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Article

Increased Uptake of Surveillance Technologies During COVID-19

Implications for Democracies in the Global South

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 4 2020
Keywords surveillance technology, platform economy, COVID-19, democracy, global south, belt and road initiative
Authors Alex Read
AbstractAuthor's information

    Social change and introduction of new technologies have historically followed crises such as pandemics, and COVID-19 has seen increasing public tracking through the use of digital surveillance technology. While surveillance technology is a key tool for enhancing virus preparedness and reducing societal risks, the speed of uptake is likely to raise ethical questions where citizens are monitored and personal data is collected. COVID-19 has occurred during a period of democratic decline, and the predominant surveillance-based business model of the ‘platform economy’, together with the development and export of artificial intelligence (AI)-powered surveillance tools, carries particular risks for democratic development in the countries of the Global South. Increased use of surveillance technology has implications for human rights and can undermine the individual privacy required for democracies to flourish. Responses to these threats must come from new regulatory regimes and innovations within democracies and a renewed international approach to the threats across democracies of the Global North and South.


Alex Read
Alex Read, democratic governance consultant for organisations including UNDP, Inter-Parliamentary Union, Westminster Foundation for Democracy.
Article

Consultations, Citizen Narratives and Evidence-Based Regulation

The Strange Case of the Consultation on the Collaborative Economy

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1-2 2017
Keywords Better Regulation, consultations, evidence-based lawmaking, sharing economy, narratives
Authors Sofia Ranchordás
AbstractAuthor's information

    The 2015 Better Regulation Communication advocates an evidence-based approach to regulation, which includes better consultations and broader civic engagement. In this article, I consider the recent EU public consultation on the regulatory environment of online platforms and the collaborative economy. I enquire in this context whether citizens were seriously regarded as evidence providers and how their knowledge that materialized in individual narratives could contribute to more legitimate and thus better regulation. I argue that an evidence-based approach to regulation should also include citizen narratives as they can provide first-hand and diverse perspectives, which might not be considered in standard consultation questions. I contend that citizen narratives can be particularly useful in complex and rapidly evolving fields where there is still little empirical evidence and where participants are likely to have diverse personal experiences. Drawing on the literature on narratives, I contend that this method of collecting information can help regulators identify new problems and structure solutions in rapidly changing and diverse regulatory fields such as the collaborative economy.


Sofia Ranchordás
Sofia Ranchordás is an Assistant Professor of Administrative and Constitutional Law at Leiden Law School, the Netherlands, and Affiliated Fellow of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School.
Article

Why Better Regulation Demands Better Scrutiny of Results

The European Parliament’s Use of Performance Audits by the European Court of Auditors in ex post Impact Assessment

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1-2 2017
Keywords EU budget, European Parliamentary Research Service, policy evaluation, scrutiny, oversight
Authors Paul Stephenson
AbstractAuthor's information

    Ex post impact assessment (traditionally considered part of policy evaluation) received less attention in the preceding ‘Better Regulation’ package (2011) than ex ante impact assessment. Yet, the insights generated through ex post impact assessment provide crucial input for streamlining legislation. In recognition of its contribution, the current agenda (2015) extends the reach to policy evaluation, and from financial instruments to regulatory instruments. In light of existing experience with impact assessments in Commission Directorates-General (DGs), the European Union (EU) institutions have been increasingly aware of the need to develop staff expertise in ex post (policy) evaluation, which has in the past been largely outsourced to external parties. Making sense of collected input and incorporating it within impact assessment is time consuming. Indeed, taking up the findings for practical use is a challenge for political decision makers but essential for the purposes of accountability, scrutiny and institutional learning. The challenge is more so, given the wealth of information being generated by multiple parties and the increasing technical and financial complexity of certain policy areas. The role of the Commission as an advocate of ‘Better Regulation’ has been studied extensively. However, we know relatively little about the role of the European Parliament (EP) in ex post evaluation. This article contributes to the literature on ‘Better Regulation in the EU’ by shedding light on the EP activities in the realm of scrutiny and evaluation. In particular, it looks at the Parliament’s use of special reports produced by the European Court of Auditors (ECA) through its performance audit work and how it takes on board the findings and recommendations in its scrutiny of budgetary spending. Moreover, it examines the emerging role of the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) in monitoring the outputs of the ECA and other bodies engaged in audit and evaluation, and thereby, the way in which the EPRS is helping increase the Parliament’s capacity for scrutiny and oversight.


Paul Stephenson
Maastricht University.
Article

Criminal Issues in International Space Law

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2016
Keywords space law, criminal law, international law, jurisdiction, space exploration
Authors Michael Chatzipanagiotis
AbstractAuthor's information

    This paper attempts to outline the rules and principles of international space law governing criminal activity in outer space or on board a space object. The relevant issues concern mainly the exercise of criminal jurisdiction, including extradition, and the disciplinary authority on board a space object. First, we examine the pertinent rules of general international law. Then, we analyse the applicable provisions of general space law, namely the Outer Space Treaty and the Moon Agreement, as well as the special rules on the International Space Station. Subsequently, we attempt to propose solutions to the main future challenges in international space law, which regard criminal behaviour on board aerospace vehicles, aboard private space stations, and issues regarding interplanetary missions and human settlements on celestial bodies.


Michael Chatzipanagiotis
Attorney-at-law, Athens, Greece; Adjunct Professor, European University of Cyprus, Law School, Nicosia, Cyprus.
Article

Islamic Policy of Environmental Conservation

1,500 Years Old – Yet Thoroughly Modern

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2 2014
Keywords environment, waqf (endowment), khalifa (steward), God's equilibrium, Arab Spring
Authors Mohamed A. ‘Arafa
AbstractAuthor's information

    Any legal system plays a significant role in the principle underlying its legal doctrines. The legal system works in compliance with, or as a consequence of cultural order. In other words, any legal system is restricted to a certain environment and subject to cultural impact. Culture and law operate in conjunction. Politics and economy are, among others, the main disciplines affecting that legal system including environmental laws and natural resources. The present article attempts a comparative analysis of three different legal systems and their approaches to environmental law, contributing to the extensive literature on this area of law in numerous areas of the world such as the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. However, that literature appears to have had little coverage of the treatment of environmental law in Islamic law, one of the three main global legal systems together with common and civil law. The bold spread of Islamic tendency in the Middle East that followed the so-called “Arab Spring” assures major changes in the political and economic sphere, including environmental and natural resource levels. Environmental threats are very pressing all over the world, as the Earth needs to be protected through the adoption of universally applicable legal rules and the right to a healthy environment needs to be elaborated on in international instruments. It is very significant to understand Islam's overall view of the universe to comprehend the gap between Islamic theories and practices in Muslim countries. The universe is full of diversified creatures that aim to fulfill man's needs and prove God's greatness. The Qur'an states: “Have you not seen that God is glorified by all in the heavens and on earth, such as birds with wings outspread? Each knows its worship and glorification, and God is aware of what they do.”All creatures in the universe perform two specific roles: a religious role of evidencing God's perfection and presence and a social role of serving man and other creatures. The final outcome is the solidarity of the universe and the realization of its common good (benefit).
    Man's position in the universe is premised on two principles: the stewardship of man which means that man is not only a creature but also God's khalifa (steward) on earth; God is the only proprietor of earth; and man is a mere beneficiary, and man can exploit nature for his/her and other creatures’ benefit without depleting it and the principle of trust that all natural resources created by God are placed as a trust in man's hand and needs of coming generations must be taken into consideration by man. Islamic environmental law uses a “duty paradigm” in the sphere of the right to healthy environment, as human beings must not destroy, deplete, or unwisely use natural resources but have an obligation to develop and enhance natural resources. Any disturbance of God's equilibrium in the universe is a transgression and athm (sin) against the divine system. Last but by no means least, Islamic law regards man as a creature with elevated status. In Islamic environmental law, the human is not the owner of nature, but a mere beneficiary. Islamic environmental safety is based upon the principle of “use” without “abuse”. Environmental protection under the Islamic legal scheme does not differ from any modern environmental legal system.


Mohamed A. ‘Arafa
Adjunct Professor of Islamic Law at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law (USA); Assistant Professor of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice at Alexandria University Faculty of Law (Egypt). SJD, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law (2013); LLM, University of Connecticut School of Law (2008); LLB, Alexandria University Faculty of Law (2006). Dr. ‘Arafa is a Visiting Professor of Business Law at the Arab Academy for Science, Technology, and Maritime Transport (‘College of Business Management’). Moreover, Professor ‘Arafa is a Domestic Public Mediator under Alternative Dispute Resolution, Indiana Rule ADR 25 (2012) and served as an Associate Trainee Attorney and Executive Attorney Assistant at ‘Arafa Law Firm (2007). Of course, all errors remain the author's.
Article

Internet Trolling and the 2011 UK Riots

The Need for a Dualist Reform of the Constitutional, Administrative and Security Frameworks in Great Britain

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2014
Keywords UK riots, tort law, criminal law, dualism, Internet trolling
Authors Jonathan Bishop
Abstract

    This article proposes the need for ‘dualism’ in the legal system, where civil and criminal offences are considered at the same time, and where both the person complaining and the person responding are on trial at the same time. Considered is how reforming the police and judiciary, such as by replacing the police with legal aid solicitors and giving many of their other powers to the National Crime Agency could improve outcomes for all. The perils of the current system, which treats the accused as criminals until proven not guilty, are critiqued, and suggestions for replacing this process with courts of law that treat complainant and respondent equally are made. The article discusses how such a system based on dualism might have operated during the August 2011 UK riots, where the situation had such a dramatic effect on how the social networking aspects, such as ‘Internet trolling’, affected it.


Jonathan Bishop
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

Developments in Regional Trade Law

A View from Israel

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2013
Keywords foreign trade, free trade area agreements, regional trade agreements
Authors Talia Einhorn
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article analyzes the developments in Israel’s regional trade agreements and their effects on the liberalization of its international trade. The article first addresses Israel’s dependence upon its international trade and the case for liberalizing it (Section A); the RTAs concluded by Israel (Section B); the contribution of the first Free Trade Area Agreements (FTAs), concluded by Israel with the European Economic Community, on the one hand, and the United States, on the other, to the overall liberalization of its international trade (Section C); a discussion follows of the special problems encountered with the rules of origin, an essential characteristic of any FTA, and of the proof of origin under Israel’s FTAs (Section D). The special features and problematic aspects of the customs union, concluded between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), are analyzed (Section E). Finally, the article provides an outlook into the future of Israel’s RTAs (Section F).


Talia Einhorn
Professor of Law (Ordinaria), Ariel University Department of Economics and Business Management/Visiting Senior Research Fellow, Tel-Aviv University Faculty of Management; <taliaeinhorn@gmail.com>. The author is grateful to Adv. Avigdor Dorot for sharing his valuable practical experience.

Philippe Billiet
Hammonds LLP.
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