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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

Patience, Ladies

Gender-Sensitive Parliamentary Responses in a Time of Crisis

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 4 2020
Keywords gender sensitivity, parliament, responsiveness, COVID-19, democracy, women
Authors Sonia Palmieri and Sarah Childs
AbstractAuthor's information

    In early 2020, in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, numerous parliaments played their rightful democratic role by following the advice of health and economic experts and swiftly passing emergency legislation and relief packages. This was, in many countries, an attempt to reach an equilibrium between saving lives and saving economic livelihoods, on the understanding that both were in serious jeopardy. In the face of public health measures many parliaments also found themselves having to reform their own rules, procedures and practices. In both cases – policy interventions and institutional redesign – it appears that parliamentary responses to the Covid-19 situation were less commonly based on the advice of gender experts or informed by considerations of gender inequalities. Few, if any, emergency packages were designed following a systematic consideration of existing, deeply entrenched gender inequalities, despite continuous public analysis and commentary about the disproportionate gender impacts of the pandemic and the resulting lockdowns; and no parliaments instituted (temporary) rule changes that prioritized the voices of women parliamentarians or constituents. In this article, which draws on our work drafting the UN Women Covid-19 Parliamentary Primer & Checklist, we revisit the democratic case for gender-sensitive parliaments, highlighting their particular relevance to the 2020 pandemic. We introduce our model for gender-sensitive crisis responses across four key stages of the parliamentary process presented in the Primer – representation, deliberation, legislation and scrutiny – and offer an initial assessment of what transpired in the world’s parliaments based on an IPU survey. We suggest that if parliaments are to be gender-sensitive institutions in times of crisis, they must not only change how they do politics but also develop and sustain a robust political culture that values gender equality and an ethic of caring that supports new rules, procedures and practices that better redress institutional gender deficiencies.


Sonia Palmieri
Sonia Palmieri, Australian National University.

Sarah Childs
Sarah Childs, Royal Holloway, University of London.
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

Alternative Forms of Regulation: Are They Really ‘Better’ Regulation?

A Case Study of the European Standardization Process

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1-2 2017
Keywords Better Regulation, co-regulation, standardization, judicial review
Authors Mariolina Eliantonio
AbstractAuthor's information

    One of the commitments of the Better Regulation Package is to consider ‘both regulatory and well-designed non-regulatory means’. Such mechanisms include co-regulation, i.e. administrative processes which involve the participation of private parties, such as the social partners or the standardization bodies, as (co-)decision makers. While the involvement of private parties in European Union (EU) administrative governance has the clear advantage of delivering policies which are based on the expertise of the regulatees themselves, private-party rule-making raises significant concerns in terms of its legitimacy. This article aims to discuss the gaps of judicial protection which exist in co-regulation mechanisms, by taking the case study of the standardization process. After an introduction to the issue of co-regulation and the rationale for the involvement of private parties in EU administrative governance, the standardization process will be examined and the mechanisms of judicial supervision will be reviewed in order to establish the possible gaps of judicial protection.


Mariolina Eliantonio
Dr. M. Eliantonio is an associate professor of European Administrative Law at the Law Faculty of Maastricht University, The Netherlands.
Article

Systems Thinking, Big Data, and Data Protection Law

Using Ackoff’s Interactive Planning to Respond to Emergent Policy Challenges

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 4 2016
Keywords big data, data protection, data minimization, systems thinking, interactive planning
Authors Henry Pearce
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article examines the emergence of big data and how it poses a number of significant novel challenges to the smooth operation of some of the European data protection framework’s fundamental tenets. Building on previous research in the area, the article argues that recent proposals for reform in this area, as well as proposals based on conventional approaches to policy making and regulatory design more generally, will likely be ill-equipped to deal with some of big data’s most severe emergent difficulties. Instead, it is argued that novel, and possibly unorthodox, approaches to regulation and policy design premised on systems thinking methodologies may represent attractive and alternative ways forward. As a means of testing this general hypothesis, the article considers Interactive Planning, a systems thinking methodology popularized by the organizational theorist Russel Ackoff, as a particular embryonic example of one such methodological approach, and, using the challenges posed by big data to the principle of purpose limitation as a case study, explores whether its usage may be beneficial in the development of data protection law and policy in the big data environment.


Henry Pearce
University of Hertfordshire, Lecturer in law, e-mail: h.pearce@herts.ac.uk.
Article

Drafting of Legislation in Compliance with Model Laws

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 4 2013
Keywords challenges, domestic legislation, model laws
Authors Lesedi Poloko
AbstractAuthor's information

    Lawmaking is an essential attribute of a state. Laws differ from one country to another, and compliance with different legal rules may create problems. Uniformity of laws is an end in itself, and its value lies in its practical benefits. Interest in the quality of legislative instruments is a major concern, especially as regards the effectiveness of the national legislation.


Lesedi Poloko
LLM in Advanced Legislative Studies (2011-2012), Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London. The author would like to thank Prof. Helen Xanthaki for her constructive comments and valuable suggestions. Any errors remain those of the author.
Article

Legislative Techniques in Rwanda

Present and Future

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2013
Keywords legislative drafting, law-making, drafting techniques, Rwanda, quality of legislation
Authors Helen Xanthaki
AbstractAuthor's information

    This report is the result of the collective work of 26 Rwandan civil servants from a number of ministries, who set out to offer the Ministry of Justice a report on legislative drafting in Rwanda. The work was undertaken under the umbrella of the Diploma in Legislative Drafting offered by the Institute for Legal Professional Development (ILPD) in Nyanza under the rectorship of Prof. Nick Johnson. The authors have used their experience of practising drafting in Rwanda, but have contributed to the report in their personal capacity: their views are personal and do not reflect those of the Government of Rwanda.
    My only contribution was the identification of topics, which follows the well-established structure of manuals and textbooks in drafting; the division of the report into two parts: Part 1 on the legislative process and Part 2 on drafting techniques; and the methodology of each individual entry to our report: what is current Rwandan practice, what are international standards, what is the future of Rwanda, and a short bibliography to allow the readers and users of the report to read further, if needed.
    The strength of this report lies both in the methodology used and in the content offered. The breakdown of topics, their prioritization and their sequence allow the reader to acquire a holistic view on how legislation is drafted in Rwanda, but there is nothing to prevent its use in the context of surveys on legislative drafting and legislative quality in other jurisdictions. The content offers a unique insight into the legislative efforts of a jurisdiction in transition from civil to common law: both styles are assessed without prejudice, thus offering a unique fertile ground for critical assessment and practical impact analysis.
    June 2013


Helen Xanthaki
Senior Lecturer and Academic Director, Centre for Legislative Studies, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London, Lawyer (Athens Bar).
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

Instructions to Draft Legislation

A Study on Legislative Drafting Process in Rwanda

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2-3 2012
Keywords drafting instructions, Rwanda, quality of legislation
Authors Ruth Ikiriza
Abstract

    Drafting instructions are always difficult to discuss and evaluate because very often they depend on local traditions. Nevertheless, despite local traditions in drafting instructions their complete absence must be seen as a problem. This article tackles the issue of drafting instructions and their importance in the development of good drafts. And by good drafts the author means good quality drafts which will lead to good quality legislation. The article uses Rwanda as a case study and employs Thornton’s five stages of the drafting process as its basic methodology.


Ruth Ikiriza

Pius Perry Biribonwoha
MA Advanced Legislative Studies (Merit) (London), LLB (Hons) (MUK), Cert. Legislative Drafting, International Law Institute, Kampala, Advocate of the High Court of Uganda and Senior Legal Officer, Uganda Law Reform Commission.

Philippe Billiet
Hammonds LLP.
Article

Judicial Activism

Usurpation of Parliament’s and Executive’s Legislative Functions, or a Quest for Justice and Social Transformation

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2 2011
Keywords judicial activism, separation of powers, constitutional interpretation
Authors Reyneck Matemba
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article examines the concept of judicial activism in relation to the courts’ role of interpreting legislation, particularly focusing on the courts’ function of interpreting the Constitution. It specifically examines modes of constitutional interpretation obtaining in RSA and Nigeria, by focusing on selected judicial decisions by superior courts in the two countries. It also examines constitutional provisions governing the interpretation of the Constitution (Bill of Rights) and legislation as provided for in the Constitution of RSA and that of Nigeria. It also makes a comparative examination of judicial approaches to the interpretation of socio-economic rights enshrined in the Constitution of each of the two countries, specifically focusing on the rights to health and housing.The article observes that the concept of judicial activism is a necessary tool for attaining justice and achieving social transformation.


Reyneck Matemba
Reyneck Thokozani Matemba is a member of the Malawi Law Society and the Commonwealth Association of Legislative Counsel (CALC) and works as an Assistant Chief Legislative Counsel for the Ministry of Justice, Malawi.
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).
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