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Martijn Scheltema
Martijn Scheltema is partner with Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn (a The Hague-based law firm), professor at Erasmus University Rotterdam and member of the governing board of ACCESS (see <www.ACCESSfacility.org>). This article is based on research conducted by the author on effectiveness of remedy outcomes of non-judicial mechanisms on behalf of ACCESS and the United Nations Working Group on Human Rights.

    The Dutch non-profit Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) and Amnesty International – Netherlands (AI-NL) commissioned in 2012 a study on transparency of multinational enterprises to the Utrecht University’s Molengraaff Institute for Private Law. With this study SOMO and AI-NL aim to substantiate the need for enhancing corporate transparency in order to stimulate responsible business conduct and be able to hold companies to account for adverse impacts they cause or contribute to.


Joris Oldenziel
Joris Oldenziel is program manager and senior researcher at the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO).

Heleen Tiemersma
Heleen Tiemersma is business and human rights specialist at Amnesty International.
Article

Access_open Multinationals and Transparency in Foreign Direct Liability Cases

The Prospects for Obtaining Evidence under the Dutch Civil Procedural Regime on the Production of Exhibits

Journal The Dovenschmidt Quarterly, Issue 3 2013
Keywords foreign direct liability, corporate social responsibility, transparency document disclosure, Dutch Shell Nigeria case
Authors Liesbeth F.H. Enneking
AbstractAuthor's information

    On 30 January 2013, the The Hague district court rendered a final judgment with respect to a number of civil liability claims against Royal Dutch Shell (RDS) and its Nigerian subsidiary Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) that had been pursued by four Nigerian farmers and the Dutch NGO Milieudefensie in relation to various oil spills from SPDC-operated pipelines in the Nigerian Niger Delta. This case is the first Dutch example of a broader, worldwide trend towards similar transnational civil liability procedures against multinational corporations for harm caused to people and planet in developing host countries. This worldwide trend towards so-called ‘foreign direct liability cases’ and the Dutch Shell Nigeria case in particular raise many interesting socio-political as well as legal questions. This article will focus on the question what the prospects are for plaintiffs seeking to pursue such claims before a Dutch court when it comes to obtaining evidence under the Dutch civil procedural regime on the production of exhibits. This is a highly relevant question, since the proceedings in the Dutch Shell Nigeria case seem to indicate that the relatively restrictive Dutch regime on the production of exhibits in civil procedures may potentially impose a structural barrier on the access to remedies before Dutch courts of the victims of corporate violations of people and planet abroad.


Liesbeth F.H. Enneking
Liesbeth Enneking is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at UCALL, Utrecht University’s multidisciplinary Centre for Accountability and Liability Law, and an Assistant Professor of Private International Law at Utrecht University’s Molengraaff Institute for Private Law. The author would like to thank prof. I. Giesen for comments on an earlier version of this article.
Article

Access_open Multinational Corporations and Human Rights

Civil Procedure as a Means of Obtaining Transparency

Journal The Dovenschmidt Quarterly, Issue 3 2013
Keywords civil litigation, discovery, human rights, multinationals
Authors R.R. Verkerk
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article explores the degree in which civil procedural rules may promote transparancy from multinationals about human rights policies and allegations of human rights violations.


R.R. Verkerk
Remme Verkerk practices law at Houthoff Buruma (Rotterdam).
Article

Access_open Revisiting the Humanisation of International Law: Limits and Potential

Obligations Erga Omnes, Hierarchy of Rules and the Principle of Due Diligence as the Basis for Further Humanisation

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 1 2013
Keywords humanisation, constitutionalism, legal positivism, human rights, erga omnes, due diligence, positive obligations, normative hierarchy, proportionality
Authors Dr. Vassilis P. Tzevelekos
AbstractAuthor's information

    The article critically evaluates the theory of the humanisation of international law. First, it argues that despite human rights having impact on (other areas of) international law, this trend has in the past been somewhat inflated. A number of examples are given where human rights have been tested against other objectives pursued by international law, with humanisation revealing its limits and actual dimensions. The second argument consists in identifying and highlighting obligations erga omnes (partes) and the principle of due diligence as two ‘systemic’ tools, that are central to the humanisation of international law. Both these tools form part of modern positive law, but may also make a positive contribution towards the direction of deeper humanisation in international law, having the potential, inter alia, to limit state will, establish occasional material normative hierarchy consisting in conditional priority in the fulfilment of human rights, give a communitarian tone to international law and invite states to be pro-active in the collective protection of their common interests and values. In its conclusions, the article offers a plausible explanation about the paradox it identifies of the limits of the humanisation on the one hand, and its potential for further development on the other. For, it is inherent in international law that the line separating the law from deontology is thin. The process of humanisation needs to be balanced with the other objectives of international law as well as reconciled with the decentralised and sovereignist origins of the pluralistic international legal system.


Dr. Vassilis P. Tzevelekos
Lecturer in Public International Law, University of Hull Law School; Attorney, Athens’ Bar. PhD and M.Res, European University Institute; MA, European Political and Administrative Studies, College of Europe; DEA Droit international public et organisations internationales, Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne; LLB, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.
Article

Access_open International Criminal Law and Constitutionalisation

On Hegemonic Narratives in Progress

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 1 2013
Keywords hegemony, constitutionalism, constitutionalisation, international criminal law
Authors Marjan Ajevski
AbstractAuthor's information

    As we move towards constructing narratives regarding the future outlook of global governance, constitutionalisation among them, the hope is that whatever shape this world order takes it will, somehow, forestall or hinder the possibility of a hegemonic order. This article tries to deconstruct the notion of hegemony and claims that as it currently stands it is useless in doing its critical work since every successful narrative will end up being hegemonic because it will employ the ‘hegemonic technique’ of presenting a particular value (or value system), a particular viewpoint, as universal or at least applying to those who do not share it. The only way for a narrative in this discourse not to be hegemonic would be for it to be either truly universal and find a perspective that stems from nowhere and everywhere – a divine perspective – or purely descriptive; the first being an impossibility for fallible beings and the other not worth engaging with since it has nothing to say about how things should be structured or decided in a specific situation.


Marjan Ajevski
Post-Doctoral research fellow part of the MultiRights project – an ERC Advanced Grant on the Legitimacy of Multi-Level Human Rights Judiciary – <www.MultiRights.net>; and PluriCourts, a Research Council of Norway Centre of Excellence – <www.PluriCourts.net>, Norwegian Centre of Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Oslo. I can be contacted at marjan.ajevski@nchr.uio.no.

    In this article a non-binding global standard for solution of cross-border insolvency proceedings is introduced. These Global Principles for Cooperation in International Insolvency Cases can be used both in civil-law as well as common-law jurisdictions, and aim to cover all jurisdictions in the world. They are addressed to judges, insolvency practitioners and scholars, and aim to contribute to an improved global architecture of international insolvency.


Bob Wessels
Prof. Dr. Bob Wessels is an independent legal counsel in Dordrecht, The Netherlands, and professor International Insolvency Law, University of Leiden, School of Law. He can be reached at: info@bobwessels.nl.
Article

The Application of Exception Clauses of the Rome Convention and the Rome I Regulation by the Dutch Courts

An Escape from Reality?

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2013
Keywords Rome Convention 1980, Rome I Regulation, choice of law, exception clause, international commercial contracts
Authors Emmely de Haan
AbstractAuthor's information

    Both the Rome Convention and its successor the Rome I Regulation contain much discussed provisions on applicable law in the case of absence of a choice of law. Both instruments contain so called ‘exception clauses’ which refer to a closer connection of the contract with one state to the law of another state resulting from the general presumptions. The Netherlands is the frontrunner with a highly restrictive interpretation of the exception clauses. The applicable law to a transnational dispute might not always be the law of the competent court, although courts tend to prefer their own national law with which they are familiar. This year it has been exactly 20 years since the first revolutionary ruling on the subject by the Dutch Supreme Court, the so called Balenpers case. With the recent transition of the Convention into the Regulation, it is useful to analyse these connecting factors and review them in the context of the new Regulation. The Dutch courts have developed numerous connecting factors over the years. The article analyses Dutch case law on international contracts of carriage and international employment contracts from the implementation of the Rome Convention to date.


Emmely de Haan
The author graduated from Utrecht University in 2012 with an LL.M. degree in Dutch Private Law and is currently an LL.M. candidate at the University of Virginia in the United States, specializing in International Trade Law and Regulation and Dispute Settlement. This article is a shorter version of her master thesis, which was supervised by Professor dr. K.R.S.D. Boele-Woelki.
Article

Access_open Juridical Acts and the Gap between Is and Ought

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2013
Keywords naturalistic fallacy, duty, obligation, is/ought, contract, promise
Authors Jaap Hage
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article addresses the possibility of deriving ought from is. To that purpose it casts doubt on the very distinction between is and ought; distinguishes between duties, obligations, being obligated and owing to do something; revitalises Searle’s famous derivation of ought from is by replacing promises with contracts; and discusses some of the traditional objections against this derivation. The conclusions are that it is not problematic at all to ‘derive’ the existence of obligations from solely is-premises, and that it is not very problematic to ‘derive’ an ought from the existence of an obligation. The quotes around ‘derive’ signal that the nature of derivation also plays a role in this discussion.


Jaap Hage
Jaap Hage holds the chair for Jurisprudence at Maastricht University.
Article

Access to Higher Education in the EU

Evolving Case Law of the CJEU

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 4 2012
Keywords EU common market, European higher educational area, CJEU case-law on education, free movement of students, educational strategies
Authors Kari Käsper and Tanel Kerikmäe
AbstractAuthor's information

    A prerequisite for a competitive market can be achieved better through clear legal policy in European higher education. There is a time for the EU to intervene more into the area to eliminate state protectionism. The reasoning in CJEU case law gives a guidance for corrigendum of further legal basis. The students of another Member State should not deserve different treatment. EU role in the field of education should be significant to avoid state-based bureaucracy. The jurisprudence of CJEU creates a basis for the further development of the regulation, which leads to foundation for well-functioning internal market in the global world.


Kari Käsper
K. Käsper, M.A (law [Tallinn University of Technology 2012] and Law studies [International University Audentes, eq. with master of law 2005]) is a lecturer of EU law at Tallinn Law School, Tallinn University of Technology.

Tanel Kerikmäe
Tanel Kerikmäe (Ph.D [Tallinn University, Political Science and State Governance 2009], LL.Lic [Helsinki University, Law 2006], LL.M [Helsinki University, Law 1994] and Law studies [Tartu University, eq. with master of law 1992]) is a professor and head of the Jean Monnet Chair of European Law, Tallinn Law School, Tallinn University of Technology. The current article is based on K. Käsper’s thesis (supervised by Prof. Kerikmäe), defended in 2012.
Article

Structuring the Judiciary to Conduct Constitutional Review in the Netherlands

A Comparative and European Perspective

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 4 2012
Keywords centralized/decentralized constitutional review, Netherlands constitutional law, comparative law
Authors Gerhard van der Schyff
AbstractAuthor's information

    Whether a legal system decides to centralize or decentralize constitutional review by the judiciary is dependent on various factors. This article critically considers a host of these factors, ranging from the separation of powers to the desire to bring about far-reaching constitutional change and the possible impact of membership of the European Union, in studying whether in the Netherlands constitutional review should be centralized or decentralized upon its possible introduction. The conclusion is reached that although decentralization can be opted for under the current circumstances, a persuasive case for centralization can also be made and might even become stronger and inevitable depending on the course of future constitutional reform.


Gerhard van der Schyff
Gerhard van der Schyff is Senior Lecturer in Constitutional Law at Tilburg Law School, The Netherlands.
Article

The Impact of Europeanization of Contract Law on English Contract Law

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2-3 2012
Keywords Rome I and II Regulations, Europeanization, contract law, Common European Sales Law, faulty goods
Authors Omar Abdelaziz
Abstract

    The ongoing process of Europeanization for promoting cross-border transactions and conferring better protection for consumers and small businesses has had its impact all over Europe. It represents a new step towards a harmonized set of legal rules to govern cross-border transactions in the field of contract law. So what is its exact scope? Who will benefit from it? What are its risks? What is its methodology? Does it represent a codification of common law rules? What will be its impact especially on common law countries such as the United Kingdom? The effectiveness of Europeanization depends almost entirely on the correct implementation into national law of the various directives; every member state is obliged to fully implement a harmonized measure into its domestic laws. This is accomplished by ensuring that (1) the relevant legal framework meets the requirements of the harmonized measure and (2) the application of the domestic rules giving effect to a harmonizing measure does not undermine the effectiveness of the European measure. English contract law is largely an uncodified law. Accordingly, the approach taken and the methods used by this jurisdiction to implement European directives into its national laws with the aim of harmonization are different. How did the English courts interpret legislations that implement EU legislations? Will Europeanization affect the deep-rooted principles and doctrines of English contract law (issues of commercial agency), good faith in pre-contractual obligations, unfair contract terms and specific performance? Finally, what could be the clash between European contract law, Rome I Regulations and the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods? Could this optional instrument be an exclusive law to either national or international mandatory rules for consumers in member states? What will be the qualification for a genuine consent of consumers in cross-border contracts? Will it lead to the development of the internal market as envisaged by the Commission?


Omar Abdelaziz
Article

Immigration, Religion and Human Rights

State Policy Challenges in Balancing Public and Private Interests

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2012
Keywords globalization, religious symbols, reasonable accommodations, comparative law, immigration, burqa, human rights
Authors Eric Tardif
AbstractAuthor's information

    Three regions of the world – Western Europe, North America, and Australia – are probably the most popular options when families of emerging countries decide to emigrate in order to better their economic future. As the flow of immigrants establishing themselves in the receiving societies allows for these countries to get culturally richer, it creates, on the other hand, legal tensions as to the extent religious practice is to be accommodated by the governments of secular societies so as to facilitate the insertion of the newcomers into the workplace, social networks, and education system. In order to eliminate or diminish the effect of legal provisions that cause an indirect harm to religious minorities, several countries have taken steps aimed at “reasonably accommodating” them. This paper looks at these efforts made by receiving States, taking into account both the legislative aspect and the interpretation of the statutes and constitutional provisions by national as well as international tribunals; it also gives a critical appreciation of the results that have been obtained in the societies that have implemented those shifts in their legal system.


Eric Tardif
LL.L. (Ottawa); LL.M., LL.D. (National Autonomous University of Mexico - UNAM). The author is currently a Lecturer at the Faculty of Law of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, in the subjects of International and Comparative Law. This document was initially prepared for presentation at the VIIIth World Congress of the International Association of Constitutional Law, held in Mexico City, 6-10 December, 2010; an earlier version of this article was published in the International Journal of Public Law and Policy in 2011.
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

From Uneasy Compromises to Democratic Partnership

The Prospects of Central European Constitutionalism

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2011
Keywords Central Europe, parliamentarism, freedom of religion, Roma people, discrimination
Authors Gábor Attila Tóth
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Central European constitutional democracies were created by the political and constitutional transition of 1989. However, twenty years later, in the light of antidemocratic, authoritarian and intolerant tendencies, it is far from clear whether the negotiated revolution is a story of success or failure. This paper first outlines the constitutional background of revolutionary transition. It shows that the achieved structures and rules do not prevent political communities from realizing the full promise of democracy. Second, this analysis attempts to explore how the century-old historical circumstances, the social environment, and the commonly failed practice of constitutional institutions interact. This section focuses on the constitutional features of presidential aspirations, the privileges of churches and certain ethnic tensions. Finally, the paper argues that the chances of success of liberal democracies depend significantly on extraconstitutional factors. It seems that Hungary is in a more depressing and dangerous period of its history than for example Poland.


Gábor Attila Tóth
Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Debrecen, former senior adviser, Constitutional Court of Hungary. The author welcomes comments via email: tga818@law.unideb.hu.
Article

Methods and Materials in Constitutional Law

Some Thoughts on Access to Government Information as a Problem for Constitutional Theory and Socio-Legal Studies

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2011
Keywords Citizenship, democracy, government information, representative government, secrecy
Authors Barry Sullivan
AbstractAuthor's information

    To be subject to law, Hobbes argued, is to be deprived of liberty, as we understand it. In this respect, democratic governments are no different from others. Hobbes’s insight has not caused us to abandon our commitments to democracy, but it still challenges us to think hard about the nature of representative government, the nature of citizenship in a democratic society, and the conditions necessary for fulfilling the promise of democratic citizenship. Two recent trends are evident. Some citizens have embraced a more active sense of citizenship, which necessarily entails a more insistent need for information, while governments have insisted on the need for greater concentration of governmental power and a higher degree of secrecy. Much is to be learned from the approaches that various national and transnational regimes have taken with respect to this problem. This essay will consider the problem of access to government information from a comparative perspective and as a problem for constitutional theory and socio-legal studies.


Barry Sullivan
Cooney & Conway Chair in Advocacy and Professor of Law, Loyola University Chicago School of Law.
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.

    ICC arbitration was conceived by and for international business. When the International Chamber of Commerce was created in 1920 to combat insularity and protectionism in world trade, dispute resolution was seen as an indispensable part of the services it was to provide. Recognizing that contracts, especially between partners of different cultures, are inevitably exposed to strain, misunderstanding and even, regrettably, sometimes flagrant abuse, the ICC considered it crucial to provide the business world with an appropriate means of overcoming commercial conflict. In the words of Etienne Clementel, the French Minister of Commerce at the time and one of the founders of the ICC, “freedom can truly flourish only if it finds within itself the means to achieve its own moderation”. ICC arbitration was initially developed as a means of self regulation in international commerce.


Jason Fry
LL.B., BCL (Oxon), FCIArb, Secretary General International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce.

    Conflicts of jurisdiction between a state court and an arbitral tribunal occur in two different scenarios: (a) claimant X institutes a court action and the defendant subsequently commences with arbitration or requests to be referred to arbitration (as envisaged by the 1958 New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards – NYC); and (b) claimant X commences arbitration and the defendant subsequently challenges in a national court. X should be able to seek a stay of the parallel litigation on the ground of the existence of a valid agreement to arbitrate the dispute, but the duty on the part of South African courts to do so is not clearly legislated, nor is it as well-understood as it deserves to be. Various interests have fallen into disharmony in this area of the law.


Christa Roodt
Doctor of Laws (University of Orange Free State), LL.M (University of South Africa), LL.B. (University of Pretoria).
Article

The ECJ Ruling in Cartesio and Its Consequences on the Right of Establishment and Corporate Mobility in the European Union

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3-4 2010
Keywords Cartesio, right of establishment, Corporate mobility
Authors Prof. dr.sc. Siniša Petrović and Tomislav Jakšić
AbstractAuthor's information

    Before Cartesio, the case law of the European Court of Justice on freedom of establishment mainly considered company immigration situations, i.e. legal entities moving into another Member State. Cartesio is the first major ruling on company emigration since the 1988 decision in Daily Mail. Consequently, much was expected from Cartesio, notably that it would confirm a company’s right to directly invoke its freedom of establishment in emigration scenarios. However, this was not the case. Although Cartesio introduced some new concepts into the freedom of establishment case law like the concept of company conversion, the freedom of establishment actually took a step backward. This effectively resulted in almost complete disregard of the freedom of establishment in emigration situations - unlike in immigration situations. This partial denial of freedom of establishment, one of the fundamental freedoms of Community law, would seem urge the continuation of work on the new 14th Company Law Directive. In light of the current ECJ case law, only a legislative approach would seem suitable to guarantee non-discrimination in the ongoing regulatory competition between Member States which apply the registered seat theory and those which apply the administrative (real) seat theory.


Prof. dr.sc. Siniša Petrović
Prof. dr. sc. Siniša Petrović is a full professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of Zagreb.

Tomislav Jakšić
Tomislav Jakšić is a Junior Researcher at the Faculty of Law of the University of Zagreb.
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