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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.
Article

Treaties X Human Rights Treaties

A Critical Analysis of the Dual Stance on Treaties in the Brazilian Legal System

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2 2013
Keywords human rights, international treaties, hierarchy of the treaties
Authors Gustavo Ferreira Santos
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Constitution of the Federative Republic of Brazil provides two procedures for incorporating treaties into domestic law. Human rights treaties must be approved by a special quorum: it is necessary that of three-fifths of the members of each legislative house vote in favour, with two rounds in each chamber. This proceeding is similar to a constitutional amendment. Treaties on other subjects need only the approval of the majority. This system has been in place since 2004. The Brazilian Supreme Court decided that human rights treaties incorporated after 2004 have the same hierarchical level of constitutional provisions but human rights treaties enacted before that have the same hierarchical position of ordinary statutory laws. This system needs to be reformed in order to allow an easier integration with international law. All human rights treaties should have the same position as constitutional provisions.


Gustavo Ferreira Santos
Professor of Constitutional Law at the Federal University of Pernambuco and the Catholic University of Pernambuco. Holder of a scholarship awarded by CNPq (Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development for Research Productivity).
Article

The Controversy Surrounding Article 9 of the Law That Defines How Brazilian Laws Are Applied

The Difficult Path to Reform of Private International Law Legislation in Brazil

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2 2013
Keywords willingness, connecting element, controversy, Brazil
Authors Paul Hugo Weberbauer
AbstractAuthor's information

    This study aims to demonstrate that the legislative reform of Private International Law is one of the most complex subjects to be understood in terms of the Law in Brazil. With this objective, the point of reference of this study will be the controversy, which involves willingness as a connecting element, and is also known as the controversy around Article 9 of LINDB. By analyzing willingness as a connecting element within Brazilian legislation, a general panorama of the aforementioned Law is developed, as well as the debate of a doctrine nature about willingness as a connecting element and its insertion in the legal system in effect in Brazil. Finally, the difficulties encountered considering Brazil’s position towards international treaties and conventions, as well as the many attempts to reform Private International Law legislation will be analyzed.


Paul Hugo Weberbauer
Ph.D. in Law and Associate Professor of Recife Law School, Legal Sciences Centre at the Federal University of Pernambuco. Research Group: Regional integration, globalisation and International Law. E-mail: phwberbauer@hotmail.com.
Article

Federalist Distortions in the Organization of the Legislative Branch of Brazilian Government

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2 2013
Keywords Brazilian federalism, legislature, distortions
Authors Marcelo Labanca Corrêa de Araújo and Glauco Salomão Leite
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article examines the relationship between federalism and the legislature in Brazil. It examines distortions that occur in the structure of the federal legislature, in the powers conferred constitutionally and in the dynamics of legislative activity. It discusses how the role of the Senate as a house of representation of Member States has been mitigated, highlights the excessive concentration of legislative powers at the federal level and the suffocation of the autonomy of the state and municipal legislatures by the influx of the principle of symmetry.


Marcelo Labanca Corrêa de Araújo
Professor of Constitutional Law at the Catholic University of Pernambuco (undergraduate degree stricto sensu Postgraduate Program in Law). President of the OAB-Pernambuco’s Constitutional Studies Commission. CAPES grant for post-doctoral program abroad, at the University of Pisa’s Faculty of Law.

Glauco Salomão Leite
Professor of Constitutional Law at the Catholic University of Pernambuco. Professor of Public Law at the Federal University of Paraíba. Vice-President the OAB-Pernambuco’s Constitutional Studies Commission.
Article

Brazil and International Agreements

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2 2013
Keywords international agreements, Brazil, international scenario
Authors Eugênia Cristina Nilsen Ribeiro Barza
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article brings together an analysis about international agreements, highlighting their importance to States, either separately or in groups, considering aspects of the universal nature of their content, as well as regional aspects, stressing some particularities of the Brazilian legal system. It is based on the assumption that it is interesting for nation-States to participate in the elaboration of international agreements, although it is not always possible to implement them, their validity is not refuted or their efficacy denied. It is also relevant to reflect upon the international commitments internally, even more so when we see that the State will have to deal with a series of variables to validate such international commitments. At times when States are interdependent, the study about the participation of the State in the elaboration of international agreements is more than relevant, and is divided here in three perspectives. First, the participation of the State in regional agreements, highlighting the European experience of integration. Then, the Latin-American attempts at integration, from which MERCOSUL stands out, and, finally, matters unique to Brazil in light of international and regional challenges. At the end of this study, some answers as to how and why Brazil incorporates and implements its international agreements will be presented as final considerations.


Eugênia Cristina Nilsen Ribeiro Barza
Ph.D. in Law and Associate Professor of the Recife Law School, Legal Sciences Centre at the Federal University of Pernambuco, where she teaches Private International Law. Research Group: Regional integration, globalisation and International Law. E-mail: ecnrbarza@terra.com.br.
Article

Judicial Delegation of Administrative Acts During the Execution Phase or Execution Process

The Application of the Constitutional Principle of Efficiency, Under the Inspiration of Recent Portuguese Law Reforms

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2 2013
Keywords Brazilian constitutional principle of efficiency, enforcement agents in Portugal, delegation of judicial procedural administrative and enforcement acts, enforcement proceedings
Authors Rafael Cavalcanti Lemos
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Constitutional Amendment 45/2004 emphasized the need for efficiency in both administrative and judicial judgments in Brazil and introduced the right of a trial within reasonable time (Art. 5, item LXXVIII) in the 1988 Federal Constitution. Although more judges are needed to comply with this constitutional requirement, no statutory regulation was enacted to date to conform to it, particularly to allow judges to delegate administrative and enforcement functions to civil servants. However, given that fundamental rights have immediate applicability, the principle of efficiency must be implemented regardless of further regulation. In Portugal, judges are not required to order executive acts, which are conferred to an enforcement agent. A similar system should be adopted in Brazil, leaving judges time for decision-making. An efficient judicial service is essential to strengthen the image of the Judiciary and depends on this type of reforms.


Rafael Cavalcanti Lemos
Judge at the Pernambuco Court of Justice, Diploma in Civil Procedures Law, Federal University of Pernambuco.
Article

From Port Louis to Panama and Washington DC

Two Regional Approaches to International Commercial Arbitration

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2012
Keywords international commercial arbitration, OHADA, institutional arbitration, American Arbitration Association, regional law reform
Authors Jonathan Bashi Rudahindwa
AbstractAuthor's information

    In recent decades, regional efforts have been made to reform and harmonize the rules governing international arbitration. These efforts have resulted in the adoption of regional instruments governing commercial arbitration in specific areas. This paper analyzes the arbitration regimes created at a regional level in Africa and America, and particularly focuses on arbitral institutions that were created within the Organization for Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA) and within the Organization of American States (OAS). The objective of the paper is to identify any advantages provided by either regime, which can help improve regional and international commercial arbitration.


Jonathan Bashi Rudahindwa
LL.B (Kinshasa, D.R.Congo), LL.M (Indiana, USA), Doctoral candidate – School of Oriental and African Studies/University of London.
Article

Trade in Oil and Export Restrictions

Taking the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to the WTO Court

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2012
Keywords WTO, dispute settlement, US, OPEC, oil
Authors Bashar H. Malkawi
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), as seen by observers, resembles a greedy international cartel that preys on the public in defiance of market competition. High oil prices are considered as a principal cause of the US economic woes. Some US congressmen pinpointed OPEC’s alleged inconsistency with the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules and called upon the US administration to open dispute settlement proceedings against OPEC. This article discusses the legal issues arising from a US action at the WTO level against OPEC countries. The first sections of the article comprise an institutional review of the WTO and OPEC. The article addresses the interplay between the WTO and OPEC. It then illustrates the central provisions of the WTO that can be used for arguments and counter-arguments concerning such a WTO action. It culminates with a set of concluding thoughts.


Bashar H. Malkawi
Associate Professor of Commercial Law, University of Sharjah, UAE. He received his LL.B from Yarmouk University in 1999, LL.M from University of Arizona College of Law in 2001, S.J.D from American University, Washington College of Law in 2005. The author would especially like to thank the two outside reviewers for their direction, feedback and invaluable insight. He also thanks the law journal editors and staff writers for their hard work in polishing the article.
Article

In the Judicial Steps of Bolívar and Morazán?

Supranational Court Conversations Between Europe and Latin America

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2011
Keywords courts, dialogue, integration, regionalism, case-law
Authors Allan F. Tatham
AbstractAuthor's information

    This paper explores the issues of judicial dialogue and constitutional migrations between the European Court of Justice (‘ECJ’) and Latin American regional courts. It considers the impact of the ECJ’s ‘constitutional’ case-law regarding supremacy and direct effect on the decisions of the Central American Court of Justice (‘CCJ’) and the Court of Justice of the Andean Community (‘ACCJ’). The study proceeds from a brief exposition of the legal aspects of the EU model of integration, before moving to identify the main factors which led to the selection of Latin American courts and to outline the background to integration in the two sub-regions. In addressing the CCJ and ACCJ, a short history and sketch of their jurisdiction is given before examining the impact of the migration of the integrationist activism of the ECJ on these regional judicial institutions.


Allan F. Tatham
Péter Pázmány Catholic University, Budapest, Hungary. The usual disclaimer applies.

    Even amongst those clauses frequently found in commercial contracts in general and sales contracts in particular, agreed sums enjoy exceptional popularity. Now, when I say ‘agreed sum’, of course I do not talk about the purchase price but about clauses that in traditional terminology are called penalty or liquidated damages clauses.


Pascal Hachem
Dr. iur. (University of Basel, Switzerland), ACIArb, Senior Researcher in the Global Sales Law Project at the Chair of Private Law held by Prof. Dr. Ingeborg Schwenzer, LL.M. and Lecturer of Comparative Private Law and International Trade Law at the University of Basel, Switzerland.

    This paper will make the case for more widespread African adherence to the United Nations Convention on the International Sale of Goods, 1980 (“CISG”) on the ground that it represents an effort through the United Nations system to make available harmonised rules on the international sale of goods which are intended to have an international and universal reach. The paper begins with an introduction which briefly examines the origins of CISG and proceeds to discuss the relevance of CISG to Africa. It ends with a recommendation to African States to accede to, or ratify, the Convention.


S.K. Date-Bah
LL.B (Ghana), LL.M (Yale), Ph.D (London School of Economics), Professor of law. Justice at the Supreme Court of Ghana.

    When discussing regional and global unification of sales law it seems appropriate to briefly mention the globalisation of trade. The overall development of international trade over the last half century is startling. Although in Fall 2008 and persisting into 2009 there was a sharp decline worldwide – in 2009 alone the drop amounted to 12% –, preliminary figures indicate a strong rebound, with value of trade in 2010 said to expand by 9,5% compared to 2009. WTO figures for 2008 indicate that worldwide merchandise export trade amounted to 15,717 billion USD and worldwide merchandise import trade to 16,127 billion USD. These figures are approximately 100 times more than 45 years ago and more than 10 times the level at the time of the signing of the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (“CISG”) in 1980. The average annual growth from 2000 to 2008 was more than 5% for both exports and imports worldwide. No longer is the highest growth found in North America, Europe and Japan, but instead it is the transition economies from different points of the globe – particularly China, Brazil, Russia and some African countries. Disregarding the figures for 2009, in Africa the annual growth of exports amounted to 18% in 2007 and 28% in 2008, that of imports to 23% in 2007 and to 27% in 2008.


Ingeborg Schwenzer
Dr. iur (Freiburg, Germany), LL.M. (Berkeley, USA), Professor for Private Law, University of Basel, Switzerland.
Article

What Critiques Have Been Made of the Socratic Method in Legal Education?

The Socratic Method in Legal Education: Uses, Abuses and Beyond

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3-4 2010
Keywords Socratic method, legal education, learning theory, critical thinking, feminist pedagogy
Authors Christie A. Linskens Christie
AbstractAuthor's information

    Legal education is known for its use of the Socratic method. It appears, however, that the Socratic method may not be just for law students any more: American educators are now considering the method in the teaching of non-law school students. One perceived benefit of teaching by the Socratic method is that a student will learn by critical thinking rather than rote memorization. A major criticism of the method, however, is that a student may suffer low self-esteem from the perception that the method engages in ‘bullying’. The articles discussed in this literature review address the method in learning theory, the method in law school, criticisms of the method and proposals to use the method for non-law students. This article will analyze the Socratic method, the pros and cons of the method and its application outside of the law school.


Christie A. Linskens Christie
Christie A. Linskens Christie is a PhD Student, Urban Education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Adjunct Professor at Marquette University Law School and Staff Attorney, Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee, Inc.
Article

The Right to Food

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3-4 2010
Keywords food crisis, right to food
Authors Ying Chen
AbstractAuthor's information

    With the development of society, new agricultural technologies have been widely introduced and effectively applied to agricultural cultivation. Agricultural productive capacity has greatly improved and the world’s food producers are capable of providing all the people on this planet with sufficient food to satisfy everyday dietary needs for a healthy life. Ironically, food insecurity continues to be a critical issue in the contemporary world. More than 923 million people suffer from chronic hunger, malnutrition or related diseases, and this number grows with continually rising food prices. This article responds to the current food insecurity by addressing a new issue: is there any legal basis for both the international community and national governments to protect vulnerable people from hunger and malnutrition?


Ying Chen
S.J.D. Candidate, LL.M., Indiana University School of Law Indianapolis.
Article

Constitutional Review in the Caribbean

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1-2 2010
Keywords Guyana, electoral reform, constitutional reform, international human rights law, Caribbean
Authors Avril Anande Trotman-Joseph
AbstractAuthor's information

    Guyana, South America, is a former colony of Britain and the only English-speaking country in South America, but has more in common with its English-speaking Caribbean neighbours. Constitutional reform and resulting constitutional amendments were precipitated in 1999-2000 by civil unrest following national elections and dissatisfaction by the major opposition with the outcome of an election characterized by ethnic differences between respective supporters of parties backed by followers of traditionally Indian, African and Amerindian origin. This process was a brokered effort to ameliorate the national dissatisfaction and an opportunity for civil society representatives and political representatives of the unicameral House of Parliament to work together in recommending electoral and constitutional reform. The outcome was the radical reform and modernization of the constitutional entrenchment of the modern concepts of international human rights law. In this regard Guyana is ahead of the other sister nations of the Caribbean, CARICOM grouping in terms of constitutional advancements. However, the political will to realize far-reaching electoral and governance reforms, as well as the effective implementation of the entrenched human rights reforms, still lags behind, despite the amendment of the constitution, the appointment of several commissions and the establishment of a parliamentary oversight committee tasked with continuous constitution review.


Avril Anande Trotman-Joseph
Avril Anande Trotman-Joseph is presently a law partner with the firm of Joseph & Joseph in Saint George’s, Grenada. She is an OAS and UNIFEM Consultant in the Caribbean; she serves on the Board of the Caribbean Institute of Leadership and as Deputy Chairperson of Grenada’s Integrity and Anti Corruption Commission.
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