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Article

Access_open Too Immature to Vote?

A Philosophical and Psychological Argument to Lower the Voting Age

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 1 2020
Keywords voting age, children’s rights, youth enfranchisement, democracy, votes at 16
Authors Tommy Peto
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article argues in favour of lowering the voting age to 16. First, it outlines a respect-based account of democracy where the right to vote is grounded in a respect for citizens’ autonomous capacities. It then outlines a normative account of autonomy, modelled on Rawls’s two moral powers, saying what criteria must be met for an individual to possess a (pro tanto) moral right to vote. Second, it engages with empirical psychology to show that by the age of 16 (if not earlier) individuals have developed all of the cognitive components of autonomy. Therefore, since 16- and 17-year-olds (and quite probably those a little younger) possess the natural features required for autonomy, then, to the extent that respect for autonomy requires granting political rights including the right to vote – and barring some special circumstances that apply only to them – 16- and 17-year-olds should be granted the right to vote.


Tommy Peto
University of Oxford.
Article

Access_open Recht en politiek in de klimaatzaken

Een sleutelrol voor het internationaal recht in de argumentatie van de nationale rechter

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2020
Authors Vincent Dupont
AbstractAuthor's information

    Ever since it was published in 2015, the judgment of the The Hague court in the so-called Urgenda-case, and the subsequent decisions of the appellate and cassation courts confirming it, have been met with repeated and vivid critiques. By recognizing the necessity of the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and furthermore imposing a certain reduction level on the Dutch state, the judgments in the cases at hand gave rise to many questions concerning the position of the judiciary in the matter, and in Dutch society as a whole. This article attempts in the first place to situate the positions of the different actors intervening in the Urgenda-case within a legal-theoretical framework. The contribution subsequently explores the strategic possibilities that an alternative understanding of law could offer to the judges, focusing specifically on the use of legal instruments stemming from international law, brought into the reasoning of the national judge.


Vincent Dupont
Vincent Dupont studeerde in 2017 af als Master of Laws aan de KU Leuven en volgt momenteel een opleiding sociologie aan de Université libre de Bruxelles, Unicamp in São Paulo en de École des hautes études en sciences sociales in Parijs.

Jo-Anne Wemmers
Jo-Anne Wemmers is Professor in the School of Criminology, University of Montreal, Canada.
Article

Access_open The New Dutch Model Investment Agreement: On the Road to Sustainability or Keeping up Appearances?

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 4 2019
Keywords Dutch model BIT, foreign direct investment, bilateral investment treaties, investor-to-state dispute settlement, sustainable development goals
Authors Alessandra Arcuri and Bart-Jaap Verbeek
AbstractAuthor's information

    In 2019, the Dutch government presented a New Model Investment Agreement that seeks to contribute to the sustainability and inclusivity of future Dutch trade and investment policy. This article offers a critical analysis of the most relevant parts of the revised model text in order to appraise to what extent it could promote sustainability and inclusivity. It starts by providing an overview of the Dutch BIT (Bilateral Investment Treaty) programme, where the role of the Netherlands as a favourite conduit country for global FDI is highlighted. In the article, we identify the reasons why the Netherlands became a preferred jurisdiction for foreign investors and the negative implications for governments and their policy space to advance sustainable development. The 2019 model text is expressly set out to achieve a fairer system and to protect ‘sustainable investment in the interest of development’. While displaying a welcome engagement with key values of sustainable development, this article identifies a number of weaknesses of the 2019 model text. Some of the most criticised substantive and procedural provisions are being reproduced in the model text, including the reiteration of investors’ legitimate expectation as an enforceable right, the inclusion of an umbrella clause, and the unaltered broad coverage of investments. Most notably, the model text continues to marginalise the interests of investment-affected communities and stakeholders, while bestowing exclusive rights and privileges on foreign investors. The article concludes by hinting at possible reforms to better align existing and future Dutch investment treaties with the sustainable development goals.


Alessandra Arcuri
Alessandra Arcuri is Professor of Inclusive Global Law and Governance, Erasmus School of Law (ESL), Erasmus Initiative Dynamics of Inclusive Prosperity, Erasmus University Rotterdam, arcuri@law.eur.nl.

Bart-Jaap Verbeek
Bart-Jaap Verbeek is Researcher at Stichting Onderzoek Multinationale Ondernemingen (SOMO) and PhD Candidate Political Science at the Radboud University.

    The Polish Supreme Court has held that a criterion of discrimination may also be a relationship of a social or familial nature that exists in the workplace and whose existence or absence on the part of the employee results in different treatment by the employer.


Marcin Wujczyk
Marcin Wujczyk is an attorney at law at Wardyński & Partners, Poland (https://www.wardynski.com.pl).

    Austrian courts have to deal with an increasing number of cases concerning dismissal on grounds of (alleged) discrimination. The particular challenge is to a draw a conclusive distinction between the concepts of disability and sickness.


Peter C. Schöffmann
Peter C. Schöffmann is a teaching and research associate at the Institute for Austrian and European Labour Law and Social Security Law at Vienna University of Economics and Business, www.wu.ac.at/en/ars.

    The Supreme Court has ruled that a baker’s refusal to provide a cake with a slogan supporting gay marriage was not sexual orientation discrimination, nor discrimination on grounds of political belief. The Northern Ireland bakery was owned by Christians who had religious objections to gay marriage (they thought Christian doctrine holds that marriage can only take place between a man and a woman). Gay marriage is not legal in Northern Ireland, although it is in the rest of the United Kingdom. Gay couples can enter into a ‘civil partnership’ in Northern Ireland, which formalises the relationship and provides it with legal recognition in a similar way to marriage.


Soren Kristophersen
Soren Kristophersen is a Legal Assistant at Lewis Silkin LLP.
Article

Access_open Enemy of All Humanity

The Dehumanizing Effects of a Dangerous Concept

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2018
Keywords enemy of all humanity, hostis humani generis, piracy, international criminal law, Luban
Authors Marc de Wilde
AbstractAuthor's information

    In his contribution to this special issue, David Luban proposes to revive the age-old concept of ‘the enemy of all humanity.’ On his view, this concept supports the aims of international criminal justice by emphasizing that atrocity and persecution crimes are ‘radically evil’ and therefore ‘everyone’s business.’ Criticizing Luban’s proposal, this paper shows that in the past, the ‘enemy of all humanity’ concept has often served to establish parallel systems of justice, depriving these ‘enemies’ of their rights as suspects under criminal law and as lawful combatants under the laws of war. Thus, even if the ‘enemy of all humanity’ concept is used with the intention to bring today’s perpetrators of ‘radical evil’ to justice, it risks undermining, rather than protecting, the rule of law.


Marc de Wilde
Marc de Wilde is Professor of Jurisprudence at the University of Amsterdam.
Article

Introducing and theorising an in-prison restorative justice programme: the second-generation Sycamore Tree Project

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 2 2018
Keywords Sycamore Tree Project, in-prison restorative justice programming, human condition, liminality, narrative
Authors Jane Anderson
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article introduces an in-prison restorative justice programme: the second-generation Sycamore Tree Project (STP-2). The programme brings together crime victims and unrelated offenders in a prison setting to discuss and address the harm of crime to their lives. In the first part of the article, description is given to how STP-2 has evolved in Australia from a ‘faith-based’ programme to one that is restorative. In the second part, three anthropological theories are used to provide explanation and prediction of the transformative effects of in-prison restorative justice programming on prisoners as informed by STP-2. The prisoner-participant is viewed as a ‘person’ who, in liminal conditions, is afforded agency to create a meaningful narrative that is directed to revising how one is to associate with others in morally acceptable ways. The article concludes with a comparison between STP-1 and STP-2, and some proposals for research beyond this theoretical excursion.


Jane Anderson
Jane Anderson is Honorary Research Fellow, Anthropology and Sociology, Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, Australia. Contact author: jane.anderson@uwa.edu.au.
Article

The Reliability of Evidence in Evidence-Based Legislation

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2018
Keywords evidence-based legislation, Institutional Legislative Theory and Methodology (ILTAM), reliable evidence, Professor Robert Seidman
Authors Sean J. Kealy and Alex Forney
AbstractAuthor's information

    As evidence-based legislation develops, and as technology puts more information at our fingertips, there should be a better understanding of what exactly constitutes reliable evidence. Robert and Ann Seidman devoted their professional careers to developing the evidence-based Institutional Legislative Theory and Methodology and teaching it to legislative drafters around the world. Although ILTAM was firmly grounded in – and driven by – evidence, the question becomes what evidence is reliable and a worthy input for the methodology. Further, how can the drafter avoid the misuses of evidence such as confirmation bias and naïve beliefs? We aim to give a guide for using evidence by offering examples of evidence-based legislation in practice and through a proposed hierarchy of evidence from most to least reliable:

    1. Experiments within the jurisdiction / lessons from other jurisdictions.

    2. Information on a topic or issue that was formally requested by the legislature or produced to the legislature under oath or under the penalties of perjury.

    3. Studies / information provided by a government agency.

    4. Expert or scientific studies.

    5. Economic or mathematical models and statistics.

    6. Information provided by special interests.

    7. Stories, apocrypha and uncorroborated tales.


    We hope that this hierarchy provides a starting point for discussion to refine and improve evidence-based legislation.


Sean J. Kealy
Sean J. Kealy is a Clinical Associate Professor of Law, Director of the Legislative Clinics, Boston University School of Law. This article expands upon a concept that he first wrote about in Designing Legislation (APKN, 2011). Professor Kealy wishes to thank Professor Richard Briffault, Joseph P. Chamberlain Professor of Legislation at Columbia Law School, and Professor William W. Buzbee, Georgetown Law School, for reading and commenting on this article at the American Association of Law Schools 2017 Conference.

Alex Forney
Alex Forney earned his Juris Doctor, Boston University School of Law, 2016.
Case Reports

2017/30 Discrimination of workers’ representatives – burden of proof (LI)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 3 2017
Keywords Discrimination (other), Discrimination of workers’ representatives
Authors Vida Petrylaite
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Lithuanian Supreme Court has found discrimination against an employee based on his trade union activities and ruled that there was no need for the burden of proof to shift to the employer.


Vida Petrylaite
Vida Petrylaite is a partner with CONFIDENCE Law Office, Vilnus (www.confidence.lt).
Article

Access_open The Integrity of the Tax System after BEPS: A Shared Responsibility

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 1 2017
Keywords flawed legislation, tax privileges, tax planning, corporate social responsibility, tax professionals
Authors Hans Gribnau
AbstractAuthor's information

    The international tax system is the result of the interaction of different actors who share the responsibility for its integrity. States and multinational corporations both enjoy to a certain extent freedom of choice with regard to their tax behaviour – which entails moral responsibility. Making, interpreting and using tax rules therefore is inevitably a matter of exercising responsibility. Both should abstain from viewing tax laws as a bunch of technical rules to be used as a tool without any intrinsic moral or legal value. States bear primary responsibility for the integrity of the international tax system. They should become more reticent in their use of tax as regulatory instrument – competing with one another for multinationals’ investment. They should also act more responsibly by cooperating to make better rules to prevent aggressive tax planning, which entails a shift in tax payments from very expert taxpayers to other taxpayers. Here, the distributive justice of the tax system and a level playing field should be guaranteed. Multinationals should abstain from putting pressure on states and lobbying for favourable tax rules that disproportionally affect other taxpayers – SMEs and individual taxpayers alike. Multinationals and their tax advisers should avoid irresponsible conduct by not aiming to pay a minimalist amount of (corporate income) taxes – merely staying within the boundaries of the letter of the law. Especially CSR-corporations should assume the responsibility for the integrity of the tax system.


Hans Gribnau
Professor of Tax Law, Fiscal Institute and the Center for Company Law, Tilburg University; Professor of Tax Law, Leiden University, The Netherlands.

    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.
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 On the Justification of Basic Rights

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2016
Keywords Basic rights, Right to justification, Discourse theory, Considered judgements, Philosophical methodology
Authors Laura Valentini
AbstractAuthor's information

    In his thought-provoking article, Rainer Forst develops a discourse-theoretical approach to the justification of basic rights, and argues that it is superior to interest-based and autonomy-based views. I cast doubt on the superiority of the discourse-theoretical approach. I suggest that, on reflection, the approach suffers from the same difficulties that Forst believes undermine rival views. My discussion raises broader questions about what desiderata a good justification of basic rights should satisfy.


Laura Valentini
Laura Valentini is associate professor of Political Science at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

    It was neither direct nor indirect discrimination when a municipality dismissed a childminder with a disabled child, since the decision to dismiss was based on the interests of safeguarding children in the municipality’s childminding services, by not taking them out of their usual environment and placing them with a childminder they did not know.


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

The Moral Imagination Embodied

Insights from Artists Navigating Hybrid Identities in Scholarship and Practice

Journal International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution, Issue 1 2016
Keywords community art, peace studies, arts-based peacebuilding, practice, theory
Authors Kathryn M. Lance
AbstractAuthor's information

    The field of conflict engagement is riddled with tensions and challenges, such as the ‘science-practice crisis’ or the ‘scholarship–practice divide’. Using interviews and an inductive, interdisciplinary approach and following the framework of The Moral Imagination, this article aims to deconstruct this core tension of ‘scholarship or practice’. It does this from the perspective of individuals often overlooked in our field: artists. This study included interviews with three specific artists who work along the practice–scholarship spectrum. Even though these artists engage in both scholarship and practice, they do not simply define themselves as ‘scholars’ or ‘practitioners’. Instead, they navigate their identities and work in-between these two terms. While practicing, researching and teaching they exemplify – and also move beyond – the ‘both/and’ approach. Using an inquiry-based, inductive approach to glean insight from these artists gives them voice and opens up a space for their views on the relationship between scholarship and practice. Paying special attention to how artists make sense of their location(s) along the aforementioned spectrum unearths fresh perspectives on the debate while furthering our understanding of the nexus between scholarship and practice


Kathryn M. Lance
Kathryn M. Lance is a PhD student in the joint programme in Psychology and Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Her research focuses on youth resilience and means of addressing trauma in divided societies and conflict settings. She is specifically interested in the effects of arts-based peacebuilding and the relationship between the arts, resilience and trauma healing.
Case Reports

2016/10 Associative victimisation claim allowed to proceed (UK)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 1 2016
Keywords associative victimisation, degree of association required in associative discrimination, no reasonable prospect of success
Authors Anna Bond
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Employment Appeal Tribunal (‘EAT’) has allowed a claim of ‘associative victimisation’ to proceed, reversing an Employment Tribunal (‘ET’) judge’s decision to strike it out. Victimisation occurs where someone is subjected to a detriment because of a ‘protected act’ (such as alleging discrimination). In this case, the claimant claimed he had been subjected to a detriment because someone else associated with him had alleged discrimination. The second ET judge to hear the case held that there was not a close enough connection between the claimant and those who made the allegation of discrimination, and struck out the claim. The EAT held that the judge was wrong to find that Mr Thompson was required to show some particular relationship to the person whose protected act was relied upon, and in fact the association could be entirely in the mind of the employer. Association will be a question of fact in each case.
    This was the first case in the UK to find that it is possible to bring a claim of victimisation by association, and could represent a significant development in UK discrimination law.


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

    Mr Abrams was a member of a limited liability partnership (LLP) and was due to retire. For tax reasons, shortly before retirement Mr Abrams decided to set up a limited company to take his place as a member of the LLP. This was accepted by the LLP. Mr Abrams’s employment by the LLP was stopped and he no longer had a continuing contractual relationship with it. The limited company, as a member of the LLP, was entitled to receive the profit share that Mr Abrams would have received had he continued as a member. It was also agreed that this limited company would supply the services of an appropriate fee-earner to the LLP (which was, in practice, Mr Abrams).
    When Mr Abrams reached retirement age, the LLP tried to terminate his services on the basis that he had reached retirement age and the LLP objected to Mr Abrams’s limited company continuing to be a member of the LLP.
    Mr Abrams and his company brought a claim of age discrimination against the LLP at the Employment Tribunal (ET) and the ET had to decide if a limited company could bring such a claim, which was effectively that it had suffered detrimental treatment because of a protected characteristic of someone with whom it was associated. The ET decided it could and the respondent appealed to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT).


Florence Chan
Florence Chan is a Legal Assistant at Lewis Silkin Hong Kong: www.lewissilkinemployment.com.
Article

Access_open Corporate Social Responsibility via Shareholders’ Proposals

Journal The Dovenschmidt Quarterly, Issue 1 2015
Keywords corporate social responsibility, shareholders, Rule 14a-8, social proposals, strategy
Authors Maria Paz Godoy Uson
AbstractAuthor's information

    Can shareholders’ proposals be considered as a mainstream alternative to incorporate social and environmental policies into the core businesses strategy? Proposing non-financial resolutions at the general meeting of shareholders is a form of shareholders’ activism that is shaping company’s direction. The American court case Lovenheim v. Iroquois Brands, Ltd. confirms that social and environmental issues, when significantly related to the core business, can give rise to new business directions firmly promoted by shareholders, resting authorial power to the board of directors in conducting the company’s direction. The US SEC Rule 14a-8 is widely used by social activists and institutional investors to influence the direction of business in becoming more sustainable. In virtue of the American Rule 14a-8, shareholders may include proposals in the company’s proxy materials and, thereby, compel a vote on the issue at the annual shareholders’ meeting. The result is that American shareholders’ proposals are being considered as an effective gateway to improve corporations’ social and environmental behaviour. This article examines, from a comparative perspective, the further developments of shareholders’ social proposals with the attempt to incorporate social and environmental policies into the core business. The article also suggests that the increasing demand of social proposals promoted by American shareholders versus the limited activity of shareholders’ proposals in Continental European jurisdictions is precipitating the process of converge between the main corporate governance models; the shareholder-oriented model and the stakeholder-oriented model, respectively. The issue of CSR via shareholders’ proposals as presented here is primarily based on literature and various cases related to SEC 14a-8, more in particular on lessons drawn from Lovenheim v. Iroquois Brands, Ltd.


Maria Paz Godoy Uson
PhD Fellow Maastricht University.
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