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Article

A Linguistic Insight into the Legislative Drafting of English-Speaking Jurisdictions

The Use of ‘Singular They’

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2020
Keywords gender neutrality, ‘singular they’, linguistic insight, legislative drafting, English-language jurisdictions
Authors Giulia Adriana Pennisi
AbstractAuthor's information

    Gender specificity in legislation started being questioned in the late 20th century, and the need to reform the way in which laws have been written for more than one-hundred years has been particularly evident in English-language jurisdictions. In the 1990s and 2000s, the adoption of a plain English style forced legislative drafters to avoid sentences of undue length, superfluous definitions, repeated words and gender specificity with the aim of achieving clarity and minimizing ambiguity.
    Experts in the legal field have suggested reorganizing sentences, avoiding male pronouns, repeating the noun in place of the pronoun, replacing a nominalization with a verb form, resorting to ‘the singular they’. This article gives a linguistic insight into the use of ‘singular they’ in English, beginning with a historical background and going on to assess the impact of its use in the primary legislation issued in a selection of English-language jurisdictions (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, the US) in the last decade (2008-2018). Given the environment of legislative drafting techniques, where considerable reliance on precedent is inevitable, proposals to change legislative language may produce interesting results in different jurisdictions.


Giulia Adriana Pennisi
Associate Professor (field of research, English Language and Translation) at the University of Palermo, Department of Political Science and International Relations; Associate Research Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Sir William Dale Centre, University of London.
Article

Gender Neutrality in EU Legislative Drafting

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2020
Keywords legislative drafting, EU legislation, EU treaties, multilingualism, gender neutrality
Authors William Robinson
AbstractAuthor's information

    In the English-speaking world the issue of gender-neutral drafting in legislation has been a much discussed topic for many years, and there are few legislative drafting manuals in the English-speaking world that do not address the issue.
    The EU and its institutions also attach great importance to gender issues, as is shown by the solemn commitments in EU texts to gender equality, by the establishment at the EU level of bodies or committees to focus on those issues, and by the EU actions and policies that seek to address them. But the issue of gender-neutral drafting in legislation is not even mentioned in the guidance drawn up by the legislative drafting experts of the EU institutions.
    This contribution, therefore, looks at how gender issues are dealt with in practice in the EU Treaties and in EU legislation. It finds signs of a traditional approach that is beginning to evolve but only slowly and somewhat unevenly.
    The contribution considers some of the reasons behind the approach taken by the EU institutions to gender neutrality in drafting and the impact of the important EU principles of multilingualism and multiculturalism before seeking to draw some conclusions.


William Robinson
Associate Research Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in London; formerly a coordinator in the Quality of Legislation Team of the European Commission Legal Service.
Article

Plain Language

A Promising Tool for Quality Legislation

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 4 2018
Keywords plain language, clarity, precision, accessibility, interpretation
Authors Kally K.L. Lam LLB
AbstractAuthor's information

    The hypothesis of this article is that plain language drafting with innovative drafting techniques can improve the quality of legislation. Further to this, the article tries to prove that quality legislation can also make the law more accessible to its general audience. With regard to quality, the article assesses plain language drafting with innovative drafting techniques using Helen Xanthaki’s criteria of quality in legislation, i.e. that it should be clear, precise and unambiguous. With regard to accessibility, it is defined broadly as to include readability. I will first assess whether plain language drafting with innovative drafting techniques can meet the expectations of its general audience and second discuss whether legislation drafted in plain language with innovative techniques passes the usability tests.


Kally K.L. Lam LLB
Kally K.L. Lam, LLB (University of Hong Kong), LLM (University of London) is Solicitor (Hong Kong).
Article

French Constitution, Droit Administratif and the Civil Code

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2017
Keywords Droit Administratif, Civil Code, Conseil d’État, public order
Authors Zia Akhtar
AbstractAuthor's information

    Droit Administratif in France is a separate branch of law that exists in parallel to the civil and criminal law. The law has been developed from the concept of separation of powers that is ingrained in the French constitution. Its concepts derive from the Code civil that is implemented in France since its inception in the Napoleonic era and this has undergone reform that has made the role of the judges more interventionist. The highest administrative court is the Conseil d’État, which is at the apex of the machinery of administrative courts that are an important part of public law’s discourse and there is a hierarchy of courts that consider appeals and regulate the norms of conduct of state officials towards the citizens. The judges receive induction and training before taking on the role of occupation and that has been inculcated in the French administrative court judges. This article looks at the separate system of administrative law and its success in preserving the necessary checks and balances in the constitution, which it is intended to protect. This is an examination of the developing concept of French justice, the doctrine of separation of powers and civil procedural changes that enable the grievance of citizens against officials to be heard more expeditiously.


Zia Akhtar
LLB (Lon), LLM (Lon), Gray’s Inn, PhD candidate (Sussex). Zia Akhtar is a leading writer on judicial review, regulatory law and EU law. He undertakes research in the comparative law between the common law and the civil law countries.
Article

Some Legal Aspects of Space Natural Resources

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2016
Keywords space law, space mining, private property rights, United States Space Law, United Nations Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space
Authors Ram S. Jakhu and Yaw Otu Mankata Nyampong
AbstractAuthor's information

    Critical natural resources on the earth will be depleted before the close of this century. As such, humanity must explore for additional natural resources in places beyond the earth (i.e. in outer space and on other planets) in order to sustain life on earth. An appropriate international regulatory regime would be indispensable if such exploration is to succeed and result in the orderly exploitation of space natural resources. Presently, the international regulatory regime governing the exploration and potential exploitation of space natural resources is inadequate and lacks sufficient clarity. This article addresses some important legal aspects of the exploration and exploitation of space natural resources both from an international and a national perspective. Specifically, it analyzes the relevant provisions of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty and the 1979 Moon Agreement in addition to some recent regulatory developments occurring in the United States. Finally, it provides an outlook for the future legal regime that may be required to guarantee the orderly exploration and exploitation of space natural resources.


Ram S. Jakhu
Associate Professor, Institute of Air and Space Law, Faculty of Law, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.

Yaw Otu Mankata Nyampong
Senior Legal Officer, Pan African University, African Union Commission, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Article

Commonalities in the English Tort and French Criminal Wrong of Defamation

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 4 2015
Keywords defamation, tort, crime, comparative, path dependence
Authors Mathilde Groppo
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article considers the extent to which the nature of the regulation – tortious or criminal – influences the substantive content of the rules in England and France. It argues that the English and French regulatory features are the result of path dependence. Consequently, while they have led to substantive differences, they do not prevent the emergence of a shared approach to the wrong.


Mathilde Groppo
PhD Candidate, King’s College London.
Article

Pursuing the Best Interest of Children in Non-Traditional Families

A Comparative Overview

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2 2015
Keywords best interest of the child, equality, non-traditional families, new bills, comparative analysis
Authors Denise Amram
AbstractAuthor's information

    The need to build a legal paradigm corresponding to the current evolution of society is one of the most important challenges that family lawyers are facing in the last years. In this regard, this paper illustrates the new Italian, French, and Irish reforms aimed at pursuing the best interest of the child within non-traditional families.


Denise Amram
Postdoc researcher in Comparative Private Law, DIRPOLIS Department – Scuola Superiore di Studi Universitari e Perfezionamento Sant’Anna – Pisa, Italy and Italian Qualified Solicitor.
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.
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

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

The Regularization of Undocumented Immigrants in the United States

The Spanish Solution

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2013
Keywords undocumented immigrants, migration policy, regularization process, social assimilation, economic crisis
Authors Oscar Celador Angón
AbstractAuthor's information

    The aim of this article is to offer solutions to the problem of undocumented immigrants in the United States, using the Spanish migration model as a possible solution. During the last decade Spain has been the European country that has received more migration flows due to his economic development. Spain has used the knowledge and experience of other European host societies to design a migration model, which avoids the social conflicts arising from the coexistence of large numbers of undocumented immigrants, and that could provide answers to the problems faced by the US system.


Oscar Celador Angón
Oscar Celador Angón is Professor of Law and Director of the Department of International Law, Ecclesiastical Law and Philosophy of the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid.
Article

Responsive Law Reform: A Case Study in Privacy and the Media

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2013
Keywords law reform, regulatory theory, privacy, free speech, media
Authors Megan Richardson
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article develops a regulatory theory of law reform for common law jurisdictions drawing on a model of responsive regulation and applies it to a case study in Privacy and the Media with particular reference to law reform initiatives in Australia, New Zealand and the UK.


Megan Richardson
Professor of Law and Co-Director Centre for Media & Communications Law, Melbourne Law School, The University of Melbourne, former member of an International Advisory Panel for the New South Wales Law Reform Commission reference on invasion of privacy. This article was substantially written at the Institute for Advanced Legal Studies, where I had the privilege of being a Research Fellow in September–December 2012. I am grateful to the Institute for allowing me to spend three months in this excellent facility and also to my home institution, The Melbourne Law School, for supporting my research period abroad. The ideas in this article were presented at seminars at the Institute and at the Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London. I am grateful to those who attended for their helpful comments and especially to Tanya Aplin, Lyria Bennett Moses, Desmond Browne QC, Stewart Dresner, James Michael and Jan Oster. Thanks also to my colleagues Andrew Kenyon and Jason Bosland for additional helpful insights.

Dita Sole
Research Assistant, Concordia International University, Estonia.

Haimo Schack
Professor of law, Director of the Institute for European and International Private and Procedural Law, University of Kiel. An earlier version of this article was published in German in Rabelsz 2001, vol. 65, pp. 615-633, as ‘Das neue Internationale Eheverfahrensrecht in Europa’. The following English version is published with the friendly permission of the editors of Rabelz.
Article

The Importance of the Symbolic Role of the Head of State

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2011
Keywords head of state, monarchy, democracy, symbolic, Sarkozy
Authors David Marrani
AbstractAuthor's information

    Why do we need, in a society that we assume to be democratic, someone that reminds us of the archaic organisation of humanity, someone like a head of state? We know that the ‘powerful’ heads have now been transformed, most of the time, in ‘powerless’ ones, with solely a symbolic role, often not recognised. So why do we need them and how important are they? Because they are part of our archaic memory, images of the father of the primitive hordes, and because they ‘sit’ above us, the symbolic role of the head of state can be read with the glasses of a psychoanalyst and the magnifier of a socio-legal scholar. This paper is a journey in time and space, looking at the move from the sovereign-monarch to the president-monarch, unfolding the question of authority and its link to ‘distance’ but also the connection to ‘the Father’ and the notion of the two bodies.


David Marrani
Dr. David Marrani, Senior Lecturer, University of Essex, School of Law, UK.
Article

Is Africa Ready for Electronic Commerce?

A Critical Appraisal of the Legal Framework for Ecommerce in Africa

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3-4 2011
Authors Nnaemeka Ewelukwa
AbstractAuthor's information

    It remains a daunting but not insurmountable challenge to actualize broad-based long term economic development in Africa. Statistics indicate that the poverty level in the continent is very high and the continent’s contribution to global trade remains very low in terms of export outflows. While acknowledging the negative aspects of Africa’s development however, it is important to note that the future may yet become brighter if key steps are taken by law and policy makers in the continent to put in place laws and policies that can facilitate the development process. One of the ways in which economic development can be facilitated is to significantly boost Africa’s contribution to global trade. In this regard, it has been noted that ‘After falling by 2.5% in 2009, export volumes of African countries are expected to increase on average by 3.2% in 2010 and by 5% in 2011.


Nnaemeka Ewelukwa
Dr. iur. (Queen Mary, London), Senior Teaching Fellow, International Trade Law, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London (SOAS).
Article

OHADA’s Proposed Uniform Act on Contract Law

Formal Law for the Informal Sector

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3-4 2011
Authors Claire Moore Dickerson
AbstractAuthor's information

    A great deal of effort and a great deal of erudition have gone into the preparation of the OHADA Uniform Act on Contract Law (preliminary draft) [hereinafter draft Uniform Act on Contract Law].1xThe participants at this conference need no introduction to OHADA. The following sources may be helpful to Anglophones seeking basic information about this uniform system of business laws, which includes both statutes (“uniform acts”) and institutions, and is effective in 16 West and Central African countries (with a 17th having signed and ratified the constitutive treaty). Books: C. Moore Dickerson (Ed.), Unified Business Laws for Africa: Common Law Perspectives on OHADA, 2009; Mator et al., Business Law in Africa: OHADA and the Harmonization Process, 2nd edn, 2007; M. Baba Idris (Ed.), Harmonization of Business Law in Africa: The Law, Issues, Problems & Prospects, 2007. Websites, all of which have English-language content, including unofficial translations of the principal OHADA documents: <www.ohada.com>, which also contains scholarly articles; and <www.juriscope.org>, which provides English-language commentary for three of the uniform acts. Also useful is OHADA’s official website, <www.ohada.org>; however, as of this writing (25 February 2011), it describes its English-language portion as still under construction.
    During OHADA’s legislature, the Council of Ministers, adopted at its meeting (13-15 December 2010) revisions to two of its eight existing statutes, namely the Uniform Act on the General Commercial Law (“Acte Uniforme relatif au Droit Commercial Général”, originally adopted 17 April 1997, 1 JO OHADA 1 (1 October 1997), available at <www.ohada.com>, hereinafter sometimes “UAGCL”) and the Uniform Act on Secured Interests (the official French title is “Acte Uniforme portant Organisation des Sûretés,” originally adopted 17 April 1997, 3 JO OHADA 1 (1 October 1997), available at <www.ohada.com>), and adopted a new Uniform Act on Cooperatives, not yet in effect. Because the revised and new texts have not yet been published in their official form as of this writing (25 February 2011), all discussions of the uniform acts, and in particular of the UAGCL, are based on the texts in force prior to that meeting, except for the references at infra notes 10, 19 & 22. The acronym “OHADA” stands for “Organisation pour l’Harmonisation en Afrique du Droit des Affaires”, sometimes translated as “Organization for the Harmonization in Africa of Business Laws”.
    An important but simple observation is that by far the greater part of the economies in OHADA’s current and prospective member-countries is located in the informal sector. This reality inevitably will have an impact on the implementation of the proposed uniform act currently under discussion. To be sure, the uniform act, if adopted, will affect agreements in the formal sector. The focus here, however, is the informal sector, for which the draft uniform act is already remarkably suited, given its broad and clear fundamental principles, and its respect for local norms.

Noten

  • 1 The participants at this conference need no introduction to OHADA. The following sources may be helpful to Anglophones seeking basic information about this uniform system of business laws, which includes both statutes (“uniform acts”) and institutions, and is effective in 16 West and Central African countries (with a 17th having signed and ratified the constitutive treaty). Books: C. Moore Dickerson (Ed.), Unified Business Laws for Africa: Common Law Perspectives on OHADA, 2009; Mator et al., Business Law in Africa: OHADA and the Harmonization Process, 2nd edn, 2007; M. Baba Idris (Ed.), Harmonization of Business Law in Africa: The Law, Issues, Problems & Prospects, 2007. Websites, all of which have English-language content, including unofficial translations of the principal OHADA documents: <www.ohada.com>, which also contains scholarly articles; and <www.juriscope.org>, which provides English-language commentary for three of the uniform acts. Also useful is OHADA’s official website, <www.ohada.org>; however, as of this writing (25 February 2011), it describes its English-language portion as still under construction.
    During OHADA’s legislature, the Council of Ministers, adopted at its meeting (13-15 December 2010) revisions to two of its eight existing statutes, namely the Uniform Act on the General Commercial Law (“Acte Uniforme relatif au Droit Commercial Général”, originally adopted 17 April 1997, 1 JO OHADA 1 (1 October 1997), available at <www.ohada.com>, hereinafter sometimes “UAGCL”) and the Uniform Act on Secured Interests (the official French title is “Acte Uniforme portant Organisation des Sûretés,” originally adopted 17 April 1997, 3 JO OHADA 1 (1 October 1997), available at <www.ohada.com>), and adopted a new Uniform Act on Cooperatives, not yet in effect. Because the revised and new texts have not yet been published in their official form as of this writing (25 February 2011), all discussions of the uniform acts, and in particular of the UAGCL, are based on the texts in force prior to that meeting, except for the references at infra notes 10, 19 & 22. The acronym “OHADA” stands for “Organisation pour l’Harmonisation en Afrique du Droit des Affaires”, sometimes translated as “Organization for the Harmonization in Africa of Business Laws”.


Claire Moore Dickerson
LL.M. in Taxation (New York University), J.D. (Columbia), Professor of Law and Breaux Chair in Business Law (Tulane University), permanent visiting professor (University of Buea).
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