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Article

The Reform of Contract Rules in China’s New Civil Code

Successes or Pitfalls

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2 2021
Keywords Civil Code of the People’s Republic of China, Contracts of the Civil Code, Chinese legal system, legislative history
Authors Peng Guo and Linxuan Li
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Civil Code of the People’s Republic of China (Civil Code) came into force on 1 January 2021. Book III on Contracts of the Civil Code has adopted significant changes compared to the old Chinese Contract Law (Contract Law). This article provides a comprehensive and systemic analysis of those changes from structure to content, from legislative technics to values underpinning the Civil Code. It evaluates all the factors in the context of the development of Chinese society, Chinese culture and Chinese legal system.
    This article first outlines the historical background of the development of the Contract Law and the Civil Code. It then moves on to compare the Civil Code and the Contract Law, highlighting the changes in structure, the incorporation of new provisions and the amendments to old provisions in light of contemporary Chinese society and culture. Finally, it argues that the Civil Code is a significant milestone in China’s legislative history; that it reflects the legislative experience and judicial practice in China; that it adds provisions which are innovative and of Chinese characteristics to meet the needs of China’s changing society and legal system; and that it keeps pace with the development of the global law reform and harmonization.


Peng Guo
Peng Guo is a Lecturer in Law, Graduate School of Business and Law, RMIT University, Australia.

Linxuan Li
Linxuan Li, LL.M. University of International Business and Economics, LL.B. Shandong University, China.
Article

Access_open Hardship and Force Majeure as Grounds for Adaptation and Renegotiation of Investment Contracts

What Is the Extent of the Powers of Arbitral Tribunals?

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 2 2021
Keywords contract adaptation, hardship, force majeure, investment contracts, arbitration
Authors Agata Zwolankiewicz
AbstractAuthor's information

    The change of circumstances impacting the performance of the contracts has been a widely commented issue. However, there seems to be a gap in legal jurisprudence with regard to resorting to such a remedy in the investment contracts setting, especially from the procedural perspective. It has not been finally settled whether arbitral tribunals are empowered to adapt investment contracts should circumstances change and, if they were, what the grounds for such a remedy would be. In this article, the author presents the current debates regarding this issue, potential grounds for application of such a measure and several proposals which would facilitate resolution of this procedural uncertainty.


Agata Zwolankiewicz
Agata Zwolankiewicz is an advocate trainee, graduated from the University of Silesia in Katowice (M.A. in law), and the University of Ottawa (LL.M. with concentration in international trade and foreign investment).
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.
Article

The Mediation Disruption

A Path to Better Conflict Resolution through Interdisciplinarity and Cognitive Diversity

Journal Corporate Mediation Journal, Issue 2 2020
Keywords interdisciplinarity, social psychology, diversity and inclusivity, disruption
Authors Mark T. Kawakami
AbstractAuthor's information

    As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to expose obsolete business practices and force companies into uncharted territories, a disruption worth (re)considering for companies is to replace their over-reliance on litigation with mediation. In order for mediators to make this transition more appetising for businesses, we must train mediators to: 1) think more holistically through interdisciplinary training; and 2) foster cognitive diversity amongst our pool.


Mark T. Kawakami
Mark T. Kawakami is Assistant Professor of Private Law at the Faculty of Law, Maastricht University.
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

Access_open The Potential of Positive Obligations Against Romaphobic Attitudes and in the Development of ‘Roma Pride’

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 3 2020
Keywords Roma, Travellers, positive obligations, segregation, culturally adequate accommodation
Authors Lilla Farkas and Theodoros Alexandridis
AbstractAuthor's information

    The article analyses the jurisprudence of international tribunals on the education and housing of Roma and Travellers to understand whether positive obligations can change the hearts and minds of the majority and promote minority identities. Case law on education deals with integration rather than cultural specificities, while in the context of housing it accommodates minority needs. Positive obligations have achieved a higher level of compliance in the latter context by requiring majorities to tolerate the minority way of life in overwhelmingly segregated settings. Conversely, little seems to have changed in education, where legal and institutional reform, as well as a shift in both majority and minority attitudes, would be necessary to dismantle social distance and generate mutual trust. The interlocking factors of accessibility, judicial activism, European politics, expectations of political allegiance and community resources explain jurisprudential developments. The weak justiciability of minority rights, the lack of resources internal to the community and dual identities among the Eastern Roma impede legal claims for culture-specific accommodation in education. Conversely, the protection of minority identity and community ties is of paramount importance in the housing context, subsumed under the right to private and family life.


Lilla Farkas
Lilla Farkas is a practising lawyer in Hungary and recently earned a PhD from the European University Institute entitled ‘Mobilising for racial equality in Europe: Roma rights and transnational justice’. She is the race ground coordinator of the European Union’s Network of Legal Experts in Gender Equality and Non-discrimination.

Theodoros Alexandridis
Theodoros Alexandridis is a practicing lawyer in Greece.
Article

Access_open New Sales and Contract Law in Argentina and France

Models for Reform Inspired by the CISG and the PICC?

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2020
Keywords contracts, sales, law reform, CISG, UNIDROIT Principles, Argentina, France, comparative law
Authors Edgardo Muñoz and Inés Morfín Kroepfly
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Argentine and the French civil codes have recently undergone substantial modifications to their contract law provisions. These novel statutes could serve as models for future B2B contract law reforms in Latin American jurisdictions and beyond, as former Argentine and French laws have done in the past. The authors offer a contribution that paves the way in that direction with a systematic comparative analysis. As a starting point, this article unveils the influence that the modern unified laws on contracts (UNIDROIT Principles on International Commercial Contracts (PICC) and United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods of 1980 (CISG)) have in Argentina’s and France’s new contract law. It also highlights the most obvious similarities and differences in both sets of rules. This contribution goes beyond simple tertium comparisons; the authors analyse which of the two laws offers better, or more effective, rules to achieve the desired contract law functions in various matters. Readers are provided with the best rule or solution to address the problem in question and, as the authors hope, they should conclude that both models provide for a range of complementary solutions for modern contract law reforms.


Edgardo Muñoz
Professor of Law, Universidad Panamericana. School of Law. Calzada Álvaro del Portillo 49, Zapopan, Jalisco, 45010, Mexico. Ph.D. (Basel), LL.M. (UC Berkeley), LL.M. (Liverpool), LL.B. (UIA Mexico), DEUF (Lyon), emunoz@up.edu.mx.

Inés Morfín Kroepfly
Ines Morfin Kroepfly, J.D., Universidad Panamericana, Guadalajara.
Rulings

ECJ 4 June 2020, case C-588/18 (Fetico and others), Working Time, Paid Leave

Federación de Trabajadores Independientes de Comercio (Fetico), Federación Estatal de Servicios, Movilidad y Consumo de la Unión General de Trabajadores (FESMC-UGT), Federación de Servicios de Comisiones Obreras (CCOO) – v – Grupo de Empresas DIA SA, Twins Alimentación SA, Spanish case

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 2 2020
Keywords Working Time, Paid Leave
Abstract

    Articles 5 and 7 of Directive 2003/88 do not apply to national rules providing for special leave on days when workers are required to work, when these days occur during weekly rest periods or paid annual leave.

Article

The Case Between Urgenda and the State of the Netherlands

Journal Hungarian Yearbook of International Law and European Law, Issue 1 2020
Keywords climate change, public interest litigation, human rights, ECHR, Netherlands
Authors Otto Spijkers
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Supreme Court of the Netherlands held that the Netherlands’ Government must ensure that, by the end of 2020, greenhouse gas emission levels from the Netherlands are at least a quarter below 1990 levels, otherwise the rights to life and wellbeing, as guaranteed under Articles 2 and 8 ECHR respectively, of the people in the Netherlands are breached. In doing so, the Supreme Court affirmed the reasoning and ruling of the Appeals Court, and distanced itself from the reasoning of the District Court, which was primarily based on domestic tort law.


Otto Spijkers
Otto Spijkers: professor of law, China Institute of Boundary and Ocean Studies (CIBOS) of Wuhan University.
Article

The Role of the Seat in Smart Contract Disputes

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2020
Keywords smart contracts, international commercial arbitration, blockchain technology, online arbitration
Authors Diana Itzel Santana Galindo
AbstractAuthor's information

    Over the past few decades, international commercial arbitration has experienced major developments in various fields. A major recent development that will spread widely in the years to come relates to technology and the necessity of international commercial arbitration to adapt to the new needs of the market. The path of technological development in commerce is determined by forces other than the needs of legal practitioners. Moreover, the lack of real connection to a sole place, in disputes where the multi-parties have not selected the seat, can create serious obstacles for the arbitral proceedings in blockchain technology disputes. In this regard, smart contracts, however, appear to have identifiable parties with an identified physical point of connection that ultimately can be adapted to the existing place of the arbitration theory within the international arbitration legal framework.


Diana Itzel Santana Galindo
LL.M. graduate in Comparative and International Dispute Resolution at Queen Mary University of London. Legal internship experiences at the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board (KCAB International), Beijing Arbitration Commission (BAC/BIAC), and the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC).
Article

E-Measures

International Arbitral Institutions’ Responses to COVID-19

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2020
Keywords international arbitration institutions, COVID-19, availability of e-filing, e-measures
Authors Kendra Magraw
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article will briefly and non-exhaustively examine the emergency measures taken by some international arbitral institutions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Such emergency measures, as will be seen, were primarily and due to necessity geared towards moving arbitrations online. Section 1 briefly describes some reasons why the status quo prior to COVID-19 for certain arbitral institutions likely made it necessary to implement e-measures: in other words, it will provide examples of the types of constraints that may have previously prevented arbitral institutions from being more electronic/online. Section 2 broadly identifies the e-measures taken by arbitral institutions, and extracts some general trends therefrom. Finally, Section 3 will offer some brief conclusions and thoughts concerning the future of such e-measures.


Kendra Magraw
Kendra Magraw is a doctoral candidate in international law at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland.
Article

Access_open Recourse to Mediation in Times of Crisis

Is Business Ripe for a New Approach That Saves Time and Preserves Relationships, Also in the Field of Competition Law?

Journal Corporate Mediation Journal, Issue 1 2020
Keywords cross-border mediation, crises, Covid-19
Authors Pierre Kirch
AbstractAuthor's information

    The purpose of this article is to share some practical reflections on cross-border mediation and its application to Private Competition Disputes in Europe, at this time of crisis. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a rethinking of methods of dispute resolution, everywhere. In Europe, whether before the European Union courts in Luxembourg or the civil and commercial courts in the Member States, judicial procedures are at a standstill at the time of writing (mid-2020). Once the courts get going again, it will probably take years to get the judicial system back in good working order. It may be necessary to take shortcuts to get the system back in shape, such as cancellation of hearings, recourse to summary forms of justice, etc. That is not what the parties bargained for at the outset of their judicial procedure.


Pierre Kirch
Avocat à la Cour (Paris & Brussels Bars), Partner, Paul Hastings (Europe) LLP, mediator certified by the Centre de Médiation et d’Arbitrage de Paris (CMAP, Paris) and the Center for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR, London).
Article

European Water Law and Uncertainty

Managing Hydrological Variability in Shared River Basins in the EU

Journal Hungarian Yearbook of International Law and European Law, Issue 1 2019
Keywords hydrological variability, transboundary water governance, EU water law, shared river basins, variability management
Authors Gábor Baranyai
AbstractAuthor's information

    Hydrological variability has been on the rise in the past decades with dramatic consequences for water management on the national and international plane alike. Yet, most legal regimes governing the use and protection of water resources reflect a high degree of rigidity presuming that hydrological conditions prevailing at the time of their conception remain stable indefinitely. The mismatch between rigid legal frameworks and rapidly changing natural conditions are likely to give rise to new types of interstate conflicts in shared river basins (or accentuate existing ones), since historically the adoption of (new) transboundary governance regimes has been very slow and reactive in character. While the EU has been praised worldwide as an exemplary model of co-riparian cooperation, its multi-layered water governance regime also deserves a comprehensive fitness check that, among others, should evaluate its ability to handle the growing uncertainty surrounding underlying hydrological circumstances. This article provides a resilience assessment of European water law from the perspective of the management of hydrological variability.


Gábor Baranyai
Senior lecturer, National University of Public Service, Budapest.
Article

Access_open Het 100-jarige bestaan van de Vereeniging voor Wijsbegeerte des Rechts

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2019
Keywords oprichting, doelstelling, band met de rechtspraktijk, rechtsfilosofie en rechtstheorie, internationalisering (van Duits naar Engels)
Authors Corjo Jansen
AbstractAuthor's information

    De Vereeniging voor Wijsbegeerte des Rechts (VWR) is opgericht op 28 december 1918. Zij had tot doel de studie van de rechtsfilosofie en het maatschappelijk leven. Deze studie moest tevens relevant zijn voor de rechtspraktijk. Vanaf haar oprichting kende de VWR een sterke internationale oriëntatie, aanvankelijk gericht op Duitsland, later vooral op het Verenigd Koninkrijk en de VS. In de jaren zeventig en tachtig van de vorige eeuw beleefde de VWR wat betreft belangstelling en ledenaantal haar hoogtepunt. In 2016 besloot zij – na een gestage neergang – de band met de Nederlandstalige (praktijk)jurist weer aan te halen.


Corjo Jansen
Corjo Jansen is hoogleraar Rechtsgeschiedenis en Burgerlijk recht en voorzitter van het Onderzoekcentrum Onderneming & Recht van de Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen.
Article

The Impact of Growth Markets in the Downstream Sector

The Parameters for Connectivity and Services: Beyond Outer Space Law

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 4 2015
Authors Lesley Jane Smith
Author's information

Lesley Jane Smith
Leuphana University of Lueneburg, Germany
Article

Access_open Unexpected Circumstances arising from World War I and its Aftermath: ‘Open’ versus ‘Closed’ Legal Systems

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 2 2014
Keywords First World War, law of obligations, unforeseen circumstances, force majeure, frustration of contracts
Authors Janwillem Oosterhuis Ph.D.
AbstractAuthor's information

    European jurisdictions can be distinguished in ‘open’ and ‘closed’ legal systems in respect of their approach to unexpected circumstances occurring in contractual relations. In this article, it will be argued that this distinction can be related to the judiciary’s reaction in certain countries to the economic consequences of World War I. The first point to be highlighted will be the rather strict approach to unexpected circumstances in contract law that many jurisdictions had before the war – including England, France, Germany, and the Netherlands. Secondly, the judicial approach in England, France, Germany, and the Netherlands to unexpected circumstances arising from the war will be briefly analysed. It will appear that all of the aforementioned jurisdictions remained ‘closed’. Subsequently, the reaction of the judiciary in these jurisdictions to the economic circumstances in the aftermath of the war, (hyper)inflation in particular, will be analysed. Germany, which experienced hyperinflation in the immediate aftermath of the war, developed an ‘open’ system, using the doctrine of the Wegfall der Geschäftsgrundlage. In the Netherlands, this experience failed to have an impact: indeed, in judicial practice the Netherlands appears to have a ‘closed’ legal system nevertheless, save for an ‘exceptional’ remedy in the new Dutch Civil Code, Article 6:258 of the Burgerlijk Wetboek (1992). In conclusion, the hypothesis is put forward that generally only in jurisdictions that have experienced exceptional economic upheaval, such as the hyperinflation in the wake of World War I, ‘exceptional’ remedies addressing unexpected circumstances can have a lasting effect on the legal system.


Janwillem Oosterhuis Ph.D.
Janwillem Oosterhuis is Assistant Professor in Methods and Foundations of Law at the Maastricht University Faculty of Law.

George Anthony Long
Fountain Hills, Arizona, USA

Andreas Loukakis
Ph.D. Candidate, Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance, University of Luxembourg.

    D'après le Code civil, et ce dè s son origine, la séparation du couple marié peut donner lieu à une obligation légale de payer au conjoint, ou à l'ancien conjoint, une pension censée couvrir ses besoins. En dehors du mariage, point de lien alimentaire prévu par la loi. Depuis 1804, deux évolutions sociales majeures ont cependant changé le visage de la vie de couple. D'un côté, elle ne passe plus nécessairement par le mariage. D'un autre côté, seule sa dimension affective est censée lui donner sens, ce qui la rend éminemment fragile. La question se pose dè s lors de savoir si le lien alimentaire qui existe actuellement en droit belge entre conjoints désunis répond encore de maniè re adéquate et pertinente aux modes de fonctionnement de l'économie conjugale.
    ---
    According to the Civil code, and in view of its development, the separation of a married couple can give rise to a legal obligation to pay maintenance to the other spouse, or ex-spouse, in order to cover his or her needs. In contrast, outside marriage, no statutory maintenance is available. However, since 1804, two major social evolutions have changed the way of life of couples. On the one hand, maintenance no longer flows inevitably from marriage. On the other hand, only the ‘love’ dimension of a relationship supports the provision of maintenance, which makes this claim eminently fragile.
    The question then arises as to whether the maintenance between separated spouses which is presently provided for under Belgian law still adequately and appropriately serves the functioning of the conjugal economy.
    In addition, the absence of maintenance rights for unmarried couples also raises questions. The contribution proposes a reconsideration of the right to maintenance between all couples, married or not, on the basis of other justifications, in particular the solidarity which couples establish during their shared lives.


Dr. Nathalie Dandoy
Nathalie Dandoy is lecturer at the catholic University of Louvain. She is member of the research centre of Family Law (Cefap-UCL). Her main research area concerns the maintenance rights between family members. She is member of editorial committee of Revue trimestrielle de droit familial and Journal des Juges de paix et de police.
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