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Article

Addressing the Pension Challenge: Can the EU Respond?

Towards Facilitating the Portability of Supplementary (Occupational) Pension Rights

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 4 2014
Keywords Economic crisis, social protection, pension provision, occupational pensions, cross-border portability of pension rights
Authors Konstantina Kalogeropoulou
AbstractAuthor's information

    The European economic crisis has underlined the challenges that Member States of the European Union face towards ensuring adequate social protection provision for their citizens. The effects of the crisis have and can further impact on the capacity of pension schemes, both state provided and privately managed, that constitute a significant aspect of social protection, to deliver pension promises. This paper highlights the current situation that the common pension challenges pose for Member States and focuses on a particular issue around occupational pension provision, which has been on the European Commission’s agenda for a long time, and on which limited progress had been made. This is the issue of cross-border portability of supplementary pension rights. It is argued that current circumstances facilitate EU action to be taken in this area. In the first section, the paper identifies the main challenges around pension provision stemming from demographic ageing and the effects of the economic crisis. Section two provides a brief overview of the Commission’s holistic approach envisaged in its 2012 White Paper on safe, adequate, and sustainable pensions. Section three provides an overview of the issue of the portability of supplementary pension rights for EU workers. Section four outlines previous attempts and recent developments towards the adoption of legislative measures to promote the portability of such pension entitlements. The paper concludes by arguing that the renewed focus on pensions, in the context of current challenges and the need to enhance workers’ mobility and to provide adequate social protection, have paved the way towards the adoption of measures in this area.


Konstantina Kalogeropoulou
Senior Lecturer in Law, Kingston University. I would like to thank Dr Ioannis Glinavos for the invitation to participate in this special issue.
Article

Medically Assisted Reproduction in Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates

Sunni and Shia Legal Debates

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2 2014
Keywords medically assisted reproduction, Islam, Middle East, family formation, law
Authors Andrea Büchler and Eveline Schneider Kayasseh
AbstractAuthor's information

    Since the mid-1980s, biotechnologies have been widely used to assist human conception around the world, and especially in the Middle East. In this article, our main focus is the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as well as Egypt, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and Saudi-Arabia. In these Muslim-majority countries, an ever rising demand for fertility treatments runs parallel to far-reaching demographic and social changes. While assisted reproductive technologies offer various methods to pursue the desire to have biological children, they do also underscore religious and cultural sensibilities about traditional male-female relationships and family formation.
    In order to outline contemporary opinions and state laws and regulations in the countries mentioned in the outset, core notions and concepts of the Islamic family that are relevant for understanding attitudes regarding reproductive medicine and that have influence on couples seeking fertility treatment are outlined. It is also shown how ethical-juridical considerations have shaped the scholarly discourse about assisted reproduction. In this context, assisted reproductive techniques that include eggs, sperm, embryos, or wombs from third parties have been particularly contentious. In fact, there remain different views among Islamic jurists and senior clerics in Shia Islam regarding ethically controversial issues such as egg and sperm donation, as well as surrogate motherhood. While the number of IVF-clinics is on the rise in all countries discussed in this article, only in the UAE are clinics operating with rather comprehensive legislative oversight.


Andrea Büchler
University of Zurich, Switzerland.

Eveline Schneider Kayasseh
University of Zurich, Switzerland.
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

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

Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion and Islam

A Review of Laws Regarding ‘Offences Relating to Religion’ in Pakistan from a Domestic and International Law Perspective

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2 2014
Keywords blasphemy, apostasy, freedom of religion, Ahmadi, minority rights in Pakistan
Authors Ujala Akram
AbstractAuthor's information

    During the struggle for a separate homeland, named Pakistan, for Muslims who were the then religious minority in British India, a promise was inevitably made that the religious minorities will enjoy freedom to hold and practice their belief in this new country. The promise was kept in all three Constitutions of Pakistan where minorities were given the right to practice their religion. However, the subsequent amendments to the Constitution were made with the presumption that Pakistan was created to establish an Islamic State, which stifled the freedom of religion and belief of the religious minorities. In the absence of a domestic mechanism to protect the freedom of religion in Pakistan, international law was supposed to play a major role in the protection of the same. Unfortunately, international law, owing to the lack of sanctions and mechanism to implement the law, proved to be weak in this case. However, through an amalgamation of international law, international pressure, amendments to existing laws and promulgation of new laws to protect the religious freedom of minorities in Pakistan – the minorities may be able to enjoy the freedom of religion as it was envisioned while fighting for the independence of Pakistan.


Ujala Akram
LLM 2007, S.J.D. Candidate, Indiana University McKinney School of Law.
Article

Strengthening Child Laws in Africa

Some Examples from the New Children’s Act of Angola

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2014
Keywords children’s rights, instruments, law reform, good practice examples, developments or advancements
Authors Aquinaldo Célio Mandlate
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article highlights some of the major contributions of the new Children’s Act of Angola (Act 25/12 of 22 August 2012) to the effect that they can be used to advance children’s rights in Africa. The article advocates that although the Angolan law is in many respects similar to other African children’s statutes, its drafters added certain remarkable aspects that can be utilised to advance children’s rights in other countries in the continent. In acknowledging these innovations and the need to strengthen child laws in Africa the contribution calls on African states to learn from the Angolan experience in their quest to advance children’s rights in their own jurisdictions. Other states are also encouraged to learn from the Angolan example.


Aquinaldo Célio Mandlate
Aquinaldo Célio Mandlate, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow (UWC), LLD (Western Cape), LLM (Pretoria), is a practising lawyer registered with the Mozambican Bar Association. He also does consultancy works on several fields. His areas of interest include international human rights law, governance and rule of law, investment, corporate, tax law and banking regulations. Contact at aquinaldo101@gmail.com.
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.
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