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Article

Unamendability and Constitutional Identity in the Italian Constitutional Experience

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2019
Keywords Unamendability, constitutional identity, republic, counterlimits, European integration, Italy
Authors Pietro Faraguna
AbstractAuthor's information

    The article explores the historical roots of the explicit unamendable clause(s) in the Italian Constitution. Following, it explores the scholarly debate over the interpretation of unamendable provisions. The article investigates theories of implicit unamendability of the Italian Constitution, and, in particular, it analyses the crucial role played by the Constitutional Court of Italy (ICC) and the principles that characterize Italian constitutional identity. Furthermore, the article explores the other side of constitutional identity, namely the theory of ‘counterlimits.’ The ICC specified that constitutional identity not only sets a limit to constitutional amendment powers but also sets ‘counterlimits’ to the entry of external norms (i.e., supranational and international law) in the domestic legal system. Finally, the article draws some conclusions and argues that the two sides of constitutional identity, although legally and logically independent, mutually reinforce each other and, ultimately, reinforce the counter-majoritarian nature of unamendability.


Pietro Faraguna
Pietro Faraguna is Assistant professor of constitutional law, University of Trieste.
Article

Constitutional Narcissism on the Couch of Psychoanalysis

Constitutional Unamendability in Portugal and Spain

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2019
Keywords unamendable/ eternity clauses, de jure and de facto constitutional change, constitutional narcissism, foundational design, helicopter founding fathers, constitutional alma mater
Authors Catarina Santos Botelho
AbstractAuthor's information

    Comparing the Portuguese Constitution, which has the longest unamendable clause in the world, with the silence of the Spanish Constitution regarding the language of eternity is indeed a fascinating exercise. Each state’s quantum of constitutional change seems to be quite different. One can wonder how two neighbouring states that share a heavy history of right-wing dictatorships and transitioned to democracy forty years ago opted for such dissimilar constitutional designs. However, appearances are often misleading, and an effort should be done to unveil this curious mismatch.
    Both legal orders suffer from what I call constitutional narcissism, which manifests itself through the urge to perpetuate the foundational constitutional moment. Unamendable clauses (Portugal) and quasi-unamendable clauses (Spain) recast one of constitutional theory’s inner paradoxes: Can the constituent power of the people be petrified in one historical constituent decision and constrain future democratic transitions? And what if a volatile contemporary majority seeks to undermine the democratic process and run against the constitutional DNA achievements of the last centuries?
    Even if the original version of the Portuguese Constitution prohibited several provisions from ever being amended, some of these provisions were indeed modified or removed in the 1989 constitutional amendment process. This occurred without major disagreement from the political organs, scholars, or the judiciary. Therefore, the vexata quaestio remains unanswered: Given their obsolescence or hindrance towards good governance, should entrenchment clauses be eliminated de jure (through a channelled constitutional amendment process, such as the double amendment procedure) or de facto (through a revolutionary process materialized outside of the constitutional framework)?


Catarina Santos Botelho
Assistant Professor and Department Chair of Constitutional Law at the Porto Faculty of Law, Universidade Católica Portuguesa. Email: cbotelho@porto.ucp.pt. I thank Paul Kahn, Nuno Garoupa, Richard Albert, Gonçalo Almeida Ribeiro, Yaniv Roznai, Ana Teresa Ribeiro, and Luís Heleno Terrinha for their very helpful comments.
Article

Smart Enforcement

Theory and Practice

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 4 2018
Keywords regulatory inspections, regulatory enforcement, environmental regulations, smart regulation
Authors Dr. Florentin Blanc and Prof. Michael Faure
AbstractAuthor's information

    There is an increasing attention both on how inspections and enforcement efforts with respect to regulatory breaches can be made as effective as possible. Regulatory breaches refer to violations of norms that have been prescribed in public regulation, such as, for example, environmental regulation, food safety regulation or regulation aiming at occupational health and safety. The enforcement of this regulation is qualified as regulatory enforcement. It has been claimed that inspections should not be random, but based on risk and target-specific violators and violations. Such a “smart” enforcement policy would be able to increase the effectiveness of enforcement policy. Policy makers are enthusiastic about this new strategy, but less is known about the theoretical foundations, nor about the empirical evidence. This article presents the theoretical foundations for smart enforcement as well as some empirics. Moreover, the conditions under which smart enforcement could work are identified, but also a few potential limits are presented.


Dr. Florentin Blanc
Dr. Florentin Blanc is a consultant to the World Bank Group, OECD, and governments on investment climate and business environment.

Prof. Michael Faure
Prof. Michael Faure is Academic Director Maastricht European institute for Transnational Legal Research (METRO), Maastricht University, Professor of Comparative and International Environmental Law, Maastricht University and Academic Director of Ius Commune Research School, Maastricht University. He is also Professor of Comparative Law and Economics at Erasmus Law School (Rotterdam).
Annual lecture

Access_open Restorative justice and criminal justice: limits and possibilities for Brazil and Latin America

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 1 2018
Keywords Justice restorative, criminal justice, punishment, Brazil, Latin America
Authors Vera Regina Pereira de Andrade
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article is based on the 2017 RJIJ annual lecture and seeks to examine the development of the restorative justice movement within the judiciary in Brazil (‘judicial restorative justice’) in the last decade or so (2005-2017). The focus is on its relation to penal justice, listing the main possibilities and challenges in the Latin American context. The main question I wish to address is how does restorative justice, being led by the judiciary in Brazil, look like? When, where, how and under which theoretical and methodological angles is it being developed? What are the human and material resources being used? How can the relationship between restorative justice and the current Brazilian criminal justice system be understood? My hypothesis is that judicial restorative justice in Brazil is going through a process of expansion and development, framing a paradigm that is under construction and in which, despite the possibilities of challenging and transforming the current justice system, it has been nevertheless colonised by this same justice system. Therefore, restorative justice is being left to deal with low-level crimes and facing structural and conjectural limits to the concretisation of its objectives. In addition, the field in Brazil is hit by a structural lack of dialogue with other Latin American countries, which results in a mutual impoverishment of sorts, as the ‘restorativism’ currently experienced, hither and thither, is heated up by the intersection of emancipatory principles and values.


Vera Regina Pereira de Andrade
Vera Regina Pereira de Andrade is Emeritus Professor, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Brazil. Contact author: vrpandrade@hotmail.com.
Article

The Reform and Harmonization of Commercial Laws in the East African Community

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 4 2017
Keywords law reform, harmonization of laws, commercial laws, legal transplants, East African Community
Authors Agasha Mugasha
AbstractAuthor's information

    The partner states in the East African Community (EAC) have modernized their commercial laws to claim their post-colonial identity and facilitate development. While law reform and the harmonization of laws are both methods of shaping laws, the national law reform programmes in the EAC mainly aim to ensure that the laws reflect the domestic socioeconomic circumstances, in contrast to the harmonization of national commercial laws, which focuses on the attainment of economic development. This article observes that the reformed and harmonized commercial laws in the EAC are mainly legal transplants of the principles of transnational commercial law that have been adapted to meet domestic needs and aspirations.


Agasha Mugasha
Professor of Law, University of Essex; and former Chairperson, Uganda Law Reform Commission 2011-2015.
Article

ODR4Refugees through a Smartphone App

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2017
Keywords refugees, ODR, mediation, smartphone, disputes
Authors Petros Zourdoumis
AbstractAuthor's information

    For the past two years we have been monitoring in Greece several refugee related disputes such as disputes between refugees, intercultural disputes, disputes between refugees and the local community and disputes between refugees and the camp administration. We have also noticed that almost all refugees had smartphones as they were easy to carry with them and allow them to stay connected with those left behind or been relocated. Therefore in order to offer dispute resolution services we had to address two main issues: mobility & speed. We thought that technology could fit perfectly in this context. So, we decided, to develop a smartphone application for refugees that could create the environment for ODR. The App will not only resolve disputes online but try to prevent disputes or their escalation. Some of its innovative features will be personalized texts, language selection, disputes menu, automatic appointment of mediator, case filing, video, audio and text communication. It will have a friendly interface and be very easy to use even for those who have limited knowledge of technology and its download and use will be free for all refugees. The process will be conducted online by specially trained mediators and will be informal & flexible.


Petros Zourdoumis
Petros Zourdoumis is Founder of ODReurope, General Director of ADR point, a Fellow of the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution (USA) and project leader for ODR4Refugees (http://odr.info/petros-zourdoumis/).
Article

The Politicization of ex post Policy Evaluation in the EU

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1-2 2017
Keywords policy evaluation, Better Regulation, participation, REFIT, politicization
Authors Stijn Smismans
AbstractAuthor's information

    The European Commission’s 2015 Better Regulation package has placed ex post evaluation at the centre of European governance. This strengthens a trend of gradual politicization of evaluation in European policymaking. This article analyses how the European Commission’s approach to ex post policy evaluation has changed over the last decade. It shows how evaluation has developed from a rather technical process to a more politicized process, which is clearly linked to political priority setting, subject to centralized control, and involving a wider set of actors. At the same time, the Commission avoids a profound debate on the merits and objectives of the process of evaluation itself. The article concludes on the merits and risks of evaluation at times of rising populism.


Stijn Smismans
Stijn Smismans is a professor of law at the School of Law and Politics and director of the Centre for European Law and Governance at Cardiff University.
Article

Private Regulation in EU Better Regulation

Past Performance and Future Promises

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1-2 2017
Keywords Better Regulation, private regulation, self-regulation, co-regulation, impact assessment
Authors Paul Verbruggen
AbstractAuthor's information

    The promotion of private regulation is frequently part of better regulation programmes. Also the Better Regulation programme of the European Union (EU) initiated in 2002 advocated forms of private regulation as important means to improve EU law-making activities. However, for various reasons the ambition to encourage private regulation as a genuine governance response to policy issues has remained a paper reality. This contribution asks whether and to what extent the 2015 EU Agenda on Better Regulation provides renewed guidance on how private regulation might be integrated in EU law-making processes. To that end, it builds on previous (empirical) research conducted on European private regulation and reviews the principal policy documents constituting the new EU agenda on better regulation. It is argued that while the new agenda addresses a number of the shortcomings of the old programme concerning the conceptualization and practice of private regulation in the EU, it still falls short of providing principled guidance on how private regulation can be combined and integrated in EU law-making.


Paul Verbruggen
Tilburg University, The Netherlands, Assistant Professor of Global and Comparative Private Law. I thank the participants to the seminar, the editors of this special issue, and Thomas van Golen for their helpful comments and suggestions. All errors are mine.

Michael S. Dodge
Department of Space Studies, John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences, University of North Dakota.

Marieke Borren
Dr. Marieke Borren werkte tot voor kort als postdoctoraal onderzoeker aan de faculteit filosofie van de Universiteit van Pretoria, Zuid-Afrika. Op dit moment is ze UD filosofie aan de Open Universiteit en UD gender en postcolonial studies aan de Universiteit Utrecht.
Article

ChAFTA, Trade, and Food Safety

When the Rubber Hits the Road

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 4 2016
Keywords food safety laws in China and implementation issues, China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA), agricultural trade, corporate social responsibility, collaborative governance
Authors Ying Chen
AbstractAuthor's information

    Over the past decade, food safety has evolved into a compelling issue in China. The Chinese government has been committed to strengthening the regulatory framework. A series of laws and regulations ensuring the quality and safety of food in the interests of public health have been promulgated. However, a fairly comprehensive set of laws, along with harsh punishments, does not substantially deter food safety violations. Rather, foodborne illnesses continue to occur on a daily basis. How to improve food safety has become China’s national priority; it is also the main focus of this research. This article determines that one of the main obstacles to food safety is poor implementation of laws. It identifies the external and internal impediments to food safety governance in China. It further proposes an evolving series of potential solutions. Externally, weak enforcement undermines the credibility of the food safety laws. Internally, food manufacturers and distributors in China lack the sense of corporate social responsibility (CSR). To effectively reduce or even remove the external impediment, it is imperative to improve the overall governance in various sectors. As for the internal impediment, incorporating CSR principles into business operations is vital for food safety governance. In fact, the enforcement of many regional trade agreements, in particular, the enforcement of China–Australia FTA (ChAFTA) will largely increase market share of Australian food products in China. Undoubtedly, Chinese food businesses will face unprecedented competition. The pressure to gain competitive advantages in food markets yields an enormous change in motivation for Chinese food businesses. Chinese food companies will ultimately be forced to ‘voluntarily’ integrate CSR principles into their business operations. A significant change in the food sector is expected to be seen within the next decade. The article concludes that better practice in food safety governance in China requires two essential elements: a comprehensive regulatory and cooperative framework with essential rules and institutions, and an effective implementation mechanism involving both the public and private sectors.


Ying Chen
Dr. Ying Chen, Lecturer in Law, University of New England School of Law, Armidale, NSW2351, Australia. Email: ychen56@une.edu.au.

Gabriella Catalano Sgrosso
University of Rome, Italy, sgrossogabriella@gmail.com.
Article

Indigenous Cultural Resources for Peacebuilding

Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan’s Philosophy and Conflict in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan

Journal International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution, Issue 2 2015
Keywords Islam, Khudai Khidmatghar, Taliban, Pakhtuns, liberal peacebuilding
Authors Saira Bano Orakzai
AbstractAuthor's information

    Indigenous peacebuilding has introduced numerous challenges to the approach of liberal peacebuilding that is well advocated around the world. The conflict in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan presents one such challenge for the local peacebuilders – whereas the implementation of the liberal peacebuilding has failed. Adopting a subaltern perspective, this article examines indigenous cultural peacebuilding resources for this conflict. Prominent among these resources is the philosophy of non-violence and self-restraint of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and his Khudai Khidmatgar non-violent movement. The article discusses Khan’s philosophy and the movement it inspired, while making a case for the value of such indigenous resources in the development of culturally appropriate responses for countering militancy and violence in FATA. The article uses the writings of Ghaffar Khan together with secondary resources to suggest measures to counter the contemporary violent extremism by the Taliban and draw upon indigenous approaches to make peacebuilding more effective in FATA.


Saira Bano Orakzai
Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice, University of Free State, South Africa.
Article

Can Imprisonment Be Cheaper? The Case for Private Prisons

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 4 2015
Keywords costs, criminal law, law and economics, private prisons, privatization
Authors Elena Kantorowicz-Reznichenko
AbstractAuthor's information

    Custody is the most expensive method of punishment in the Western world, as compared to other alternatives. Although expensive, prison is an indispensible instrument to deal with judgement proof or dangerous offenders. Hence, by using the law and economics approach, this article explores prison privatization as an instrument for less expensive incarceration. This method has the potential to reduce the prison costs without hampering its quality. However, a restructuring of the current contracts is needed to achieve this purpose. The attention given to the topic of private prisons by the law and economics scholars, especially in the European context, is limited, and this article attempts to fill this gap. The present article applies arguments from the bureaucracy and political science literature to explain the inefficiencies of public prisons. Subsequently, the potential problems of private prisons are presented through the principle-agent model and solutions are offered.


Elena Kantorowicz-Reznichenko
Rotterdam Institute of Law & Economics (RILE), Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Article

Accountability for Forced Displacement in Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda before the International Criminal Court

Journal African Journal of International Criminal Justice, Issue 2 2015
Keywords Forced displacement, International Criminal Court, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, reparations
Authors Luke Moffett
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article examines the challenges of investigating and prosecuting forced displacement in the Central African countries of Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda, where higher loss of life was caused by forced displacement, than by any other. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, armed groups intentionally attacked civilian populations displacing them from their homes, to cut them off from food and medical supplies. In Northern Uganda, the government engaged in a forced displacement policy as part of its counter-insurgency against the Lord’s Resistance Army, driving the civilian population into “protected villages”, where at one point the weekly death toll was over 1,000 in these camps. This article critically evaluates how criminal responsibility can be established for forced displacement and alternative approaches to accountability through reparations.


Luke Moffett
Lecturer and Director of the Human Rights Centre, Queen’s University Belfast, l.moffett@qub.ac.uk.
Article

Access_open The Impact of the Economic Downturn in the Spanish Civil Justice System

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 4 2015
Keywords judiciary, judge-made justice, court fees, legal aid, ADR-methods
Authors Laura Carballo Piñeiro and Jordi Nieva Fenoll
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Spanish justice system has been shaken by the economic downturn as many other institutions have. This article addresses in the first place some statistical data that shed light as regards to the number of judges and the costs and length of the procedure in Spain. These figures help to understand, in the second place, the impact of austerity measures on the judiciary, namely, the freeze on the hiring of judges and the establishing of high court fees. While they mainly concern the supply side of justice services, others such cost reductions in legal aid have had, in the third place, an impact on the demand side, driving many citizens to social exclusion and to resorting to self-defence mechanisms. The final part of this article addresses some remedies that may alleviate judiciary’s workload, but that fall short of doing it. All in all, the Spanish justice system seems to require a holistic approach to patch up edges, but one in which the role of judge-made justice in a democratic society has to be central again.


Laura Carballo Piñeiro
Laura Carballo Piñeiro is Associate Professor of Private International Law at the Common Law Department of the University of Santiago de Compostela.

Jordi Nieva Fenoll
Jordi Nieva Fenoll is Professor of Procedure Law at the Administrative and Procedure Law Department of the University of Barcelona.
Article

Access_open Austerity in Civil Procedure

A Critical Assessment of the Impact of Global Economic Downturn on Civil Justice in Ghana

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 4 2015
Keywords austerity, small claims, civil justice, civil procedure, Ghana civil procedure
Authors Ernest Owusu-Dapaa and Ebenezer Adjei Bediako
AbstractAuthor's information

    The demand for and availability of civil justice procedures for small claims can neither be disentangled nor extricated from the health of the economic climate of the relevant country concerned. In this article, it is argued that despite not being a developed country, Ghana was not completely insulated from the hardships or implementation of austerity measures that were triggered by the global economic meltdown. The inevitability of behavioural changes on the part of the Government of Ghana as lawmaker and provider of the machinery for civil justice on the one hand and small claims litigants as users of the civil procedure on the other hand are also explored in the article. After properly situating the exploration in the relevant economic context, the article makes recommendations regarding how to minimise the impact of the austerity measures on small claims litigants.


Ernest Owusu-Dapaa
Ernest Owusu-Dapaa is Lecturer in Law at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana. Email: eodapaa@yahoo.com.

Ebenezer Adjei Bediako
Ebenezer Adjei Bediako is Principal Research Assistant at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana.
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.

Shripad Jagdale
Advocate Bombay High Court, Prospective Member IISL, Ground Floor, Old Oriental Bldg, 65 M.G.Road, Fountain, Mumbai, India 400001

    To ensure its continued viability, the International Criminal Court must find “practical” ways to appeal to its African (and global) audience, options that do not require substantial additional funding or revisions to the Rome Statute while remaining true to fundamental principles of international justice. Subject to such limitations, this article examines the “end product” of the ICC – the judgments authored by the Trial Chambers to date. Unfortunately, these opinions are simply incomprehensible to any but a few specially trained, highly interested stakeholders. They are extraordinarily complex and lengthy and fail to emphasize or address issues that are clearly important to the audiences in states where atrocities have occurred. The article reviews existing judgments and provides suggestions for future improvements, thereby increasing accessibility to African leadership, civil society organizations, and the public at large. Such efforts will contribute to increased legitimacy and, consequently, the long-term impact and relevancy of the Court.


Matthew C. Kane
Matthew C. Kane is a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Oklahoma College of Law, teaching courses on criminal law, torts, and international and comparative criminal law. He also serves a director and shareholder of Ryan Whaley Coldiron Jantzen Peters & Webber PLLC, concentrating on criminal and complex civil law matters. Special thanks to The Hague University of Applied Sciences, which organized the conference “Africans and Hague Justice,” where this paper was originally presented.
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