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Article

Access_open Sustainable Enjoyment of Economic and Social Rights in Times of Crisis

Obstacles to Overcome and Bridges to Cross

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 4 2018
Keywords social and economic rights, austerity measures, Euro crisis, defaulting countries
Authors Dr. Natalie Alkiviadou
AbstractAuthor's information

    In 2008, the European Union was hit by the most severe financial downturn since the Great Recession of the 1930s. One of the major consequences of this phenomenon was the deterioration in the enjoyment of human rights, in particular economic and social rights. While it is indisputable that the crisis itself was directly correlated to the erosion of such rights, the conditions attached to the loan agreements between defaulting countries and the three lending institutions, namely the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Central Bank and the European Commission, have negatively affected the rights under consideration. Loans came with strict austerity measures, such as public expenditure cuts in the realm of, inter alia, public services, benefits and social security. This article considers the deterioration in the enjoyment of economic and social rights by Union inhabitants and particularly the anti-crisis strategy adopted by the European Union, which, as will be demonstrated, directly contributed to this deterioration. The stance of the three institutions was facilitated by the less than proactive, but improving, positioning of the Court of Justice of the European Union in case law, which will be assessed. It must be noted that it is not the three institutions acting alone in this process; the Member States are the ones who agree to the loans and their conditions and implement austerity measures on the ground. However, as will be reflected, the practical role and actual input of the countries themselves in this procedure is limited. The central theoretical tenet of the article is that the European Union is re-shifting its direction to the almost absolute adoption of an economic constitution, with little regard to its social counterpart. Within the aforementioned framework, this article seeks to assess the status of economic and social rights in a crisis-hit Union, provide a theoretical explanation for this occurrence and put forth possibilities for positive change, placing the protection and promotion of economic and social rights at the heart of any responses to crisis as a method to ensure their sustainable protection effectively.


Dr. Natalie Alkiviadou
Dr Natalie Alkiviadou is a Lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire Cyprus.

Marie Keenan
Marie Keenan is a lecturer and researcher at the School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice, University College Dublin, a forensic and systemic psychologist and a restorative justice practitioner, Dublin, Ireland. Contact author: marie.keenan@ucd.ie.

    The article takes as its point of departure some of the author’s multidisciplinary projects. Special attention is given to the question of whether the disciplines united in the various research team members already constituted a kind of ‘inter-discipline’, through which a single object was studied. The issue of how the disciplinary orientations of the research team members occasionally clashed, on methodological issues, is also addressed.
    The outcomes of these and similar multidisciplinary research projects are followed back into legal practice and academic legal scholarship to uncover whether an incorporation problem indeed exists. Here, special attention will be given to policy recommendations and notably proposals for new legislation. After all, according to Van Dijck et al., the typical role model for legal researchers working from an internal perspective on the law is the legislator.
    The author concludes by making a somewhat bold case for reverse incorporation, that is, the need for (traditional) academic legal research to become an integral part of a more encompassing (inter-)discipline, referred to here as ‘conflict management studies’. Key factors that will contribute to the rise of such a broad (inter-)discipline are the changes that currently permeate legal practice (the target audience of traditional legal research) and the changes in the overall financing of academic research itself (with special reference to the Netherlands).


Annie de Roo
Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Article

Access_open EU Law Reform: Cross-Border Civil and Commercial Procedural Law and Cross-Border Insolvency Law

Journal The Dovenschmidt Quarterly, Issue 2 2014
Keywords Private International Law, Commercial and Insolvency Law, EU Law reforms
Authors S.F.G. Rammeloo
AbstractAuthor's information

    Business contractors increasingly find themselves involved in a private or commercial law relationship with cross-border elements. In case commercial disputes have to be adjudicated in court proceedings questions to be answered are: the court of which legal order has competence, the law of which country shall be applied, and is a court order from a foreign legal order enforceable or not? The strive for a (European) Single Market presupposes the breaking down of (procedural as well as substantive) legal barriers emanating from the cross-border nature of private law relationships, notably business transactions.
    This contribution, concentrating on tomorrow’s European PIL in notably the area of civil procedural law, highlights the first and the third question from the perspective of the upcoming entry into force (10 January 2015) of EU Regulation No. 1215/2012 concerning jurisdiction and recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters and the proposed amendments to EU Regulation No. 1346/2000 on cross-border Insolvency Proceedings.


S.F.G. Rammeloo
Associate Professor EU Private International Law and Comparative Company Law – Faculty of Law, Maastricht University, the Netherlands.
Article

From a Soft Law Process to Hard Law Obligations

The Kimberley Process and Contemporary International Legislative Process

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2014
Keywords Kimberley Process, soft law, international law, legislative process
Authors Martin-Joe Ezeudu
AbstractAuthor's information

    Ever since its creation and coming into force in 2003, the Kimberley Process has elicited a number of academic commentaries coming from different backgrounds. Legal scholars who have contributed to the commentaries, simply projected the regulatory regime as an international soft law without further analysis, based on an evaluation of the text of the agreement. This article in contrast, explores its practical effects and the manner of obligations that it imposes on its participant countries. It argues that although the regime may have been a soft law by classification, its obligations are hard and are no different from those of a conventional treaty. Those obligations enhance its juridical force, and are a factor by which the regime on its own tends to nullify the traditional criteria for distinction between hard and soft law in international jurisprudence, because it has elements of both.


Martin-Joe Ezeudu
PhD (Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Toronto, Canada); LLM (University of Birmingham, UK); LLB (Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria); Barrister & Solicitor, Nigeria; Solicitor, England & Wales. An articling student at the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General (Legal Services Branch of the Ministry of Consumer Services), Toronto, Canada. I am grateful to Prof Ikechi Mgbeoji who introduced me to this line of research. My thanks to Mr Tom van der Meer for his helpful comments on an earlier draft of this article. All errors and omissions remain mine. Dedicated to the loving memory of my brother, Chukwuemeka Innocent Ezeudu ‍–‍ a true brother and companion.
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