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Article

Emergency Measures in Response to the Coronavirus Crisis and Parliamentary Oversight in the EU Member States

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 4 2020
Keywords states of emergency, parliamentary oversight, health crisis, Covid-19, European Union Member States
Authors Maria Diaz Crego and Silvia Kotanidis
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Covid-19 pandemic has become a true stress test for the legal systems of the worst hit countries. Faced with a health crisis situation, many national governments have become the protagonists in the adoption of difficult measures severely restricting their citizens fundamental rights to the detriment of the powers usually entrusted to the national parliaments. This article examines the normative response of the 27 European Union Member States during the “first wave” of the Covid-19 pandemic, a period that runs from the declaration of a pandemic (March 2020) to mid-June 2020. The intention of the authors was to describe the legal and constitutional mechanisms activated in order to contain the pandemic, focusing on the role of national parliaments in the management of the crisis. This article explores also the degree to which national parliaments have been involved and could exercise parliamentary oversight over the normative measures used by the executive to contain the pandemic in the EU-27.


Maria Diaz Crego
Maria Diaza Crego is a Policy Analyst, European Parliament Research Service, European Parliament.

Silvia Kotanidis
Silvia Kotanidis is a Policy Analyst, European Parliament Research Service, European Parliament. The European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) is the internal research service and think tank of the European Parliament. This research paper derives from a paper originally published on 4 December 2020 by the EPRS as background material to assist Members and staff of the European Parliament in their parliamentary work. The content of the document is the sole responsibility of its authors and any opinions expressed therein should not be taken to represent an official position of the European Parliament.
Article

Governments as Covid-19 Lawmakers in France, Italy and Spain

Continuity or Discontinuity

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 4 2020
Keywords Covid-19, emergency legislation, executive lawmaking, parliaments, decree-laws and ordinances
Authors Elena Griglio
AbstractAuthor's information

    Executive dominance in Covid-19 lawmaking has been a major trend worldwide. Governments have leveraged emergency prerogatives to boost their legislative powers, often sidelining the role of parliaments. The impact of executive lawmaking on fundamental liberties has been unprecedented. However, government’s capacity to exercise full legislative powers is not absolutely new to many European countries.
    This trend is analysed in the article comparing practices in the pandemic and in normal times, not specifically related to a state of emergency. To this end, three countries have been selected because of their constitutional clauses allotting lawmaking powers to the government even outside of emergency situations. This refers to the decree-laws in Italy and Spain and the ordonnances in France. The question addressed is whether there are relevant differences in the use made of these mechanisms during the pandemic.
    The results of this comparative analysis demonstrate that there is much continuity in the executive’s reliance on these mechanisms. However, discontinuity may be detected on the ground of the exceptional impact produced on constitutional rights and on the substantive values that legislation should protect. Therefore, from the perspective of the rollback of the emergency legislation, the role of parliaments, based on the core difference in the democratic status between lawmaking and legislation, turns out to be crucial.


Elena Griglio
Elena Griglio is Senior Parliamentary Official of the Italian Senate and Adjunct Professor at LUISS University, Rome.
Article

Is There a Law Commission in France?

About the Commission Supérieure de Codification

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2019
Keywords High Commission on Codification, France, Law Commission, codification, law reform
Authors Bertrand-Léo Combrade
AbstractAuthor's information

    The ‘Commission Supérieure de Codification (‘High Commission on Codification’) is a body that was created with the aim of providing support for the process of codifying the texts of positive law. Analysis of both its place in France’s institutional architecture and its working methods highlights certain particularities in the body’s functioning and raises questions as to its degree of proximity to the Law Commissions.


Bertrand-Léo Combrade
Lecturer in public law, Researcher at CURAPP-ESS (University of Picardy-Jules Verne), Associate researcher at ISJPS (Sorbonne Law School).
Article

Legislative Techniques in Rwanda

Present and Future

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2013
Keywords legislative drafting, law-making, drafting techniques, Rwanda, quality of legislation
Authors Helen Xanthaki
AbstractAuthor's information

    This report is the result of the collective work of 26 Rwandan civil servants from a number of ministries, who set out to offer the Ministry of Justice a report on legislative drafting in Rwanda. The work was undertaken under the umbrella of the Diploma in Legislative Drafting offered by the Institute for Legal Professional Development (ILPD) in Nyanza under the rectorship of Prof. Nick Johnson. The authors have used their experience of practising drafting in Rwanda, but have contributed to the report in their personal capacity: their views are personal and do not reflect those of the Government of Rwanda.
    My only contribution was the identification of topics, which follows the well-established structure of manuals and textbooks in drafting; the division of the report into two parts: Part 1 on the legislative process and Part 2 on drafting techniques; and the methodology of each individual entry to our report: what is current Rwandan practice, what are international standards, what is the future of Rwanda, and a short bibliography to allow the readers and users of the report to read further, if needed.
    The strength of this report lies both in the methodology used and in the content offered. The breakdown of topics, their prioritization and their sequence allow the reader to acquire a holistic view on how legislation is drafted in Rwanda, but there is nothing to prevent its use in the context of surveys on legislative drafting and legislative quality in other jurisdictions. The content offers a unique insight into the legislative efforts of a jurisdiction in transition from civil to common law: both styles are assessed without prejudice, thus offering a unique fertile ground for critical assessment and practical impact analysis.
    June 2013


Helen Xanthaki
Senior Lecturer and Academic Director, Centre for Legislative Studies, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London, Lawyer (Athens Bar).
Article

Benefit Sharing: The Municipal Model

Legal Aspects of Sharing Benefits from the Conduct of Space Activities

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 3 1996
Authors D. J. O'Donnell

D. J. O'Donnell
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