislator enacted two legislative measures, whose aim was to encourage the employment of out-of-court mechanisms in order to solve consumer disputes: the European Regulation establishing the Online Dispute Resolution interactive website and the Directive on Alternative Dispute Mechanisms. Taking its cue from the first report issued by the European Commission on the Online Dispute Resolution, this article focuses on the enforcement of the European Regulation in Italy and concludes that, due to legal incongruence, no enforcement means have been dictated in order to sanction infringements to the European Regulation carried out by Italian professionals.


Rebecca Berto
Rebecca Berto is Lawyer with the European Consumer Centre - Italy: d.jur. University of Padua, Pg. Dipl. International Dispute Resolution (Arbitration) Queen Mary University – London, admitted to the Italian Bar. The views expressed herein are solely the author’s and do not represent either the opinion of ECC-Italy or of its host structures or of any other of its public financers.
Article

Verticale politieke cumul in de Lage Landen: evolutie en verklaringen

Journal Res Publica, Issue 3 2017
Keywords Cumul des mandats, Multiple office-holding, Members of parliament, Local representatives, Central-local relations
Authors Nicolas Van de Voorde
AbstractAuthor's information

    Studies have shown that multiple office-holding, a practice that denotes the simultaneous exercise of any directly elected municipal mandate and parliamentary seat, is more commonplace in European national parliaments than expected. However, research in Belgium, and especially in the Netherlands, is scarce and extremely fragmented. Therefore, our analysis provides a systematic comparison between the Low Countries with a longitudinal focus. In the first part of the paper, the frequency of the practice is described and its evolution in the last two decades tracked. In the second part, we provide aggregated explanations for the identified discrepancy. Indeed, our results show that after the most recent elections, more than 80% of all Belgian members of parliament held a local mandate, and this percentage increased by 10% during our reference period. In contrast, 9 out of 150 members of the Dutch Second Chamber were combining several offices at the beginning of their national mandate, while the degree of cumulards remained stable. Unexpectedly, the legislative framework and the party regulations are not the source of this deviation, as they are almost identical in both countries. We argue that the difference can be attributed to the role and position of the local government, the political culture and the electoral system.


Nicolas Van de Voorde
Nicolas Van de Voorde is als FWO-aspirant verbonden aan het Centrum voor Lokale Politiek aan de Universiteit Gent. Zijn onderzoek is gericht op het fenomeen cumul des mandats in de Belgische context.
Article

Access_open The Collapse of the Rule of Law

The Messina Earthquake and the State of Exception

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2012
Keywords Messina, earthquake, state of exception, rule of law, progress
Authors Massimo La Torre
AbstractAuthor's information

    Messina, a Sicilian town, was devasteted by an earthquake in1908. It was an hecatomb. Stricken through this unfathomable disgrace Messina’s institutions and civil society collapsed and a sort of wild natural state replaced the rule of law. In this situation there was a first intervention of the Russian Czarist navy who came to help but immediately enforced cruel emergency measures. The Italian army followed and there was a formal declaration of an ‘emergency situation.’ Around this event and the several exceptional measures taken by the government a debate took place about the legality of those exceptional measures. The article tries to reconstruct the historical context and the content of that debate and in a broader perspective thematizes how law (and morality) could be brought to meet the breaking of normality and ordinary life by an unexpected and catastrophic event.


Massimo La Torre
Massimo La Torre is Professor of Legal Philosophy at the University of Catanzaro in Italy and visiting Professor of Law at the University of Hull in England.

Federico Ferretti
Avvocato and Lecturer, Brunel Law School, Brunel University, UK.
Article

In the Judicial Steps of Bolívar and Morazán?

Supranational Court Conversations Between Europe and Latin America

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2011
Keywords courts, dialogue, integration, regionalism, case-law
Authors Allan F. Tatham
AbstractAuthor's information

    This paper explores the issues of judicial dialogue and constitutional migrations between the European Court of Justice (‘ECJ’) and Latin American regional courts. It considers the impact of the ECJ’s ‘constitutional’ case-law regarding supremacy and direct effect on the decisions of the Central American Court of Justice (‘CCJ’) and the Court of Justice of the Andean Community (‘ACCJ’). The study proceeds from a brief exposition of the legal aspects of the EU model of integration, before moving to identify the main factors which led to the selection of Latin American courts and to outline the background to integration in the two sub-regions. In addressing the CCJ and ACCJ, a short history and sketch of their jurisdiction is given before examining the impact of the migration of the integrationist activism of the ECJ on these regional judicial institutions.


Allan F. Tatham
Péter Pázmány Catholic University, Budapest, Hungary. The usual disclaimer applies.
Article

Access_open Lettres Persanes 13

Res publica en rechtsstaat: vrijheid in een onvolmaakte samenleving – Pleidooi voor een functionele (niet te bevlogen) grondwet

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2009
Keywords Vlaanderen, constitutie, Grondwet, fundamentele vrijheden
Authors Matthias Storme
AbstractAuthor's information

    In light of the possibility that Belgium could fall apart in coming years this contribution argues that it is time to reflect on a constitution for Flanders: What are the characteristics of a good constitution? A good constitution would entrench fundamental freedoms, which are historically rooted in society. Moreover, it obliges the government to maintain and enforce the laws, preventing abuse of power and corruption. Finally, a functioning constitution stands above temporary interests of partisan politics, and should not be used as a means to encumber future generations with our ideological choices.


Matthias Storme
Matthias Storme is advocaat aan de balie van Brussel en buitengewoon hoogleraar aan de Katholieke Universiteit Leuven en aan de Universiteit Antwerpen.

Jean-Benoit Pilet
Docteur en science politique. Chercheur au Centre d’étude de la vie politique (CEVIPOL) de l’Université Libre de Bruxelles, en collaboration avec les secrétariats des partis politiques.

Emilie van Haute
Assistante en science politique au Centre d’étude de la vie politique (CEVIPOL) de l’Université Libre de Bruxelles.

L. Anselmo

B. Bertotti

P. Farinella
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