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Article

e-Court – Dutch Alternative Online Resolution of Debt Collection Claims

A Violation of the Law or Blessing in Disguise?

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2019
Keywords fair trial, money claims, judiciary, ECHR, arbitration
Authors Willemien Netjes and Arno R. Lodder
AbstractAuthor's information

    In 2017, the Dutch alternative dispute resolution (ADR) initiative e-Court handled 20,000 debt collection claims via an online arbitration procedure, and this number was expected to double in 2018. In September of that same year, the Chairman for the Council of the Judiciary, Frits Bakker, argued on the Day for the Judiciary that in the future most lawsuits can be handled automatically and that a robot judge could work fast, efficiently and cheaply. However, in January 2018, Frits Bakker seemed to have changed his mind and criticized e-Court for its lack of impartiality, lack of transparency, unlawfully denying people the right to a state Court, and for being a ‘robot judge’. Ultimately, all criticism boiled down to one issue: that the defendant’s right to a fair trial was not sufficiently protected in e-Court’s procedure. This accusation led to a huge media outcry, and as a result Courts were no longer willing to grant an exequatur to e-Court’s arbitral awards until the Supreme Court had given its approval. This forced e-Court to temporarily halt its services. Questions such as ‘is arbitration desirable in the case of bulk debt collection procedures?’ and ‘are arbitration agreements in standard terms of consumer contracts desirable?’ are relevant and important, but inherently political. In this article, we argue that the conclusion of the judiciary and media that e-Court’s procedure is in breach of the right to a fair trial is not substantiated by convincing legal arguments. Our aim is not to evaluate whether online arbitration is the best solution to the debt collection claim congestion of Courts in the Netherlands, but instead to assess e-Court’s procedure in the light of Article 6 of the European Convention of Human Rights. The conclusion is that e-Court’s procedure sufficiently guarantees the right to a fair trial and thus that the criticism expressed was of a political rather than legal nature.


Willemien Netjes
Faculty of Law, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Arno R. Lodder
Article

Digital Identity for Refugees and Disenfranchised Populations

The ‘Invisibles’ and Standards for Sovereign Identity

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2019
Keywords digital identity, sovereign identity, standards, online dispute resolution, refugees, access to justice
Authors Daniel Rainey, Scott Cooper, Donald Rawlins e.a.
AbstractAuthor's information

    This white paper reviews the history of identity problems for refugees and disenfranchised persons, assesses the current state of digital identity programmes based in nation-states, offers examples of non-state digital ID programmes that can be models to create strong standards for digital ID programmes, and presents a call to action for organizations like International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).


Daniel Rainey
Daniel Rainey is a Board Member, InternetBar.Org (IBO), and Board Member, International Council for Online Dispute Resolution (ICODR)

Scott Cooper
Scott Cooper is a Vice President, American National Standards Institute (retired).

Donald Rawlins
Donald Rawlins is a Candidate (May 2019), Master of Arts in Dispute Resolution, Southern Methodist University.

Kristina Yasuda
Kristina Yasuda is a Director of Digital Identities for the InternetBar.org and a consultant with Accenture Strategy advising large Japanese corporations on their digital identity and blockchain strategy.

Tey Al-Rjula
Tey Al-Rjula is CEO and Founder of Tykn.tech.

Manreet Nijjar
Manreet Nijjar is CEO and Co-founder of truu.id, Member of the Royal College Of Physicians (UK), IEEE Blockchain Healthcare Subcommittee on Digital Identity, UK All Party Parliamentary Group on Blockchain and Sovrin Guardianship task force committee.
Article

The Pull of Unbiased AI Mediators

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2019
Keywords automation, artificial intelligence, algorithm development, mediation, pull style communication
Authors Chris Draper
AbstractAuthor's information

    There is significant concern in the access to justice community that expanding current count-based online dispute resolution (ODR) efforts will further exacerbate the systemic inequities present in the American justice system. This well-founded fear stems from the fact that current ODR tools typically calibrate artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms with past outcomes so that any future cases are consistently analysed and filtered in a manner that produces similar results. As courts consider ODR tools for more complicated cases that often require mediation, there is significant disagreement on whether it is possible to create an AI mediator and how that could be achieved. This article argues that an effective AI mediator could be created if its design focuses not on the outcomes achieved by the mediation but on the manner of the communication prompts used by the AI mediator.


Chris Draper
Chris Draper, PhD, PE, is the Managing Director of Trokt, responsible for guiding the development, adoption and growth of the Trokt Online Dispute Resolution platform. Dr. Draper is a trained engineer with a focus on human-technology interface risks, a certified mediator with a focus on special needs education conflicts, and an expert on the evaluation of highly complex systems that assist in the human management of legally sensitive data. Dr. Draper received his Bachelor of Science from the University of California at Berkeley and his Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Glasgow.
Article

Mobile Online Dispute Resolution Tools’ Potential Applications for Government Offices

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2019
Keywords mobile online dispute resolution, MODR, ODR, computer mediated communication, dispute prevention, workplace conflict
Authors Stephanie Gustin and Norman Dolan
AbstractAuthor's information

    Online communication practices have become intrinsic to government work environments. Understanding the impact of these practices, whether they be general computer mediated communication (CMC) or specifically online dispute resolution (ODR) processes, is an essential step in supporting respectful and healthy work environments. ODR literature focuses almost exclusively on e-commerce, leaving large gaps in the body of knowledge as ODR applications diversify. Available ODR tools, which simply transpose traditional alternative dispute resolution (ADR) processes online through the use of office videoconferencing systems, are not mobile and do not utilize the full capabilities of the existing technology. This article explores the potential impacts mobile ODR (MODR) tools could have on the dispute interventions and prevention initiatives in government office settings. The study used an exploratory model to establish an understanding of the experiences and needs of Canadian and Australian government employees. Findings demonstrate an interest in the introduction of education-oriented MODR tools as supplementary support with the purposes of knowledge retention and further skill development following dispute prevention training. Findings suggest that workplace attitudes towards online communication and ODR have a significant impact on the extent to which individuals successfully develop and maintain relationships either fully or partially through the use of CMC.


Stephanie Gustin
Stephanie Gustin holds an MA in Dispute Resolution from the University of Victoria, Canada.

Norman Dolan
Norman Dolan holds a PhD in Public Administration and is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the School of Public Administration at the University of Victoria, Canada.
Article

World Justice Forum VI

Insights and Takeaways

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2019
Keywords World Justice Forum, World Justice Project, World Justice Report, online dispute resolution, technology, access to justice, Justice Layer of the Internet
Authors Jeffrey Aresty and Larry Bridgesmith
AbstractAuthor's information

    In May 2019, the World Justice Project (WJP) convened its sixth annual conference to explore the state of access to justice (A2J) in the global context. World Justice Forum VI met in The Hague and published the most recent A2J report compiled after a year of analysis and based on more than a decade of public, government and citizen data. Measuring the Justice Gap revealed less than optimistic data reflecting the lack of significant progress toward fulfilling the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 16: achieving just, peaceful and inclusive societies by 2030. The 2019 conference showcased many global initiatives seeking to narrow the justice gap. For the most part these initiatives rely on institutional action by governments, financial institutions and NGO’s. As important as these projects are, transforming the access to justice status of the world can also be achieved through actions focused on Justice at the Layer of the Internet. A consensus based governance model can build a legal framework which is not reliant on the enactment of laws, the promulgation of regulations or overcoming the inertia of institutional inaction. This article reviews the learning gleaned from the WJP and the 2019 Forum. It also seeks to augment the great work of the WJP by exploring the potential for justice as delivered by individuals joined in consensus and relying on emerging technologies.


Jeffrey Aresty
Jeff Aresty is an international business and e-commerce lawyer with 35 years of experience in international cyberlaw technology transfer. He is the Founder and President of the InternetBar.Org.

Larry Bridgesmith
Larry Bridgesmith J.D., is CEO of LegalAlignment LLC, a practicing lawyer in Nashville, Tennessee, and Professor of Law at Vanderbilt University and coordinator of its programme on law and innovation.
Article

Managing Procedural Expectations in Small Claims ODR

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2019
Keywords fair trial, procedural justice, natural justice, waiver, small claims, consumer disputes, proportionality
Authors Fabien Gélinas
AbstractAuthor's information

    In this article, the author reflects on the appropriate place of traditional procedural guarantees in the resolution of consumer and small claims disputes using online tools. After examining the key aspects of procedural justice that constitute the right to a fair trial and analysing its effects on procedures designed for low-value disputes, the article argues for a flexible approach that takes procedural proportionality seriously.


Fabien Gélinas
Fabien Gélinas is Sir Wiliam C. Macdonald Professor of Law, McGill University, Co-Founder of the Montreal Cyberjustice Laboratory and Head of the Private Justice and the Rule of Law Research Team. The preparation of this article was made possible by grants from the SSHRC and the FQRSC. Thanks go to Dr Giacomo Marchisio and Ms Leyla Bahmany for their kind assistance. This article was originally published in Immaculada Barral (ed.) La resolución de conflictos con consumidores: de la mediation a las ODR (Madrid: Editorial Reus, 2018).
Article

Access_open Fenomenologie van het proces van bewijzen in strafzaken

Over de noodzaak van het vooroordeel

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2019
Authors Thomas Jacobus de Jong
Abstract

    In deze bijdrage staat de activiteit van bewijzen in strafzaken centraal. Betoogd wordt dat de vigerende rationalistische opvatting van strafrechtelijk bewijzen eraan voorbij gaat dat het bewijzen zich allereerst voltrekt op een vóór-reflectief niveau. Het primaire blikveld van de mens is namelijk niet het objectiverende kennen, zoals in de rationele bewijstheorieën wordt voorondersteld, maar de praktische relatie tot de wereld. In dit kader wordt eerst de filosofische achtergrond van de rationalistische bewijsopvatting in kaart gebracht, in het bijzonder de invloed van Aristoteles en Descartes. Vervolgens worden de daaruit voortkomende bevindingen aan de hand van ideeën en inzichten die zijn ontleend aan de existentiële fenomenologie kritisch gewaardeerd. Dit leidt tot de uiteenzetting van een hermeneutische opvatting van strafrechtelijk bewijzen.


Thomas Jacobus de Jong
Article

Access_open Broken rules, ruined lives

Een verkenning van de normativiteit van de onrechtservaring

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2019
Keywords onrecht, Slachtofferrechten, Benjamin, Shklar
Authors Nanda Oudejans and Antony Pemberton
AbstractAuthor's information

    Hoewel de rechtspositie van slachtoffers de afgelopen decennia verstevigd lijkt, blijft de relatie tussen slachtoffer en strafrecht ongemakkelijk. Rechtswetenschappers tonen zich bezorgd dat de toenemende aandacht voor de belangen van slachtoffers uitmondt in ‘geïnstitutionaliseerde wreedheid.’ Deze zorg wordt echter gevoed door een verkeerd begrip van slachtofferschap en heeft slecht begrepen wat het slachtoffer nu eigenlijk van het recht verlangt. Deze bijdrage probeert de vraag van het slachtoffer aan het recht tot begrip te brengen. Wij zullen de onrechtservaring van het slachtoffer conceptualiseren als een ontologisch alleen en verlaten zijn van het slachtoffer. Het aanknopingspunt om de relatie tussen slachtoffer en recht opnieuw te denken zoeken wij in deze verlatenheid. De kern van het betoog is dat het slachtoffer (mede) in het recht beschutting zoekt tegen deze verlatenheid, maar ook altijd onvermijdelijk tegen de grenzen van het recht aanloopt. Van een rechtssysteem dat zich volledig uitlevert aan de noden van slachtoffers kan dan ook geen sprake zijn. Integendeel, het recht moet zijn belang voor slachtoffers deels zien in de onderkenning van zijn eigen beperkingen om onrecht te keren, in plaats van de onrechtservaring van het slachtoffer weg te moffelen, te koloniseren of ridiculiseren.


Nanda Oudejans
Nanda Oudejans is universitair docent rechtsfilosofie aan de Universiteit Utrecht.

Antony Pemberton
Antony Pemberton is hoogleraar victimologie aan Tilburg University.
Article

Access_open Philosophy and Law in Ancient Rome

Traces of Stoic Syllogisms and Ontology of Language in Proculus’s Jurisprudence

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2019
Keywords Stoicism, Roman Law, Theory of Language, Syllogisms, Classical Jurisprudence
Authors Pedro Savaget Nascimento
AbstractAuthor's information

    This paper uses Stoic theory of language to gain more insight into Roman lawyer Proculus’s legal opinions on the meaning and understanding of ambiguous testaments, wills and dowries. After summarizing Stoic theory of language, the paper discusses its reception in Roman jurisprudence and situates Proculus in a Stoic legal/philosophical context. The meat of the article lies in the re-examination of Proculus’s legal opinions on ambiguities in light of Stoic theory of language, through: (1) the analysis of a case demonstrating that Proculus’s embeddedness in Stoic doctrine went beyond his technical competence in propositional syllogisms, going into the territory of Stoic physical materialism and, (2) the investigation of four cases that reveal how his approach to problems of ambiguity in unilateral legal acts converges with the Stoic conception of the parallelism between speech and thought.


Pedro Savaget Nascimento
Pedro Savaget Nascimento holds a PhD in Law and Language from the University of Birmingham (UK) and currently works as Research Designer in Belo Horizonte (Brazil).
Article

Access_open De dialectiek bij Paul Scholten: haar aard, oorsprong en bronnen

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2019
Keywords Paul Scholten, dialectiek, existentialisme, Artificiële Intelligentie, ethische theologie
Authors Wim Borst
AbstractAuthor's information

    Een bekend kenmerk van Scholtens beschouwingswijze was zijn dialectiek.
    Langemeijer heeft de aard ervan scherp geduid, maar erkend in het duister te tasten over haar oorsprong en bronnen. Hegel en Barth komen niet in aanmerking. Ik wijs op de betekenis die de theoloog P.D. Chantepie de la Saussaye (1848-1920) gehad kan hebben voor de ontwikkeling van Scholtens denken, zowel inhoudelijk als qua dialectiek. Sommige contemporaine auteurs lijken Scholten schatplichtig te achten aan Kierkegaard; ik acht dat te speculatief. Moderne digitale technologie opent potentieel grote mogelijkheden voor de toepassing van computers en artificiële intelligentie (AI) in de rechtspleging. Scholtens dialectiek stelt ons voor fundamentele rechtsfilosofische vragen ten aanzien van de mogelijkheid en wenselijkheid van ‘rechtspraak door computers’.


Wim Borst
Wim Borst is beleidsadviseur op het Ministerie van Justitie en Veiligheid.
Article

Access_open De tijd van gewortelde vreemdelingen

Een filosofische analyse van tijd en worteling als grond voor verblijfsaanspraken van vreemdelingen

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2019
Keywords migratierecht, vreemdelingen, tijd, identiteit, vanzelfsprekend worden
Authors Martijn Stronks
Abstract

    In dit artikel wordt langs wijsgerige weg de verhouding tussen tijd, identiteit en het verlenen van (sterkere) verblijfsaanspraken aan migranten onderzocht en verhelderd door een nieuwe betekenis van de term worteling voor te stellen. Want wat is worteling nu eigenlijk? Het is de relatie tussen menselijke tijd, worteling en het migratierecht die in dit artikel filosofisch wordt uitgediept. Dit om te verklaren waarom we in het migratierecht vreemdelingen in het algemeen na verloop van tijd sterkere aanspraken verlenen. In dit artikel wordt betoogd dat het verblijf van vreemdelingen op het grondgebied ervoor zorgt dat hun leven aldaar na verloop van tijd een vanzelfsprekend onderdeel uitmaakt van hun identiteit, en van het leven van anderen. Het is dit vanzelfsprekend worden van mensen door de tijd dat de grond is voor het bestaan van formele tijdscriteria voor insluiting in het migratierecht.


Martijn Stronks
Article

Access_open Mobile Individualism: The Subjectivity of EU Citizenship

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2019
Keywords Individualism, EU Citizenship, Depoliticisation, Mobile Individualism, Citizenship and Form of Life
Authors Aristel Skrbic
AbstractAuthor's information

    The central aim of this article is to analyse the manner in which the legal structure of EU citizenship subjectifies Union citizens. I begin by explicating Alexander Somek’s account of individualism as a concept which captures EU citizenship and propose to update his analysis by coining the notion of mobile individualism. By looking at a range of CJEU’s case law on EU citizenship through the lens of the purely internal rule and the transnational character of EU citizenship, I suggest that movement sits at the core of EU citizenship. In order to adequately capture this unique structure of citizenship, we need a concept of individualism which takes movement rather than depoliticisation as its central object of analysis. I propose that the notion of mobile individualism can best capture the subjectivity of a model EU citizen, a citizen who is a-political due to being mobile.


Aristel Skrbic
Aristel Skrbic is a PhD candidate and teaching and research assistant at the Institute of Philosophy at the KU Leuven.
Article

Split Offer and Homogeneous Response in Belgium

The Conceptual and Empirical Limitations of (De)Nationalization

Journal Politics of the Low Countries, Issue 2 2019
Keywords (de-)nationalization, voting behaviour, party offer, voter response, methodological nationalism
Authors Luana Russo, Kris Deschouwer and Tom Verthé
AbstractAuthor's information

    By examining the Belgian case, this article aims to show that methodological nationalism is strongly present in the literature on nationalization of party offer and voting behaviour. In nationalization studies, Belgium is often presented as a typical example of a denationalized country. This is true for the party offer, as it is de facto split between the two language groups since the 1980s, and therefore also voter response at the national level. However, voter response within each separate subnational party system is very homogeneous and shows interesting differences between these party systems that inform us about important electoral dynamics. We argue, on the basis of our results, that rather than stretching the concept of nationalization, it is preferable and justified to treat the concepts of nationalization of the party offer and homogenization of voter response as analytically distinct and not as two sides of the same coin.


Luana Russo
Luana Russo, Maastricht University.

Kris Deschouwer
Kris Deschouwer, Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

Tom Verthé
Tom Verthé, Ghent University & Vrije Universiteit Brussel.
Article

Fiscal Consolidation in Federal Belgium

Collective Action Problem and Solutions

Journal Politics of the Low Countries, Issue 2 2019
Keywords fiscal consolidation, fiscal policy, federalism, intergovernmental relations, High Council of Finance
Authors Johanna Schnabel
AbstractAuthor's information

    Fiscal consolidation confronts federal states with a collective action problem, especially in federations with a tightly coupled fiscal regime such as Belgium. However, the Belgian federation has successfully solved this collective action problem even though it lacks the political institutions that the literature on dynamic federalism has identified as the main mechanisms through which federal states achieve cooperation across levels of government. This article argues that the regionalization of the party system, on the one hand, and the rationalization of the deficit problem by the High Council of Finance, on the other, are crucial to understand how Belgium was able to solve the collective action problem despite its tightly coupled fiscal regime and particularly high levels of deficits and debts. The article thus emphasizes the importance of compromise and consensus in reducing deficits and debts in federal states.


Johanna Schnabel
School of Politics and International Relations, University of Kent, Rutherford College, Canterbury CT2 7NX, United Kingdom.
Article

Access_open What Is Left of the Radical Right?

The Economic Agenda of the Dutch Freedom Party 2006-2017

Journal Politics of the Low Countries, Issue 2 2019
Keywords radical right-wing populist parties, economic policies, welfare chauvinism, populism, deserving poor
Authors Simon Otjes
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article examines the economic agenda of the Dutch Freedom Party. It finds that this party mixes left-wing and right-wing policy positions. This inconsistency can be understood through the group-based account of Ennser-Jedenastik (2016), which proposes that the welfare state agenda of radical right-wing populist parties can be understood in terms of populism, nativism and authoritarianism. Each of these elements is linked to a particular economic policy: economic nativism, which sees the economic interest of natives and foreigners as opposed; economic populism, which seeks to limit economic privileges for the elite; and economic authoritarianism, which sees the interests of deserving and undeserving poor as opposed. By using these different oppositions, radical right-wing populist parties can reconcile left-wing and right-wing positions.


Simon Otjes
Assistant professor of political science at Leiden University and researcher at the Documentation Centre Dutch Political Parties of Groningen University.
Article

Constitutional Resilience and Unamendability

Amendment Powers as Mechanisms of Constitutional Resilience

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2019
Keywords constitutional change, constitutional resilience, unamendability, constitutional identity
Authors Xenophon Contiades and Alkmene Fotiadou
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article aims to explore the relationship between unamendability and constitutional resilience. Inspired by Roznai’s theory on the limits of amendment powers, this article seeks to examine how such limits may function as a mechanism of constitutional resilience exploring how unamendability may impact the resilience of a constitution, allowing it to withstand crises while retaining its core functions. The key question is whether entrenchment enhances resilience through its protective shield or, by contrast, fetters resilience by foreclosing adaptability – what does not bend often breaks. The complex relationship between unamendability and constitutional resilience unfolds in the context of different amendment patterns.


Xenophon Contiades
Xenophon Contiades is Professor of Public Law, Panteion University; Managing Director of the Centre for European Constitutional Law, Athens, Greece.

Alkmene Fotiadou
Alkmene Fotiadou is Research Fellow, Centre for European Constitutional Law.
Article

The Eternity Clause

Lessons from the Czech Example

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2019
Keywords eternity clause, constitutional amendment, Czech Republic
Authors Ondřej Preuss
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article presents lessons from the Czech example of the so-called Eternity Clause’ i.e. a legal standard declaring certain principles, values or specific constitutional provisions to be unalterable and irrevocable. The Eternity Clause is viewed and applied in the Czech Republic as a substantive legal ‘instrument’ that enables society to preserve its values. It is used to limit practical ‘power’ and to maintain desired values and the political system.
    That the Eternity clause is a practical instrument has already been proved by the Czech Constitutional Court in its famous ‘Melcák’ decision. However, recent developments show that the Czech Constitutional Court is no longer open to such a ‘radical’ approach. Nonetheless, it still seems that the court is prepared to defend the values of liberal democracy, just not in such a spectacular way. It is, therefore, more up to the political actors or the people themselves to use Eternity Clause arguments to protect liberal democracy and its values.


Ondřej Preuss
Faculty of Law, Charles University (preuss@prf.cuni.cz). This article was written under the “Progress 04: Law in a Transforming World” programme.
Article

From Supra-Constitutional Principles to the Misuse of Constituent Power in Israel

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2019
Keywords unconstitutional constitutional amendment, constitutional law, constitutional principles, constituent power, Israel, judicial review
Authors Suzie Navot and Yaniv Roznai
AbstractAuthor's information

    Israel has no one official document known as ‘the Constitution’ and for nearly half a century was based on the principle of parliamentary sovereignty. Still, since the ‘constitutional revolution’ of the 1990s, Israel’s supreme norms are expressed in its basic laws and laws are subject to judicial review. This situation is the result of the enactment of two basic laws dealing with human rights in 1992 – which included a limitation clause – and of a judicial decision of monumental significance in 1995, the Bank Hamizrahi case. In that decision, the Supreme Court stated that all basic laws – even if not entrenched – have constitutional status, and therefore the currently accepted approach is that the Knesset indeed dons two hats, functioning as both a legislature and a constituent authority. The novelty of the Bank Hamizrahi decision lies in its notion of a permanent, ongoing constituent authority. The Knesset actually holds the powers of a constitutional assembly, and legislation titled ‘Basic-Law’ is the product of constituent power. Though it is neither complete nor perfect, Israel’s constitution – that is, basic laws – addresses a substantial number of the issues covered by formal constitutions of other democratic states. Furthermore, though this formal constitution is weak and limited, it is nonetheless a constitution that defends the most important human rights through effective judicial review.
    Still, given the ease with which changes can be made to basic laws, the special standing of basic laws differs from the standing generally conferred on a constitution. Most basic laws are not entrenched, which means that the Knesset can alter a basic law by a regular majority. Over the past few years, there has been a tendency towards ad casum amendments of basic laws. These amendments are usually adopted against a background of political events that demand an immediate response on the part of the Knesset. The latter then chooses the path of constitutional – not regular – legislation, which is governed by a relatively smooth legislative passage procedure. Even provisional constitutional amendments were passed with relative ease followed by petitions presented to the Supreme Court, arguing that the Knesset’s constituent power is actually being ‘abused’.
    These petitions, as well as Israel’s peculiar constitutional development, presented the Supreme Court with several questions as to the power for judicial review of basic laws. Thus far, the Court’s endorsement of judicial review was based on the limitation clause found in both basic laws on human rights, but limitation clauses do not establish the criteria for a constitutional violation by constitution provisions. Does this mean that the Knesset’s constituent power is omnipotent?
    This article examines the almost unique position of Israeli jurisprudence in relation to the doctrine of ‘unconstitutional constitutional amendments’. It focuses on the possibility of applying the doctrine in the Israeli case laws, the often-raised notion of ‘supra-constitutional’ values that would limit the Knesset’s constituent power, and a third – newly created – doctrine of abuse (or misuse) of constituent power. A central claim of this article is that in light of the unbearable ease with which basic laws can be amended in Israel, there is an increased justification for judicial review of basic laws.


Suzie Navot
Suzie Navot is Full Professor, the Haim Striks School of Law, College of Management Academic Studies, Rishon Lezion.

Yaniv Roznai
Yaniv Roznai is Senior Lecturer, Harry Radzyner Law School, Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya.
Article

Limited Constitutional Amendment Powers in Austria?

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2019
Keywords total revision, amendment, constitutional principles
Authors Manfred Stelzer
AbstractAuthor's information

    In Austria, constitutional amendments can be attained rather easily. A two-thirds majority in parliament allows for engineering constitutional amendments. The Austrian constitution only knows one exception to its flexibility: the principles of the constitution (‘Verfassungsprinzipien’). When the constitutional principles were to be affected by formal amendment in terms of a ‘total revision’ (‘Gesamtänderung’), a higher threshold needs to be met in order to engineer an amendment. In addition to a two-thirds majority in parliament, a referendum is required. Two questions are of particular interest: First, when does a constitutional amendment amount to a total revision and what are its limits? Second, and even more important, which core principles are recognized by the Austrian constitution and what is their content? These questions may be briefly outlined.


Manfred Stelzer
Manfred Stelzer is Professor of Public Law at the University of Vienna.
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.
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