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Article

Regional Differentiation in Europe, between EU Proposals and National Reforms

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2020
Keywords regional differentiation, regional disparities, autonomy, regionalism, subsidiarity, European Union, multilevel governance
Authors Gabriella Saputelli
AbstractAuthor's information

    Regions and local governments play a very important role in the application of European law and in the implementation of European policies. The economic crisis of 2008 has accentuated territorial and social differentiation and highlighted the negative effects of globalization. This circumstance has created resentment among peripheral and marginal communities in the electoral results, but also a strong request for involvement, participation and sometimes independence from territories. These developments raise new questions about the relationship between the EU and the Regions and, more widely, about the role of subnational entities in the EU integration process, as they are the institutions nearest to citizens.
    The aim of this article is to contribute to that debate by exploring the following research question: ‘is subnational differentiation positive or negative for European integration?’ Towards a possible answer, two perspectives are examined from a constitutional law approach. From the top down, it examines the attitude of the EU towards regional differentiation, from the origins of the EU integration process and its development until recent initiatives and proposals. From the bottom up, it analyses the role of subnational entities by presenting the Italian experience, through the reforms that have been approved over the years until the recent proposal for asymmetric regionalism. The aim is to understand whether regional differentiation still represents a positive element for the European integration process, considering the role that subnational entities play in many policies and the challenges described earlier.


Gabriella Saputelli
Researcher of Public Law at the Institute for the Study of Regionalism, Federalism and Self Government (ISSiRFA) of the National Research Council (CNR).
Article

Constitutional Narcissism on the Couch of Psychoanalysis

Constitutional Unamendability in Portugal and Spain

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2019
Keywords unamendable/ eternity clauses, de jure and de facto constitutional change, constitutional narcissism, foundational design, helicopter founding fathers, constitutional alma mater
Authors Catarina Santos Botelho
AbstractAuthor's information

    Comparing the Portuguese Constitution, which has the longest unamendable clause in the world, with the silence of the Spanish Constitution regarding the language of eternity is indeed a fascinating exercise. Each state’s quantum of constitutional change seems to be quite different. One can wonder how two neighbouring states that share a heavy history of right-wing dictatorships and transitioned to democracy forty years ago opted for such dissimilar constitutional designs. However, appearances are often misleading, and an effort should be done to unveil this curious mismatch.
    Both legal orders suffer from what I call constitutional narcissism, which manifests itself through the urge to perpetuate the foundational constitutional moment. Unamendable clauses (Portugal) and quasi-unamendable clauses (Spain) recast one of constitutional theory’s inner paradoxes: Can the constituent power of the people be petrified in one historical constituent decision and constrain future democratic transitions? And what if a volatile contemporary majority seeks to undermine the democratic process and run against the constitutional DNA achievements of the last centuries?
    Even if the original version of the Portuguese Constitution prohibited several provisions from ever being amended, some of these provisions were indeed modified or removed in the 1989 constitutional amendment process. This occurred without major disagreement from the political organs, scholars, or the judiciary. Therefore, the vexata quaestio remains unanswered: Given their obsolescence or hindrance towards good governance, should entrenchment clauses be eliminated de jure (through a channelled constitutional amendment process, such as the double amendment procedure) or de facto (through a revolutionary process materialized outside of the constitutional framework)?


Catarina Santos Botelho
Assistant Professor and Department Chair of Constitutional Law at the Porto Faculty of Law, Universidade Católica Portuguesa. Email: cbotelho@porto.ucp.pt. I thank Paul Kahn, Nuno Garoupa, Richard Albert, Gonçalo Almeida Ribeiro, Yaniv Roznai, Ana Teresa Ribeiro, and Luís Heleno Terrinha for their very helpful comments.
Article

Access_open Constitutional Norms for All Time?

General Entrenchment Clauses in the History of European Constitutionalism

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2019
Keywords constitutional amendments, constitutional law, constitutional politics, constitutionalism, entrenchment clauses, eternity clauses
Authors Michael Hein
AbstractAuthor's information

    ‘General entrenchment clauses’ are constitutional provisions that make amendments to certain parts of a constitution either more difficult to achieve than ‘normal’ amendments or even impossible, i.e., legally inadmissible. This article examines the origins of these clauses during the American Revolution (1776-77), their migration to the ‘Old World’, and their dissemination and differentiation on the European continent from 1776 until the end of 2015. In particular, the article answers three questions: (1) When, and in which contexts, did general constitutional entrenchment clauses emerge? (2) How have they migrated to and disseminated in Europe? (3) Which constitutional subjects do such clauses protect, and thus, which main functions do they aim to fulfil?


Michael Hein
Adult Education Center Altenburger Land, Altenburg, Germany. Email: mail@michaelhein.de. All cited websites were visited on June 18, 2018. Unless stated otherwise, all references to constitutions in this article are taken from M. Hein, The Constitutional Entrenchment Clauses Dataset, Göttingen 2018, http://data.michaelhein.de. All translations are by the author.
Article

Better Regulation and Post-Legislative Scrutiny in the European Union

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2 2019
Keywords parliaments, post-legislative scrutiny, better regulation, European Union, legislation, regulation, democracy
Authors Davor Jancic
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article analyses the manner in which the EU’s Better Regulation Agenda impacts pre-legislative and post-legislative scrutiny by national parliaments, as two important dimensions of their function of democratic control over EU decision making. To this end, the article critically assesses the institutional arrangements and procedures foreseen under the Commission’s 2015 Better Regulation package and examines the 2017 review of the Better Regulation Agenda, which is a fresh push towards its enhancement. The article is structured as follows. After an overview of the legal grounding and evolution of better regulation in EU law, the analysis surveys the implications for parliaments of the Juncker Commission’s package of reforms, which are laid out in a Communication and implemented through a set of guidelines, a refurbished toolbox for practitioners, a revised Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT), and an Interinstitutional Agreement on Better Lawmaking adopted in 2016. On this basis, the article discusses post-legislative scrutiny of EU legislation on its own merits as well as from the perspective of its relationship with pre-legislative scrutiny. The latter is important since it is the most efficient way for parliaments to influence the contents of EU policies. The article concludes that the Better Regulation Agenda maintains the status quo in domestic parliamentary participation in EU affairs and misses the opportunity to fortify the latter’s European embeddedness.


Davor Jancic
Dr Davor Jancic is Lecturer in Law, Director of the English & European Law LLB programme, Department of Law, Queen Mary University of London.
Article

Smart Enforcement

Theory and Practice

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 4 2018
Keywords regulatory inspections, regulatory enforcement, environmental regulations, smart regulation
Authors Dr. Florentin Blanc and Prof. Michael Faure
AbstractAuthor's information

    There is an increasing attention both on how inspections and enforcement efforts with respect to regulatory breaches can be made as effective as possible. Regulatory breaches refer to violations of norms that have been prescribed in public regulation, such as, for example, environmental regulation, food safety regulation or regulation aiming at occupational health and safety. The enforcement of this regulation is qualified as regulatory enforcement. It has been claimed that inspections should not be random, but based on risk and target-specific violators and violations. Such a “smart” enforcement policy would be able to increase the effectiveness of enforcement policy. Policy makers are enthusiastic about this new strategy, but less is known about the theoretical foundations, nor about the empirical evidence. This article presents the theoretical foundations for smart enforcement as well as some empirics. Moreover, the conditions under which smart enforcement could work are identified, but also a few potential limits are presented.


Dr. Florentin Blanc
Dr. Florentin Blanc is a consultant to the World Bank Group, OECD, and governments on investment climate and business environment.

Prof. Michael Faure
Prof. Michael Faure is Academic Director Maastricht European institute for Transnational Legal Research (METRO), Maastricht University, Professor of Comparative and International Environmental Law, Maastricht University and Academic Director of Ius Commune Research School, Maastricht University. He is also Professor of Comparative Law and Economics at Erasmus Law School (Rotterdam).
Article

Implementing Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development in Africa

Is It Time to Shift the Paradigm on Law and Development?

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2018
Keywords Agenda 2030, Law and Development, Sustainable Development Goals, Rule of Law, Professor Robert Seidman, Institutionalist Legislative Theory and Methodology, Goal 16, Jurisprudence of Development
Authors Elizabeth Bakibinga-Gaswaga
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article discusses the relevance of Law and Development theories to the successful implementation or attainment of goals set out in Agenda 2030 in Africa. It zeros in on Sustainable Development Goal 16 and the role of rule of law to development. This article focuses on the work of the Law and Development movement and highlights the contribution of Prof. Robert Seidman to law and development for decades in newly independent African states. It examines the application of the Institutionalist Legislative Theory and Methodology, including the strengths and flaws, and makes recommendations on relevant lessons for rule of law practitioners, especially in terms of developing institutions and legal frameworks, promoting law and development research and building capacity through legal education. While this article does not provide recommendations on the best law and development model or theory, it raises some pertinent issues and makes practical recommendations on the way forward in the short to medium term.


Elizabeth Bakibinga-Gaswaga
Legal Adviser on the rule of law at The Commonwealth Secretariat. Former Vice President of Commonwealth Association of Legislative Counsel (CALC).
Article

Asymmetry as an Instrument of Differentiated Integration

The Case of the European Union

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2 2016
Keywords asymmetry, comparative and EU law, differentiated integration, crisis, economic governance
Authors Giuseppe Martinico
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article offers a reflection on asymmetry as an instrument of differentiated integration in the current phase of the EU integration process. As for the structure, this work is divided into four parts: First, I shall clarify what I mean by asymmetry as an instrument of integration relying on comparative law. This comparative exercise is particularly useful because it allows us to acknowledge the strong integrative function performed by asymmetry in contexts different from but comparable to the EU system. Second, I shall look at EU law and recall the main features of asymmetry in this particular legal system. In the third part of the article I shall look at the implications of the financial crisis, which has increased the resort to asymmetric instruments. In the last part I shall deal with some recent proposals concerning the differentiated representation of the Eurozone. The idea of differentiated integration and that of asymmetry have been extended and adapted to many different processes by scholars over the years, but to avoid misunderstandings I would like to make clear that in this work I shall analyse those forms of asymmetries that are allowed and carried out only when respect for an untouchable core of integration is guaranteed. This is crucial to conceive asymmetry as an instrument of integration.


Giuseppe Martinico
Associate Professor of Comparative Public Law, Scuola Sant’Anna, Pisa; Research Fellow, Centre for Studies on Federalism, Turin; Honorary Professor at the European law research centre, University of Henan, Kaifeng, China. Article Completed on 23 February 2016. This article is part of the project "Gobernanza económica europea y transformación constitucional”, (MINECO, DER2014-57116P).
Article

ChAFTA, Trade, and Food Safety

When the Rubber Hits the Road

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 4 2016
Keywords food safety laws in China and implementation issues, China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA), agricultural trade, corporate social responsibility, collaborative governance
Authors Ying Chen
AbstractAuthor's information

    Over the past decade, food safety has evolved into a compelling issue in China. The Chinese government has been committed to strengthening the regulatory framework. A series of laws and regulations ensuring the quality and safety of food in the interests of public health have been promulgated. However, a fairly comprehensive set of laws, along with harsh punishments, does not substantially deter food safety violations. Rather, foodborne illnesses continue to occur on a daily basis. How to improve food safety has become China’s national priority; it is also the main focus of this research. This article determines that one of the main obstacles to food safety is poor implementation of laws. It identifies the external and internal impediments to food safety governance in China. It further proposes an evolving series of potential solutions. Externally, weak enforcement undermines the credibility of the food safety laws. Internally, food manufacturers and distributors in China lack the sense of corporate social responsibility (CSR). To effectively reduce or even remove the external impediment, it is imperative to improve the overall governance in various sectors. As for the internal impediment, incorporating CSR principles into business operations is vital for food safety governance. In fact, the enforcement of many regional trade agreements, in particular, the enforcement of China–Australia FTA (ChAFTA) will largely increase market share of Australian food products in China. Undoubtedly, Chinese food businesses will face unprecedented competition. The pressure to gain competitive advantages in food markets yields an enormous change in motivation for Chinese food businesses. Chinese food companies will ultimately be forced to ‘voluntarily’ integrate CSR principles into their business operations. A significant change in the food sector is expected to be seen within the next decade. The article concludes that better practice in food safety governance in China requires two essential elements: a comprehensive regulatory and cooperative framework with essential rules and institutions, and an effective implementation mechanism involving both the public and private sectors.


Ying Chen
Dr. Ying Chen, Lecturer in Law, University of New England School of Law, Armidale, NSW2351, Australia. Email: ychen56@une.edu.au.
Article

Goodwill/Intangibles Accounting Rules, Earnings Management, and Competition

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2015
Keywords fraud, mergers and acquisitions, Games economic psychology, regulation, goodwill and intangibles
Authors Michael I.C. Nwogugu
AbstractAuthor's information

    Intangible assets account for 60%-75% of the market capitalization value in most developed stock markets around the world. The US GAAP and IFRS Goodwill and Intangibles accounting regulations (ASC 805, Business Combinations; ASC 350, Goodwill and Intangible Assets; IFRS-3R, Business Combinations; and IAS 38, Accounting for Intangible Assets) are inefficient and create potentially harmful psychological biases. These regulations facilitate earnings management and money laundering, reduce competition within industries, and are likely to increase the incidence of fraud and misconduct. This article introduces a new goodwill/intangibles disclosure/accounting model that can reduce the incidence of fraud, information asymmetry, moral hazard, adverse selection, and inaccuracy. The article also introduces new economic psychological theories that can explain fraud, misconduct, and non-compliance arising from the implementation of the goodwill/intangibles accounting rules.


Michael I.C. Nwogugu
Address: Enugu, Enugu State, Nigeria. Emails: mcn2225@aol.com; mcn111@juno.com. Phone: 234-909-606-8162.

    Under the Kafala system, which applies in all Arab countries, migrant workers must attain a work entry visa and residential permit, which is possible only if they are working for a domestic institution or corporation or a citizen of the respective country. Each and every employer is required, based on the Kafala system, to adopt all legal and economic responsibilities for all of the employer's workers during their contractual period. By giving wide-ranging powers and responsibilities unilaterally to employers, the Kafala system subjects workers to abysmal and exploitative working conditions, violence, and human rights abuses. Some of these problems have recently made headlines in the United States and in Europe in connection with the campus being built by New York University in Abu Dhabi. While NYU imposed a code of labor standards on its direct contractual partners, it claimed to have no means of controlling subcontractors. Nor did NYU try very hard, it seems, to verify compliance even by its direct contractual partners.
    Migrant workers make up at least 30 percent of the population of Saudi Arabia and 49 percent of Saudi Arabia's entire workforce. Employers control Saudi Arabia's Kafala system, in which migrant workers are the weakest link. Studies and international organizations report that foreigners employed in Saudi Arabia have returned home with many complaints. In 2006, Saudi Arabia re-examined all laws including its labor law. This re-examination resulted in abolishing some terms used in labor law, such as the kafala system, but the system remains as is. The new labor law includes many positive changes, but not enough according to the assessment of local and international scholars and observers. In this paper, I will reveal laws, practices and patterns that essentially cause the vulnerability of migrant workers, and I will suggest effective alternative strategies. This paper should contribute to our growing understanding of issues of concern for migrant workers in Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries and help to develop specific and necessary legal and institutional responses.


Majed M. Alzahrani
LL.M, Indiana University, Robert H. McKinney School of Law. The author would like to thank Professor Frank Emmert for advice and guidance in the production of this article.
Article

Continuous Mixed Forestry and the Citizens Forest Model

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2013
Keywords continuous mixed forestry in Europe, citizen forest society, forest law reform, climate change, social forest ethics
Authors J.W. Simon and W. Bode
AbstractAuthor's information

    Climate change, air pollution and especially short-rotation forestry are the main causes for increasing detrimental effects on forests. Therefore, it is urgently necessary to find effective counteractions to this damage so that forests will become resistant, grow sustainably and are more economically effective and thus contribute optimally to the common welfare for all citizens. ‘Continuous mixed forestry’, in contrast to the normally used short-rotation or age-classed-forestry, is one suitable model to counteract climate change and air pollution in this way on both the local and national level. It is forestry without clear-cuts, biocides and with soft logging by continuous thinning and natural regeneration.The necessary change to this sustainable cultivation model is generally possible and necessary all over Europe and in other areas of the world. A very good chance for this type of forestry is available now within the framework of selling state-owned forests to private investors. This selling is planned by governments in some countries like the Great Britain1xThe Guardian, 22 December 2010, For sale: all of our forests. Not some of them, nor most of them – the whole lot, 11:55 GMT; Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (2011), In love of the forest (Aus Liebe zum Forst), 4 February, No. 29, p. 5. But the British Government has apparently changed its view, see: The Guardian, 17 February 2011, Timber! Cameron in U-turn over forests sell-off, p. 1. and has been partly realised on a large scale in Germany.2xE.g. Lower House of the German Parliament (2009), answer of the Federal Government to the small question … Privatisation of forests by the Federal Institute of Real Estate Tasks, 16. Election period, Drucks. 16/14115, 30 September 2009. This article proposes selling the state-owned forests to a central, private national heritage foundation as a first step instead of transferring them with their traditional, mismanaged short rotation or age-classed forestry to private investors who would continue the state mismanagement. The task of the foundation would be to organize the ‘citizen forest society’ as a social-ethics–based society that is privately owned by citizens and the foundation. This would generate ecological advantages for the forest and moreover long-lasting profits for citizens, because the foundation would establish other organizations where the citizens become responsible owners of ‘their’ forest without any governmental or third-party influence.This proposal describes a solution to the demands of social-oriented ethics, which are primarily focused on the cooperation of responsible persons, represented by the private ownership of the forests, and directed by a responsible foundation.

Noten

  • 1 The Guardian, 22 December 2010, For sale: all of our forests. Not some of them, nor most of them – the whole lot, 11:55 GMT; Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (2011), In love of the forest (Aus Liebe zum Forst), 4 February, No. 29, p. 5. But the British Government has apparently changed its view, see: The Guardian, 17 February 2011, Timber! Cameron in U-turn over forests sell-off, p. 1.

  • 2 E.g. Lower House of the German Parliament (2009), answer of the Federal Government to the small question … Privatisation of forests by the Federal Institute of Real Estate Tasks, 16. Election period, Drucks. 16/14115, 30 September 2009.


J.W. Simon
University of London, Institute for Advanced Legal Studies/Centre for Ethics and Law in the Life Sciences, Medical University Hannover.

W. Bode
Leit.Min.R., Ministerium für Umwelt und Verbraucherschutz/Saarland, 66121 Saarbrücken, Germany.
Article

The Impact of Europeanization of Contract Law on English Contract Law

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2-3 2012
Keywords Rome I and II Regulations, Europeanization, contract law, Common European Sales Law, faulty goods
Authors Omar Abdelaziz
Abstract

    The ongoing process of Europeanization for promoting cross-border transactions and conferring better protection for consumers and small businesses has had its impact all over Europe. It represents a new step towards a harmonized set of legal rules to govern cross-border transactions in the field of contract law. So what is its exact scope? Who will benefit from it? What are its risks? What is its methodology? Does it represent a codification of common law rules? What will be its impact especially on common law countries such as the United Kingdom? The effectiveness of Europeanization depends almost entirely on the correct implementation into national law of the various directives; every member state is obliged to fully implement a harmonized measure into its domestic laws. This is accomplished by ensuring that (1) the relevant legal framework meets the requirements of the harmonized measure and (2) the application of the domestic rules giving effect to a harmonizing measure does not undermine the effectiveness of the European measure. English contract law is largely an uncodified law. Accordingly, the approach taken and the methods used by this jurisdiction to implement European directives into its national laws with the aim of harmonization are different. How did the English courts interpret legislations that implement EU legislations? Will Europeanization affect the deep-rooted principles and doctrines of English contract law (issues of commercial agency), good faith in pre-contractual obligations, unfair contract terms and specific performance? Finally, what could be the clash between European contract law, Rome I Regulations and the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods? Could this optional instrument be an exclusive law to either national or international mandatory rules for consumers in member states? What will be the qualification for a genuine consent of consumers in cross-border contracts? Will it lead to the development of the internal market as envisaged by the Commission?


Omar Abdelaziz

Günter Müller Stewens
Professor of Management and Organization at the University of St. Gallen; Managing Director of the Institute of Management.

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 Programs at St. Gallen University; Partner, Homburger Rechtsanwälte, Zürich, Switzerland; Visiting Scholar and Fellow, Harvard Law School (Spring 1999).

Sandra Lavenex
Institute of Political Science, University of Lucerne, Switzerland.

Andreas Herdina
Head of Unit, ENP Sector Coordination Unit, DG External Relations, European Commission.

Olusoji O. Elias
Lecturer in the Conflict of Laws, University of Buckingham; Rapporteur, African Law Seminar Series (University of London), SOAS, April-June 1999. This article is based on a talk of the same description given at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, School of Advanced Study (University of London), 8 July 1999. While a sense of appreciation is due to the participants at the first-named thought provoking series of seminars, the views expressed herein are the present writer's, in a personal capacity, and they should not be attributed elsewhere.
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