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Article

Access_open Sustainable Enjoyment of Economic and Social Rights in Times of Crisis

Obstacles to Overcome and Bridges to Cross

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 4 2018
Keywords social and economic rights, austerity measures, Euro crisis, defaulting countries
Authors Dr. Natalie Alkiviadou
AbstractAuthor's information

    In 2008, the European Union was hit by the most severe financial downturn since the Great Recession of the 1930s. One of the major consequences of this phenomenon was the deterioration in the enjoyment of human rights, in particular economic and social rights. While it is indisputable that the crisis itself was directly correlated to the erosion of such rights, the conditions attached to the loan agreements between defaulting countries and the three lending institutions, namely the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Central Bank and the European Commission, have negatively affected the rights under consideration. Loans came with strict austerity measures, such as public expenditure cuts in the realm of, inter alia, public services, benefits and social security. This article considers the deterioration in the enjoyment of economic and social rights by Union inhabitants and particularly the anti-crisis strategy adopted by the European Union, which, as will be demonstrated, directly contributed to this deterioration. The stance of the three institutions was facilitated by the less than proactive, but improving, positioning of the Court of Justice of the European Union in case law, which will be assessed. It must be noted that it is not the three institutions acting alone in this process; the Member States are the ones who agree to the loans and their conditions and implement austerity measures on the ground. However, as will be reflected, the practical role and actual input of the countries themselves in this procedure is limited. The central theoretical tenet of the article is that the European Union is re-shifting its direction to the almost absolute adoption of an economic constitution, with little regard to its social counterpart. Within the aforementioned framework, this article seeks to assess the status of economic and social rights in a crisis-hit Union, provide a theoretical explanation for this occurrence and put forth possibilities for positive change, placing the protection and promotion of economic and social rights at the heart of any responses to crisis as a method to ensure their sustainable protection effectively.


Dr. Natalie Alkiviadou
Dr Natalie Alkiviadou is a Lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire Cyprus.
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

The Suprema Lex of Malta

A Forgotten Law in Legislative Drafting, Statutory Interpretation and Law Making?

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 4 2018
Keywords Maltese Law, legislative drafting, statutory interpretation, law making, supreme law
Authors Kevin Aquilina
AbstractAuthor's information

    Although the Constitution of Malta is the supreme law of the land, yet, in practice, the three principal organs of the state – the legislature, executive and judiciary – have, in certain respects exemplified in this article, tended to close their eyes to the provisions of the supreme law of the land to such an extent that legislation, government action and judicial pronouncements have breached the basic law. Without attempting to be all-inclusive, the article discusses a few illustrations where this has been the case and reflects upon this institutional behaviour where the Constitution is not upheld as the supreme law of Malta but is instead derided and disparaged. Consequently, fundamental principles of state governance such as the tenets of a democratic society and the rule of law end up being threatened and imperilled by those same institutions which are called upon to respect them. Nevertheless, the Constitution proclaims itself supreme over any other law and the organs it establishes, including the three principal organs of the state which are assaulting it, and embodies within its fold the rule of law which at the current state of play is passing through a critical phase in the state of Malta.


Kevin Aquilina
Professor Kevin Aquilina is Dean of the Faculty of Laws at the University of Malta.
Article

The Margin of Appreciation in the ECtHR’s Case Law

A European Version of the Levels of Scrutiny Doctrine?

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2-3 2018
Keywords ECHR, judicial deference, levels of scrutiny, margin of appreciation, U.S. federalism
Authors Koen Lemmens
AbstractAuthor's information

    Although the American doctrine of levels of scrutiny and the European concept of margin of appreciation are regularly compared as typical instances of deferential judicial decision-making, this article argues that owing to the institutional setting in which they operate, the differences between the two are notable. It is also argued that the social consequences of the application of the two concepts may even be radically opposed.


Koen Lemmens
Associate professor of Public Law at KU Leuven (Belgium) and press law VU Brussels (Belgium). The author thanks Toon Agten for his comments and Camille Van Peteghem for her assistance during research. The usual disclaimer applies. This volume (The EU Bill of Rights’ Diagonal Application to Member States. Ed. Csongor István Nagy) was published as part of the research project of the HAS-Szeged Federal Markets ‘Momentum’ Research Group.
Article

Federalization through Rights in the EU

A Legal Opportunities Approach

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2-3 2018
Keywords EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, Federalization, Integration, Legal change, Legal opportunities, Litigation, Scope of application
Authors Marie-Pierre Granger
AbstractAuthor's information

    While academic contributions abound on the reach and impact of the European Union (EU) system of fundamental rights protection, and notably on the desirability of a more or less extensive control of Member States’ actions in light of the rights protected by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, there have been few attempts to explain the dynamics of integration-through-rights in the EU. This article proposes an explanatory framework inspired by a legal opportunities approach, which emphasizes the relevance of national and EU legal opportunities, and interactions between them, in determining the actual scope and pace of federalization through rights in the EU. It suggests that the weaker the legal opportunities for fundamental rights protection are at the domestic level, the greater the federalizing pressure is, and call for more empirical comparative studies to test this framework out.


Marie-Pierre Granger
Associate Professor, Central European University, Budapest. The development of the conceptual framework proposed in this article was inspired by empirical studies on France and Hungary carried out within the EU-funded project ‘bEUcitizen: barriers towards EU Citizenship’ under the FP7 programme (Grant agreement 320294). This volume (The EU Bill of Rights' Diagonal Application to Member States. Ed. Csongor István Nagy) was published as part of the research project of the HAS-Szeged Federal Markets `Momentum' Research Group.
Article

The Harmonization Potential of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2-3 2018
Keywords application of EU law, Article 51 of the Charter, Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU, Court of Justice, jurisdiction of the Court of Justice, market freedoms, spontaneous harmonization
Authors Filippo Fontanelli and Amedeo Arena
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article discusses two underrated and connected aspects that determine the applicability of the EU Charter on Fundamental Rights to Member State measures. First, the Charter can be a decisive standard of review for domestic measures only when they are covered by EU law but are not precluded by it. In this respect, the distinction between non-preclusion and non-application of EU law has been overlooked by legal scholarship. Second, because the scope of application of EU law and that of the Charter are identical, the latter suffers from the same uncertainties as the former. This article concludes that the entry into force of the Charter has exposed the blurred contours of the application of EU law, in particular in the area of the market freedoms. As a result, a certain spontaneous harmonization of human rights protection has emerged.


Filippo Fontanelli
Respectively, Senior Lecturer in International Economic Law, University of Edinburgh; and Associate Professor, Università degli Studi di Napoli ‘Federico II’. The work is the outcome of both authors’collaboration. Amedeo Arena drafted sections A to C, Filippo Fontanelli drafted sections D to G.

Amedeo Arena
A previous version of this work appeared in M. Andenas, T. Bekkedal & L. Pantaleo (Eds.), The Reach of Free Movement, Springer, TMC Asser Press, 2017, p. 293-312. This volume (The EU Bill of Rights’ Diagonal Application to Member States. Ed. Csongor István Nagy) was published as part of the research project of the HAS-Szeged Federal Markets ‘Momentum’ Research Group.
Article

The Sovereign Strikes Back

A Judicial Perspective on Multi-Layered Constitutionalism in Europe

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2-3 2018
Keywords Constitutional identity, constitutionalism, fragmentation, globalization, multilayered constitution, sovereignty, trust
Authors Renáta Uitz and András Sajó
AbstractAuthor's information

    The supranational web of public law is often described as a new constitutionalism. It emerged in a globalized world together with global markets. In the course of the multilayered constitutional experiment, the old, national constitutional framework had lost its ability to deliver on the key features associated with constitutionalism: limiting the exercise of political powers and preventing the arbitrary exercise thereof. In the multilayered era it has become difficult to pinpoint the centre of authority. Ultimately, someone needs to govern, if not for other reasons, at least to avoid chaos. Is it possible to have the guarantees of freedom, rule of law and efficiency that a constitutional democracy seems to provide in a system where there is no sovereign with authority?


Renáta Uitz
Renáta Uitz is Professor, Chair of the Comparative Constitutional Law Program, Department of Legal Studies, Central European University, Budapest.

András Sajó
András Sajo is University Professor, Central European University, Budapest. This volume (The EU Bill of Rights’ Diagonal Application to Member States. Ed. Csongor István Nagy) was published as part of the research project of the HAS-Szeged Federal Markets ‘Momentum’ Research Group.
Article

From Legal Imposition to Legal Invitation

From Transplants to Mutual Learning, Benchmarks and Best-Practice-Inspiration

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2018
Keywords legal transplants, comparative constitutional law, endurance of constitutions, transposition of EU directives, Councils for the Judiciary
Authors Wim J.M. Voermans
AbstractAuthor's information

    Ever since Alan Watson published his thought-provoking book on legal transplant, legal scholars seem to have imported their own ‘do-institutions-matter’ debate. Strong positions have been taken in the debate on the possibility of legal transplants. Some deem context-free legal transplants impossible or at least unwarranted, whereas others rally for a more liberal stance. Bob and Ann Seidman were always working at the heart of this most topical, scholarly debate – one of the most interesting debates on the crossroads of law and (political) societies in our age of globalization. This article tries to get at the heart of the debate on legal transplants, which is rooted in the immediate wake of decolonization and the ideological strife during the Cold War. Since then the world has changed dramatically. We now live in the age of globalization and possibilities for mass communication, information sharing and cooperation in ways unfathomable 40 years ago. This has undoubtedly had an impact on how jurisdictions learn and borrow legal concepts, rules and solutions from one another. Have these new developments and experiences outdated the legal-transplant debate or is it still relevant? The article argues that Bob and Ann Seidman’s position in the debate is still very relevant for present-day practices of legal borrowing and legal transplants. Key to this is their notion of contextual legal-legitimacy.


Wim J.M. Voermans
Wim Voermans is professor of Constitutional and Administrative Law at Leiden University, Director of the Institute of Public Law at Leiden Law School and vice-President of the International Association for Legislation (IAL).
Article

The Reliability of Evidence in Evidence-Based Legislation

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2018
Keywords evidence-based legislation, Institutional Legislative Theory and Methodology (ILTAM), reliable evidence, Professor Robert Seidman
Authors Sean J. Kealy and Alex Forney
AbstractAuthor's information

    As evidence-based legislation develops, and as technology puts more information at our fingertips, there should be a better understanding of what exactly constitutes reliable evidence. Robert and Ann Seidman devoted their professional careers to developing the evidence-based Institutional Legislative Theory and Methodology and teaching it to legislative drafters around the world. Although ILTAM was firmly grounded in – and driven by – evidence, the question becomes what evidence is reliable and a worthy input for the methodology. Further, how can the drafter avoid the misuses of evidence such as confirmation bias and naïve beliefs? We aim to give a guide for using evidence by offering examples of evidence-based legislation in practice and through a proposed hierarchy of evidence from most to least reliable:

    1. Experiments within the jurisdiction / lessons from other jurisdictions.

    2. Information on a topic or issue that was formally requested by the legislature or produced to the legislature under oath or under the penalties of perjury.

    3. Studies / information provided by a government agency.

    4. Expert or scientific studies.

    5. Economic or mathematical models and statistics.

    6. Information provided by special interests.

    7. Stories, apocrypha and uncorroborated tales.


    We hope that this hierarchy provides a starting point for discussion to refine and improve evidence-based legislation.


Sean J. Kealy
Sean J. Kealy is a Clinical Associate Professor of Law, Director of the Legislative Clinics, Boston University School of Law. This article expands upon a concept that he first wrote about in Designing Legislation (APKN, 2011). Professor Kealy wishes to thank Professor Richard Briffault, Joseph P. Chamberlain Professor of Legislation at Columbia Law School, and Professor William W. Buzbee, Georgetown Law School, for reading and commenting on this article at the American Association of Law Schools 2017 Conference.

Alex Forney
Alex Forney earned his Juris Doctor, Boston University School of Law, 2016.
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).
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