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Article

Reducing Ethnic Conflict in Guyana through Political Reform

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2021
Keywords Guyana, race, ethnic conflict, political power, constitutional reform
Authors Nicola Pierre
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article discusses using constitutional reform to reduce ethnic conflict in Guyana. I start by exploring the determinants of ethnic conflict. I next examine Guyana’s ethnopolitical history to determine what factors led to political alignment on ethnic lines and then evaluate the effect of the existing political institutions on ethnic conflict. I close with a discussion on constitutional reform in which I consider a mix of consociationalist, integrative, and power-constraining mechanisms that may be effective in reducing ethnic conflict in Guyana’s ethnopolitical circumstances.


Nicola Pierre
Nicola Pierre is Commissioner of Title and Land Court Judge in Guyana.
Article

The ECB’s Independence and the Principle of Separation

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2020
Keywords ECB, Banking Supervision, Banking Supervision Centralization, Prudential Supervision, European Union, EU Law, Banking Union, Central Banking Independence, SSMR, SSMR
Authors Pamela Nika
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article addresses the question of whether the European Central Bank’s (ECB’s) involvement in banking supervision is compatible with its independent status as provided by the European Union’s (EU’s) primary law, specifically with reference to the principle of separation between the ECB’s monetary policy and supervisory powers. It is found that the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) Regulation provides the ECB with a set of prerequisites in pursuit of its supervisory objectives under a high level of independence. However, the article argues that the current EU regulatory framework poses risks to the overall independence of the ECB. In particular, the principle of separation, as one of the mechanisms aimed at safeguarding the ECB’s independence, is not fully achieved. In addition, the boundaries and application of macro-prudential operation of the ECB in both the SSM and European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB) remain blurry and uncertain. The article concludes by suggesting that the only way to safeguard the independence of the ECB is by carefully revising the ECB’s competencies, which may require treaty amendment.


Pamela Nika
Dr Pamela Nika is a lecturer in Corporate and Finance Law at Brunel University London.
Article

The Sovereign Strikes Back

A Judicial Perspective on Multi-Layered Constitutionalism in Europe

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2-3 2018
Keywords Constitutional identity, constitutionalism, fragmentation, globalization, multilayered constitution, sovereignty, trust
Authors Renáta Uitz and András Sajó
AbstractAuthor's information

    The supranational web of public law is often described as a new constitutionalism. It emerged in a globalized world together with global markets. In the course of the multilayered constitutional experiment, the old, national constitutional framework had lost its ability to deliver on the key features associated with constitutionalism: limiting the exercise of political powers and preventing the arbitrary exercise thereof. In the multilayered era it has become difficult to pinpoint the centre of authority. Ultimately, someone needs to govern, if not for other reasons, at least to avoid chaos. Is it possible to have the guarantees of freedom, rule of law and efficiency that a constitutional democracy seems to provide in a system where there is no sovereign with authority?


Renáta Uitz
Renáta Uitz is Professor, Chair of the Comparative Constitutional Law Program, Department of Legal Studies, Central European University, Budapest.

András Sajó
András Sajo is University Professor, Central European University, Budapest. This volume (The EU Bill of Rights’ Diagonal Application to Member States. Ed. Csongor István Nagy) was published as part of the research project of the HAS-Szeged Federal Markets ‘Momentum’ Research Group.
Article

The Rule of Law Reform and Judicial Education in Pakistan

Search for a Model

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2015
Keywords judicial education, rule of law reform, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, militancy, Pakistan
Authors Khurshid Iqbal
AbstractAuthor's information

    The article investigates the intrinsic and instrumental roles of judicial education in broader contours of the rule of law theory and reform practice in a developing country. It focuses on: firstly, the relationship between judicial education and the rule of law theory and reform practice; secondly, whether and how judicial education can promote the rule of law; and third, the challenges to a successful judicial education in strengthening the rule of law. Examining Pakistan as a case study, the article explores challenges to judicial education in Pakistan and critically assesses Pakistan’s rule of law reform efforts to overcome those challenges. Evidence shows that key challenges to judicial education in Pakistan are lack of a national judicial educational vision and a well thought out policy, coordinated efforts to training needs assessment, curriculum and faculty, research and learning best practices, as means of development and innovation. Of special concern is the role of judicial education in promoting the rule of law to address security issues embedded in (bad) governance. The article finds that in view of its initial limited success, the judicial academy of Pakistan’s terrorism-hit Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province may play a role model to improve judicial services and thereby help promote the rule of law in a post-conflict society.


Khurshid Iqbal
PhD (Ulster, UK), LLM (Hull, UK), MA Political Science & LLB (Peshawar, Pakistan); Dean of Faculty, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Judicial Academy (KPJA); District & Sessions Judge; Adjunct Faculty Member Department of Law, the International Islamic University, Islamabad.
Article

Living in the Past

The Critics of Plain Language

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2014
Keywords plain language, legal drafting, legislation, professional responsibility, legalese
Authors Derwent Coshott
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article addresses three core complaints that are frequently levelled by critics of plain legal language: (1) It will reduce reliance on lawyers; (2) It is uncertain and will lead to greater litigation; and (3) Legal writing is, and should only be, for a legally trained audience. The article develops a definition of plain language that reflects a more contemporary understanding. It demonstrates that the three core criticisms misrepresent this understanding and are unsustainable with regard to lawyers’ duty to clients, the role of legislation as public documents, and modern commercial realities.


Derwent Coshott
BA (Dist) (UNSW) JD (Syd) GradDipLegalPrac (ColLaw) LLM (Syd). PhD Candidate and Casual Lecturer at the University of Sydney.
Article

“What Does He Think This Is? The Court of Human Rights or the United Nations?”

(Plain) Language in the Written Memories of Arbitral Proceedings: A Cross-Cultural Case Study

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2014
Keywords arbitration, legal language, plain language, specialised discourse, corpus linguistics
Authors Stefania Maria Maci
AbstractAuthor's information

    Arbitration as an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is an extra-judicial process resolved privately outside an ordinary court of justice. As such, the award has the same legal effects as a judgment pronounced by a court judge. Arbitration can be preceded by a pre-trial process in which arbitrators try to reach a conciliation agreement between the parties. If an agreement is not reached, the arbitration process begins with the gathering of the parties’ memories. In both oral and written evidence, language is used argumentatively, and above all persuasively, by all sides or parties involved.
    Extensive studies in arbitration have been carried out from the viewpoint of law. From an applied linguistics angle, the study of interaction in legal contexts has recently been carried out with particular regard to witness testimony and cross-examination in international commercial arbitration within the processes of arbitral hearings and the writing of minutes.
    To the best of my knowledge, to date there has never been an investigation on plain language in arbitral memories across national and professional cultures. Therefore, by carrying out a comparative analysis of the written evidence presented in two arbitral processes, this paper tries to evaluate the degree of influence that different legal cultures may exert on the type of language used in written arbitration evidence. The main objective is to offer insights into some instances of arbitration proceedings and their development within their British and Italian contexts.


Stefania Maria Maci
Stefania M. Maci is Aggregate Professor of English Language and Translation at the University of Bergamo, where she teaches English linguistic courses at graduate and undergraduate level. She is member of CERLIS (Research Centre on Specialized Languages), CLAVIER (The Corpus and Language Variation in English Research Group), BAAL (British Association of Applied Linguistics), and AIA (Associazione Italiana di Anglistica).
Article

Shifting from Financial Jargon to Plain Language

Advantages and Problems in the European Retail Financial Market

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2014
Keywords financial markets, financial information, PRIPs/KIIDs, financial jargon, plain language
Authors Francesco De Pascalis
AbstractAuthor's information

    The purpose of this paper is to discuss the European regulatory efforts to guarantee investors a proper understanding of the characteristics of the products being offered in the retail financial market. In particular, the analysis emphasises the proposal to introduce plain language as a mandatory requirement for drafting pre-contractual documents relating to retail financial products.
    The 2007-2009 financial crisis brought to attention the importance of providing investors with more information on financial products to help them make informed investment decisions. However, more disclosure alone is not enough. The quantity and quality of information to be disclosed must go hand in hand with the way the information is communicated.
    Plain language is seen as an adequate tool to make information more transparent and understandable to the average investor. However, to make plain language a valuable instrument, it is necessary to enhance the ability of those who have the responsibility to apply it, that is, the financial products’ issuers and distributors.
    This aspect deserves proper consideration; otherwise, the benefit of plain language will remain on paper.


Francesco De Pascalis
The author obtained an LLM degree in Banking and Finance Law at Queen Mary University of London in October 2010 and is admitted as a barrister to the Verona Bar Society. Currently, he is doctoral candidate at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London.
Article

Plain, Clear, and Something More?

Criteria for Communication in Legal Language

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2014
Keywords plain language, legislative drafting, definition, mediation, ignorance of the law
Authors Derek Roebuck
AbstractAuthor's information

    Legislation may be presumed to be intended to transmit a message to those whose conduct it aims to affect. That message achieves its purpose only insofar as it is intelligible to its recipients. Drafters should make every effort to use plain language, but not all meaning can be transferred in plain language. The true criterion is clarity.
    ‘Mediation’ and ‘conciliation’ are examples of definitions created by legislators which do not correspond with categories in practice. Historical research illuminates cultural differences which affect transmission of meaning. Recent practice also illustrates the possibilities of creative methods for resolving disputes and the dangers of unnecessary prescription.
    Imprecise thinking of legislators precludes transmission of precise meaning, as does preference for word-for-word translation. ‘Highest Common Factor’ language is no substitute for natural target language.
    No efforts of legislators or translators can prevail against political power. ‘Ignorance of the law is no excuse’ overrides the imperative to transfer meaning.
    If research is to be effective, it must be not only comparative but interdisciplinary.


Derek Roebuck
Professor Derek Roebuck, Senior Associate Research Fellow, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London.
Article

The Manifestation of Religious Belief Through Dress

Human Rights and Constitutional Issues

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2 2014
Keywords religion, religious freedom, burqa, hijab, Muslim
Authors Anthony Gray
AbstractAuthor's information

    Jurisdictions around the world continue to grapple with the clash between religious freedoms and other freedoms and values to which a society subscribes. A recent, and current, debate concerns the extent to which a person is free to wear items of clothing often thought to be symbolic of the Muslim faith, though the issues are not confined to any particular religion. Bans on the wearing of this type of clothing have often (surprisingly) survived human rights challenges, on the basis that governments had legitimate objectives in banning or restricting them. A pending case gives the European Court another chance to reconsider the issues. It is hoped that the Court will closely scrutinise claims of legitimate objectives for such laws; perceptions can arise that sometimes, governments are pandering to racism, intolerance and xenophobia with such measures, rather than seeking to meet more high-minded objectives.


Anthony Gray
Professor of Law, University of Southern Queensland, Australia.
Article

Judicial Case Management and the Complexities of Competing Norms Occasioned by Law Reforms

The Experience in Respect of Criminal Proceedings in Botswana

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2014
Keywords case management, Botswana, criminal proceedings, law reform, subpoena
Authors Rowland J.V. Cole
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Botswana judicial and legal system has undergone a wave of reforms over the past few years. These reforms include judicial case management, which was introduced to reduce unnecessary delays and backlog in the hearing of cases. The introduction of judicial case management necessitates a revision of the rules of court. While the rules of the courts principally relate to civil proceedings, criminal proceedings are principally regulated by the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act. However, the revised rules of court contain provisions that seek to bring criminal proceedings in line with judicial case management. A number of these provisions are inconsistent with the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act. This presents problems for the implementation of these rules as the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act is superior to the rules in the hierarchy of laws. Consequently, the implementation of judicial case management in criminal proceedings may prove to be an arduous task, and urgent harmonisation of the competing provisions is required.


Rowland J.V. Cole
LLB (Hons) (Sierra Leone), LLM (UNISA), LLD (Stell), Senior Lecturer, Department of Law, University of Botswana.
Editorial

Editorial

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2013
Authors Cherie Booth and Helen Xanthaki
Author's information

Cherie Booth
Cherie Booth, QC, is a leading barrister specialising in public law, human rights, employment and European Community law, arbitration and mediation.

Helen Xanthaki
Professor Helan Xanthaki is a Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (School of Advanced Study, University of London), and the Academic Director of the Sir William Dale Centre for Legislative Studies there.
Article

What Virtues and Formalities Can Do for Corporate Social Responsibility and the Rule of Law in China?

仁 礼 誠 人, 人 必 治 法, 法 修 其 德, 德 治 其 國

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 4 2012
Keywords Chinese rule of law, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), sustainability, Confucianism, formative free speech
Authors Jin Kong
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article explores sustainability problems in China and foreign interests on the ‘rule of law’ problems there. The article undertakes an organic process improvement method (Define, Measure, Analyze, Control – ‘DMAC’) in hope to improve the west’s expectations of China and China’s own becoming of a rule of law nation. Corruption and environmental problems are of particular interest; China’s legal and political reform histories serve as our starting point; synergies between Confucian mercantile philosophy and modern corporate social responsibility principles are the undertones. The article will first Define the scope of China’s environmental, social, and economic problems; it will Measure the effects of these problems by observing the ontological and metaphysical uniqueness of the Chinese notion of ‘rule of law’ from a historical perspective; the Analysis will involve identifying synergies between Confucianism and Corporate Social Responsibility (hereinafter ‘CSR’); from these observations, this article will submit to Controling steps. Consequently, this article recognizes the need for ‘humanity’ and ‘formality’, in the Chinese sense, to aid one’s becoming of a law-biding person in China. The Chinese people will Control the laws that matter to them; those laws will evolve to cure the virtues of the people they are to govern.


Jin Kong
Jin Kong is a JD Candidate at the Robert H. McKinney School of Law. Jin also writes on the topic of sustainability at his blog, The Green Elephant (dot) US – <www.thegreenelephant.us>. The Chinese subtitle is loosely translated as follows: ‘If there is humanity and formality to aid one’s becoming a law-abiding person in China, they wil control the laws that matter to them; those laws will surely cure the virtues of its people and it is from those virtues a nation can govern.’
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

Occurrence of Disruptive Behaviour in Dutch Civil Procedures

An Empirical Study

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 4 2012
Keywords civil procedure, case management, procedural justice, procedural sanctions, procedural rules
Authors Martin Gramatikov and Stéphanie van Gulijk
AbstractAuthor's information

    In 2002, the civil procedure in the Netherlands was reformed. A fairly simple system of positive and negative stimuli was set up in order to ensure that the civil process develops in an efficient and timely manner. In this article, we explore the prevalence of process-disturbing behaviour as well as the response of the judges to such behaviour. Ninety eight civil cases were observed. We also conducted interviews with judges, lawyers and parties involved in these cases. The main finding is that in almost all cases there is at least one process-disturbing behaviour. On average there are 3.4 instances of such behaviour per case. Most often the disturbing behaviour is part of the categories communication problems. As it concerns the reaction of the judges, we see patterns of various strategies. Judges are not immediately responding actively to disturbing behaviour. However, when a certain threshold has been reached, the judges tend to take active steps and apply the tools they have. Most often, judges use different sorts of communication interventions. Procedural instruments for counteracting disturbing behaviour are used vey rarely. Our interpretation is that judges in the Netherlands are concerned about process efficiency but are also aware of the procedural justice and particularly interpersonal justice aspects of the process. We recommend that initial and ongoing legal education and training pays more attention on the communication and interpersonal skills and abilities involved in dispute resolution.


Martin Gramatikov
Martin Grammatikov is senior researcher at Tilburg University, Private Law department, and Head of Measurement and Evaluation at the Hague Institute for the Internationalisation of Law.

Stéphanie van Gulijk
Stéphanie van Gulijk is senior researcher and lecturer at Tilburg University, Private Law department, and Legal counsel at Poelmann van den Broek Laywers. Both authors cooperated in the research project that is central in this paper: M. Barendrecht, S. van Gulijk, M. Gramatikov, P. Sluijter, De goede procesorde in beeld. Over gedrag van procespartijen en de regiefunctie van de rechter, in Research Memoranda Raad voor de rechtspraak, nummer 1-2011, jaargang 7.
Article

Current Developments in the National Laws of Maintenance

A Comparative Analysis

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2012
Keywords child maintenance, maintenance after divorce, calculation of maintenance, enforcement of maintenance claims, social security benefits
Authors Dieter Martiny
AbstractAuthor's information

    Maintenance law in European jurisdictions is in a state of constant transformation. Recent reforms, however, show some areas of major concern. In child maintenance law, particularly joint custody of the parents and an alternating residence of the child make the need for a better calculation of maintenance more apparent. The use of guidelines with tables and formulas is on the rise. In maintenance after divorce, the growing influence of the principle of self-sufficiency is leading to reductions of the maintenance payments made to former spouses. Enforcement of maintenance claims, the role of the State and the relationship with social security benefits remain difficult.


Dieter Martiny
Professor emeritus, European University Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder)/Hamburg. A shorter version was presented at the Annual Conference on European Family Law of the Academy of European Law in Trier, 30 September 2011.

Maria Dakolias
M. Dakolias is counsel in the World Bank's Legal Department where she works on legal and judicial reform projects. The views expressed in this article are her views and not those of the organization she represents.

Javier Said
J. Said is an international consultant for innovation and technology management projects for the public sector including judicial reform. The authors wish to thank Judge John Lockhart for his comments. In addition, they wish to thank Alexandra Hunneus for her research assistance.

Willem Calkoen
Partner Nauta Dutilh, Former Chairman of the Section on Business Law of the International Bar Association.

Julian Gresser
Julian Gresser is a management consultant, international lawyer, professional negotiator and Japan specialist. He has twice been Visiting Mitsubishi Professor at the Harvard Law School and has served as an advisor to the US State Department, The World Bank, the European Commission, and the Prime Minister's Office of Japan. He is the author of Environmental Law in Japan (1981), Partners in Prosperity: Strategic Industries for the US in Japan (1984), and Piloting Through Chaos: Wise Leadership/Effective Negotiation for the 21st Century (1996). Mr Gresser is the Chairman of the Council on Alliance Mediation in the Association for Strategic Alliance Professionals (ASAP).

Peter L. Murray
Visiting Professor of Law from Practice, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA; Senior Fulbright Professor, University of Freiburg, Germany (Spring 1998); Lecturer on Law, University of St. Gallen Masters of European and International Business Law Programme.

Jens Drolshammer
Professor of Law, (Titularprofessor für Angloamerikanisches Recht und Rechtsgeschäftsplanung und -gestaltung), University of St. Gallen, Switzerland; Co-Founder and President of the Commission and Lecturer on Law, Master of European and International Business Law (M.B.L.-HSG) and Master of International Management Programmes at St. Gallen University; Partner, Homburger Rechtsanwälte, Zürich, Switzerland; Visiting Scholar and Fellow, Harvard Law School (Spring 1999).

Viktor Mayer-Schönberger
Professor, J.F.K.-School of Government, Cambridge, MA.
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