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Article

Access_open A future agenda for environmental restorative justice?

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 1 2021
Keywords restorative justice, restorative practice, environmental justice, environmental regulation
Authors Miranda Forsyth, Deborah Cleland, Felicity Tepper e.a.
AbstractAuthor's information

    The challenges of developing meaningful environmental regulation to protect communities and the environment have never been greater. Environmental regulators are regularly criticised for failing to act hard and consistently, in turn leading to demands for harsher punishments and more rigorous enforcement. Whilst acknowledging the need for strong enforcement to address wantonly destructive practices threatening communities and ecosystems, we argue that restorative approaches have an important role. This article explores a future agenda for environmental restorative justice through (1) situating it within existing scholarly and practice-based environmental regulation traditions; (2) identifying key elements and (3) raising particular theoretical and practical challenges. Overall, our vision for environmental restorative justice is that its practices can permeate the entire regulatory spectrum, going far beyond restorative justice conferences within enforcement proceedings. We see it as a shared and inclusive vision that seeks to integrate, hybridise and build broader ownership for environmental restorative justice throughout existing regulatory practices and institutions, rather than creating parallel structures or paradigms.


Miranda Forsyth
Miranda Forsyth is Associate Professor at the School of Regulation and Governance in the College of Asia and Pacific in the Australian National University, Australia.

Deborah Cleland
Deborah Cleland is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the School of Regulation and Governance in the College of Asia and Pacific in the Australian National University, Australia.

Felicity Tepper
Felicity Tepper is a Senior Research Officer at the School of Regulation and Governance in the College of Asia and Pacific in the Australian National University, Australia.

Deborah Hollingworth
Deborah Hollingworth is a Principal Solicitor at the Environment Protection Authority Victoria, Australia.

Milena Soares
Milena Soares is a public servant at the Técnica de Desenvolvimento e Administração,Brazil.

Alistair Nairn
Alistair Nairn is Senior Engagement Advisor at the Environment Protection Authority Victoria, Australia.

Cathy Wilkinson
Cathy Wilkinson is Professor of Practice at Monash Sustainable Development, Australia. Contact author: miranda.forsyth@anu.edu.au.
Article

A maximalist approach of restorative justice to address environmental harms and crimes

Analysing the Brumadinho dam collapse in Brazil

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 1 2021
Keywords environmental law, maximalist approach, restorative justice principles and concepts, decision-making process, sanctioning rules
Authors Carlos Frederico Da Silva
AbstractAuthor's information

    In this article, the author analyses court cases arising from the rupture of the mining tailings dam in the city of Brumadinho, Brazil, on 25 January 2019. In a civil lawsuit context, legal professionals recognised damage to people and the environment during hearings involving a judge, prosecutors, lawyers and corporate representatives. The centrality of the victims’ interests and the need for remedial measures prevailed in the agreements signed mainly to provide urgent relief and restore damage to the ecosystem. In the criminal lawsuit dealing with the same facts, there have not yet been acquittals, non-prosecution agreements or convictions. By employing a socio-legal approach to contrast different types of legal reasoning, this article explores the possibilities of restorative responses in civil proceedings and explains the lack of them in criminal justice. In highlighting some characteristics of punishment theories that hinder a possible restorative justice approach, the article offers a critique of a penal system mostly linked to argumentative competition rather than persuasive conflict resolution. The author argues that jurisprudence should address transdisciplinary concepts, such as responsive regulation, restorative efforts, proportionality and individualisation of punishment. The discussion can shed light on the decision-making process to allow environmental restorative justice responses to crimes.


Carlos Frederico Da Silva
Carlos Frederico Braga Da Silva is a PhD researcher associated to the Graduate School of Sociology at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil, and to the Canadian Chair of Legal Traditions and Penal Rationality, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Criminology, University of Ottawa, Canada. He also works as a state judge in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Contact author: carlosfrebrasilva@gmail.com.

Brunilda Pali
Brunilda Pali is a Senior Researcher at the Leuven Institute of Criminology, KU Leuven, Belgium, and a Lecturer at the Department of Political Sciences, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Ivo Aertsen
Ivo Aertsen is Emeritus Professor of Criminology, Leuven Institute of Criminology, KU Leuven, Belgium. Contact author: Brunilda.pali@kuleuven.be.
Article

Digital Equals Public

Assembly Meetings Under a Lockdown Regime

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 4 2020
Keywords COVID-19 regulation, temporary legislation, sunset clauses, digitalization, digital democracy, local democracy, experimental legislation
Authors Lianne van Kalken and Evert Stamhuis
AbstractAuthor's information

    In this article we examine the Dutch emergency legislation for local democracy. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the Netherlands, the Temporary Act for digital meetings for local/regional government tiers was enacted. The legislature introduced a system of digital debate and decision-making for municipal and provincial councils, the democratically elected assemblies at the local and regional levels. At the same time the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations set up an evaluation committee to monitor and evaluate the working of the local and provincial governments with this temporary legislation.
    This article discusses the content and application of the temporary provisions for deliberation and decision-making on a digital platform. The purpose of the legislation is to create possibilities for the elected representatives to continue their work during the lockdown. We examine the design and structure of the legislation and disclose the evaluation results so far. The arrangements aim for secure, transparent and reliable democratic practices. Early evidence pertaining to the effects of the Act show that it works effectively only up to a certain level. We critically discuss the sunset clause in the Act and plead against function creep. Moreover, the expectations now and in the future from continuous digitalization of this part of the democratic process should be modest. On the basis of our analysis of the characteristics of the legislation and the effects on the political work of the representatives, we conclude that the current form of digitalization does not provide for the interaction between representatives and their constituencies and the communities at large.


Lianne van Kalken
Lianne van Kalken is lecturer and researcher constitutional law in Erasmus School of Law. She was a member of the evaluation committee, but contributes to this article in a personal capacity. For further affiliations see http://www.linkedin.com/in/liannevankalken/.

Evert Stamhuis
Evert F. Stamhuis is chair Law & Innovation at Erasmus School of Law and senior fellow of the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence on Digital Governance. See for other affiliations https://www.linkedin.com/in/evertstamhuis/
Article

The Development of Human Rights Diplomacy Since the Establishment of the UN

More Actors, More Efficiency?

Journal Hungarian Yearbook of International Law and European Law, Issue 1 2020
Keywords human rights, diplomacy, international organizations, NGOs, corporate social responsibility
Authors István Lakatos
AbstractAuthor's information

    This study gives a comprehensive picture of the development of human rights diplomacy since the establishment of the UN, focusing on the dilemmas governments are facing regarding their human-rights-related decisions and demonstrating the changes that occurred during the post-Cold War period, both in respect of the tools and participants in this field. Special attention is given to the role of international organizations, and in particular to the UN in this process, and the new human rights challenges the international community must address in order to maintain the relevance of human rights diplomacy.


István Lakatos
István Lakatos: career diplomat, former human rights ambassador of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, currently senior adviser of the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights of Montenegro.

Lode Walgrave
Lode Walgrave is Professor Emeritus in Criminology at the University Leuven, Belgium, and member of the Editorial team of TIJRJ.

Miranda Forsyth
Miranda Forsyth is an Associate Professor at the College of Asia and the Pacific, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.

Valerie Braithwaite
Valerie Braithwaite is Professor at the College of Asia and the Pacific, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.

John Braithwaite
John Braithwaite is an Emeritus Professor, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.

Zénó Suller
PhD student, Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Budapest.
Article

Restorative justice capacities in Middle Eastern culture and society: towards a hybrid model of juvenile justice in Palestine

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 1 2019
Keywords Hybrid model, restorative justice, non-state justice, Palestine, Middle East
Authors Mutaz Qafisheh and Ali Wardak
AbstractAuthor's information

    Alongside the state juvenile justice system, various forms of non-state justice providers are strongly prevalent in Palestine. Although the state juvenile justice has evolved into a modern system, it lacks adequate human, professional and infrastructural capacities to provide effective justice to all children. This field research has identified key non-state justice providers in Palestine and reveals that they are more accessible and speedy and also place more emphasis on peacemaking and reconciliation than the state justice system. It also reveals that in the processes of justice dispensation, occasional violation of children’s rights takes place within some of the male-dominated non-state justice providers. In order to minimise rights violation, while capitalising on the restorative capacities of non-state justice providers, a ‘hybrid model of juvenile justice in Palestine’ has been developed and is proposed. It is argued in this article that the ‘hybrid model’ not only promises to provide a coherent framework of links between Palestinian state juvenile justice and non-state justice providers, but also has the capacity to minimise rights violation through proposed internal and external oversight mechanisms. It is further maintained that translating the hybrid model into practice may result in the provision of more accessible, inclusive and restorative juvenile justice to all children in Palestine.


Mutaz Qafisheh
Mutaz Qafisheh is Dean and Associate Professor of International Law, College of Law and Political Science, Hebron University, Hebron, Palestine.

Ali Wardak
Ali Wardak is Professor of Criminology, University of South Wales, Pontypridd, United Kingdom.

Dr Kelly J. Stockdale
Kelly J. Stockdale, PhD, is Senior Lecturer in Criminology, School of Psychological and Social Sciences, York St. John University, York (UK). Contact author: k.stockdale@yorksj.ac.uk.

    The Israeli health system consists of approximately 200,000 employees in a variety of positions, such as: doctors, nurses, pharmacists, psychologies, physical therapists, lab workers, speech therapists, occupational therapists, dieticians, orderlies, administrators and housekeeping workers and many more. (Ministry of Health, 2016). The system has gone through long-lasting struggles, conflicts and crises initiated by power groups and various functional representations and unions. This article will focus on conflicts occurring between doctors, in their professional occupation, and the governmental ministries (Health and Treasury). In addition, it will examine the processes that encourage the occurrence of conflicts in the health system. Even though doctors do not represent the entire health system, it is important to emphasize that they are its beating heart. Their weight in the general health system is extremely high, much higher than their relative part therein.
    In addition, this article will examine a struggle by doctors to shorten their long shift hours, by exposing the root causes and the reasons that led to the struggle’s demise, without the achievement of their declared goals. This article will suggest that tools appropriate for a true resolution of conflicts in the health system should be tailored and specific to the complexity of the system (as in a delicate surgery), as opposed to more general tools such as mediation, and certain “copy-paste” tools used for conflict resolution in other disciplines.


Adi Niv-Yagoda
Dr. Adi Niv-Yagoda, Ph.D, LL.M, LL.B is an expert in medical law and health policy; Advocate and Lecturer at the School of Medicine and Faculty of Law, Tel Aviv University.

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


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

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

Gábor Sulyok
Head of department, Senior research fellow, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Centre for Social Sciences, Institute for Legal Studies; Associate professor, Széchenyi István University, Deák Ferenc Faculty of Law and Political Sciences.
Article

Access_open “Can These Dry Bones Live?”

In Search of a Lasting Therapy for AU and ICC Toxic Relationship

Journal African Journal of International Criminal Justice, Issue 0 2014
Keywords Criminal accountability, acta sunt servanda, Conflicts, Arrest warrant, Official immunity
Authors Nsongurua J. Udombana
AbstractAuthor's information

    The competing visions of international criminal justice between the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the African Union (AU) reached a climax with the recent adoption of the AU Protocol enlarging the mandate of the African Court of Justice and Human and Peoples’ Rights to cover criminal jurisdiction. The Protocol, inter alia, grants immunity to state officials for atrocious crimes, which clearly conflicts with the ICC Statute’s normative framework. This dialectic is bound to deepen an already toxic relationship between the two international players. This article calls for practical reasonableness by all stakeholders in order to revive the diminishing effort at advancing international criminal justice in Africa.


Nsongurua J. Udombana
2014: LLM, LLD; of the Nigerian Bar; Professor of International Law, Babcock University, Nigeria; udombana@hotmail.com.

    This article discusses the possibility spouses have under the Rome III Regulation (EC Regulation 1259/2010) to choose the law applicable to their divorce. It discusses the limits and exceptions of this freedom to choose.


Dr. Thalia Kruger
Thalia Kruger is professor at the law faculty of the University of Antwerp, where she teaches and researches private international law, international civil procedure and international family law. She is also Honorary Research Associate at the University of Cape Town.
Article

The Principle of Ultra Vires and the Local Authorities’ Decisions in England

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2013
Keywords ultra vires, administrative decisions, legislative drafting, validity and invalidity of local authority administrative decisions, misuse of discretion
Authors Charles Aguma
AbstractAuthor's information

    The hypothesis of this article is that valid administrative decisions from local authorities are guaranteed via clear and precise enabling clauses in the primary legislation. The article argues that the style of drafting local authorities’ legislations influences decisions taken by local authorities. First, legislations need to be drafted in a style that clearly and precisely spells out the limits of powers of the local authorities in order to provide sufficient guidance to local authorities’ administrators to act lawfully. In attempting to exercise implied powers conferred by the imprecise enabling legislation, however, local authorities tend to go beyond intended legal powers and as a result take unreasonable, arbitrary and invalid decisions. More so, drafters rarely provide sufficient guidance about which considerations are properly relevant to the exercise of discretion and which are not. Secondly, obscure, wide and ambiguous enabling clauses in the primary legislations are substantial causes of courts’ misinterpretation of legislation as understanding the limits of the powers of the local authorities is a challenge. On the other hand, it is questionable whether the whole range of activities performed by a local authority by invoking implied powers, while exercising discretion, under the umbrella of doing anything that is calculated to facilitate or is conducive to or incidental to the discharge of any of its functions can be regarded as lawful. This article attempts to respond to that question. Although the principle of ultra vires requires the strict observance of the limits of the powers conferred in legislation, local authorities tend to invoke widely drafted provisions to perform activities that are said to be incidental to the express powers of which courts may declare invalid.


Charles Aguma
Charles Aguma graduated in Legislative Drafting (LLM) from the University of London- Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in 2012.
Article

Access_open De Drittwirkung van grondrechten

Retorisch curiosum of vaandel van een paradigmatische omwenteling in ons rechtsbestel?

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2012
Keywords Drittwirkung, horizontal effect of human rights, constitutionalisation of private law
Authors Stefan Somers
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article discusses whether the horizontal effect of human rights marks a new paradigm in legal systems or is merely a new style in legal rhetoric. In doing so, much attention is paid to the differences between direct and indirect horizontal effect. Departing from social contract theory the article explains that the protection of human right values in horizontal relations is an essential feature of modern constitutionalism. It also analyses whether these values in horizontal relations should be protected by private law or by human rights. This question is looked at from a substantial, a methodological and an institutional perspective. In the end, because of institutional power balancing, the article argues in favor of an indirect horizontal effect of human rights.


Stefan Somers
Stefan Somers is a researcher at the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies at the VUB (Free University of Brussels) and prepares a PhD on the relationship between human rights and tort law.
Article

Judicial Review

An Essential Tool for Curbing the Excesses and Abuse of Executive Action in Sierra Leone

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2 2011
Keywords delegated legislation, administrative law, judicial review
Authors Kadija Kabba
AbstractAuthor's information

    This essay examines judicial review in executive/administrative action as an essential tool for curbing the excesses and abuse of delegated legislative powers in Sierra Leone based on the valid assumption that there is a system of administrative law due to a developed system of judicial review in Sierra Leone. To examine and establish the facts, focus is laid on judicial review of administrative/ executive action and not on judicial review of primary legislation.This article first and foremost tried to establish that, the practice of delegated legislation from which judicial review ensues is a necessity in any given democratic society.This piece of work in trying to establish its facts, put forward arguments by scholars and writers in support and against the use of judicial review as an essential tool to curb the abuse and excesses of executive’s action. This is juxtaposed in conjunction with cases laws from Sierra Leone dealing with judicial review.The irrefutable fact this article tried to illustrate is that judicial review is important in any society in curtailing the excesses and abuse of executive actions.


Kadija Kabba
Kadija Kabba is a Legal Officer and Legislative Drafter at the Central Bank of Sierra Leone. She holds an LLM form the Universitty of London, A MPhil from the University of Tromsee, Norway, a LLB and BA Degrees from the University of Sierra Leone. She is also a qualified barrister and Socilitor of the High Court of Sierra Leone.
Book Review

De Verenigde Naties als ideeënfabriek

Het United Nations Intellectual History Project

Journal Res Publica, Issue 2 2009
Authors Francis Baert
Author's information

Francis Baert
Francis Baert (°1982) is onderzoeker aan het Comparative Regional Integration Studies Programme van de Verenigde Naties (UNU-CRIS) en doctoraatsstudent aan het Centrum voor EU Studies van de Universiteit Gent. Zijn belangrijkste onderzoeksdomeinen zijn comparative regionalism, EU inter-regionalisme, multilateralisme, EU als mondiale actor, Verenigde Naties.
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