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Article

Access_open Constitutionalism and the Incompleteness of Democracy: An Iterative Relationship

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2010
Keywords constitutionalism, globalization, democracy, modernity, postnational
Authors Neil Walker
AbstractAuthor's information

    The complexity of the relationship between democracy and modern constitutionalism is revealed by treating democracy as an incomplete ideal. This refers both to the empirical incompleteness of democracy as unable to supply its own terms of application – the internal dimension – and to the normative incompleteness of democracy as guide to good government – the external dimension. Constitutionalism is a necessary response to democratic incompleteness – seeking to realize (the internal dimension) and to supplement and qualify democracy (the external dimension). How democratic incompleteness manifests itself, and how constitutionalism responds to incompleteness evolves and alters, revealing the relationship between constitutionalism and democracy as iterative. The paper concentrates on the iteration emerging from the current globalizing wave. The fact that states are no longer the exclusive sites of democratic authority compounds democratic incompleteness and complicates how constitutionalism responds. Nevertheless, the key role of constitutionalism in addressing the double incompleteness of democracy persists under globalization. This continuity reflects how the deep moral order of political modernity, in particular the emphasis on individualism, equality, collective agency and progress, remains constant while its institutional architecture, including the forms of its commitment to democracy, evolves. Constitutionalism, itself both a basic orientation and a set of design principles for that architecture, remains a necessary support for and supplement to democracy. Yet post-national constitutionalism, even more than its state-centred predecessor, remains contingent upon non-democratic considerations, so reinforcing constitutionalism’s normative and sociological vulnerability. This conclusion challenges two opposing understandings of the constitutionalism of the global age – that which indicts global constitutionalism because of its weakened democratic credentials and that which assumes that these weakened democratic credentials pose no problem for post-national constitutionalism, which may instead thrive through a heightened emphasis on non-democratic values.


Neil Walker
Neil Walker is Regius Professor of Public Law and the Law of Nature and Nations at the University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom.
Article

Access_open Constitutionele toetsing in een democratie zonder volk

Een kelseniaanse rechtvaardiging voor het Europees Hof van Justitie

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2010
Keywords Kelsen, Democracy, Legitimacy, European Union, European Court of Justice
Authors Quoc Loc Hong
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article draws on Hans Kelsen’s theory of democracy to argue that, contrary to conventional wisdom, there is nothing fundamentally wrong with the democratic legitimacy of either the European Union (EU) or the European Court of Justice (ECJ). The legitimacy problems from which the EU in general and the ECJ in particular are alleged to suffer seem to result mainly from our rigid adherence to the outdated conception of democracy as popular self-legislation. Because we tend to approach the Union’s political and judicial practice from the perspective of this democracy conception, we are not able to observe what is blindingly obvious, that is, the viability and persistence of both this mega-leviathan and the highest court thereof. It is, therefore, imperative that we modernize and adjust our conception of democracy in order to comprehend the new reality to which these bodies have given rise, rather than to call for ‘reforms’ in a futile attempt to bring this reality into accordance with our ancient preconceptions about what democratic governance ought to be. Kelsen is the democratic theorist whose work has enabled us to venture into that direction.


Quoc Loc Hong
Quoc Loc Hong was a FWO Postdoctoral Fellow from 2007 to 2009 at the University of Antwerp. He is currently an independent researcher.
Article

Karlsruhe v. Lisbon

An Overture to a Constitutional Dialogue from an Estonian Perspective

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3-4 2010
Keywords constitutional dialogue, Karlsruhe decision, supranationalism
Authors Tanel Kerikmae and Katrin Nyman-Metcalf
Abstract

    The article uses the 2009 decision of the German Constitutional Court on the Lisbon Treaty as a basis for an analysis of the relationship between EU law and Member State law, especially Member State constitutions. The authors argue that an uncritical openness of Member States to supremacy of EU law and the interpretations made of it by the European Court of Justice is not necessary but rather an analytical attitude towards the development of EU with active legal argumentation to protect the rule of law – a deliberative supranationalism. A constitutional dialogue between Member States and the EU is the best protection and promoter of rule of law. The constitutional discussions in Estonia are used as an illustration of the balancing of national constitutional principles and supremacy or EU law.


Tanel Kerikmae

Katrin Nyman-Metcalf

    Contemporary literature on the use of force has been saturated with arguments and counter arguments relating to the extant regime of the use of force as it should relate to non-state actors. The discussions have however proceeded on the assumption that the problem of the unregulated use of force by non-state entities is limited to group of persons – unorganised non-state actors – pursuing legitimate or non-legitimate agenda. The arguments seems to overlook the existence of a group of States (organised non-state actors) – international organisations – which pose even greater threat to the Charter paradigm of the use of force than unorganised non-state actors. This article discusses the Charter regime on the use of force with particular attention to organised non-state actors and the challenges they posed to the prohibition of the use of force.


Amos O. Enabulele
Amos O. Enabulele LL.M, BL is Lecturer at the Department of Jurisprudence & International Law, Faculty of Law, University of Benin, Nigeria and a Ph.D. candidate at Brunel University, West London.
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

Good Governance

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1-2 2010
Keywords international cooperation, state administration, substate-level administration, steering non-governmental bodies, principles of Human-Rights-and-Rule-of-Law, democracy structures, procedures and manpower of administration
Authors Prof. Dr. Ulrich Karpen
AbstractAuthor's information

    “Good Governance” is a term used worldwide to measure, analyse and compare, mainly quantitatively and qualitatively, but not exclusively, public governments, for the purpose of qualifying them for international developmental aid, for improving government and administration domestically, etc.
    In Section A the use of the key term is explained more thoroughly; Section B lists goals and effects of governance from the international, supranational (European) and national perspective; Section C contains guidelines for governance as vested in constitution and law and Section D describes the main instruments and tools to work on better governance.


Prof. Dr. Ulrich Karpen
Prof. Dr. Ulrich Karpen, Faculty of Law, University of Hamburg.
Article

Legislative Drafting Tools for Stabilization Provisions and Economic Balancing Provisions

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1-2 2010
Keywords legislative drafting, stabilization, economic balancing provisions
Authors Linnet Mafukidze
AbstractAuthor's information

    The article outlines the problems with stabilization provisions in national oil or gas legislation with regard to the difficulty of governments to implement legislation to develop its economic, social and environmental regimes. It also seeks to provide a potential guideline for legislative drafters in order to address the problems wrought by stabilization provisions, in national oil or gas legislation, through the use of economic balancing provisions. The article further gives tools for legislative drafters to use when drafting economic balancing provisions.


Linnet Mafukidze
Linnet Mafukidze is a Senior State Counsel at the Attorney General’s Chambers, Botswana.
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