Search result: 44 articles

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Year 2016 x
Editorial

Access_open Legal Control on Social Control of Sex Offenders in the Community: A European Comparative and Human Rights Perspective

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 2 2016
Keywords social control, folk devils, moral panic, dangerousness, sex offenders
Authors Michiel van der Wolf (Issue Editor)
AbstractAuthor's information

    This paper provides first of all the introduction to this special issue on ‘Legal constraints on the indeterminate control of “dangerous” sex offenders in the community: A European comparative and human rights perspective’. The issue is the outcome of a study that aims at finding the way legal control can not only be an instrument but also be a controller of social control. It is explained what social control is and how the concept of moral panic plays a part in the fact that sex offenders seem to be the folk devils of our time and subsequently pre-eminently the target group of social control at its strongest. Further elaboration of the methodology reveals why focussing on post-sentence (indeterminate) supervision is relevant, as there are hardly any legal constraints in place in comparison with measures of preventive detention. Therefore, a comparative approach within Europe is taken on the basis of country reports from England and Wales, France, Germany, The Netherlands and Spain. In the second part of the paper, the comparative analysis is presented. Similar shifts in attitudes towards sex offenders have led to legislation concerning frameworks of supervision in all countries but in different ways. Legal constraints on these frameworks are searched for in legal (sentencing) theory, the principles of proportionality and least intrusive means, and human rights, mainly as provided in the European Convention on Human Rights to which all the studied countries are subject. Finally, it is discussed what legal constraints on the control of sex offenders in the community are (to be) in place in European jurisdictions, based on the analysis of commonalities and differences found in the comparison.


Michiel van der Wolf (Issue Editor)
Ph.D., LL.M, M.Sc., Reader in Criminal Law (Theory) and Forensic Psychiatry at the Erasmus School of Law; Member of the Editorial Board of the Erasmus Law Review.
Article

Access_open Legal Constraints on the Indeterminate Control of ‘Dangerous’ Sex Offenders in the Community: The Spanish Perspective

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 2 2016
Keywords Supervised release, supervision, sex offenders, dangerousness, safety measures, societal upheaval, proportionality
Authors Lucía Martínez Garay and Jorge Correcher Mira
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article presents an overview of the legal regime provided in the Spanish system of criminal sanctions regarding the control of dangerous sex offenders in the community. It focuses on the introduction, in 2010, of a post-prison safety measure named supervised release. We describe the context of its introduction in the Spanish Criminal Code, considering the influence of societal upheaval concerning dangerous sex offenders in its development, and also the historical and theoretical features of the Spanish system of criminal sanctions. We also analyse the legal framework of supervised release, the existing case law about it and how the legal doctrine has until now assessed this measure. After this analysis, the main aim of this article consists in evaluating the effectiveness and the proportionality of the measure, according to the principle of minimal constraints and the rehabilitative function of the criminal sanctions in Spanish law, stated in Article 25.2 of the Spanish Constitution.


Lucía Martínez Garay
Lucía Martínez Garay is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Valencia, Department of Criminal Law.

Jorge Correcher Mira
Jorge Correcher Mira, Ph.D., is an Assistant Lecturer at the University of Valencia, Department of Criminal Law.
Article

Access_open Legal Constraints on the Indeterminate Control of ‘Dangerous’ Sex Offenders in the Community: The Dutch Perspective

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 2 2016
Keywords Dutch penal law, preventive supervision, dangerous offenders, human rights, social rehabilitation
Authors Sanne Struijk and Paul Mevis
AbstractAuthor's information

    In the Netherlands, the legal possibilities for post-custodial supervision have been extended considerably in recent years. A currently passed law aims to further increase these possibilities specifically for dangerous (sex) offenders. This law consists of three separate parts that may all result in life-long supervision. In the first two parts, the supervision is embedded in the conditional release after either a prison sentence or the safety measure ‘ter beschikking stelling’ (TBS). This paper focuses on the third part of the law, which introduces an independent supervisory safety measure as a preventive continuation of both a prison sentence and the TBS measure. Inevitably, this new independent sanction raises questions about legitimacy and necessity, on which this paper reflects from a human rights perspective. Against the background of the existing Dutch penal law system, the content of the law is thoroughly assessed in view of the legal framework of the Council of Europe and the legal principles of proportionality and less restrictive means. In the end, we conclude that the supervisory safety measure is not legitimate nor necessary (yet). Apart from the current lack of (empirical evidence of) necessity, we state that there is a real possibility of an infringement of Article 5(4) ECHR and Article 7 ECHR, a lack of legitimising supervision ‘gaps’ in the existing penal law system, and finally a lack of clear legal criteria. Regardless of the potential severity of violent (sex) offenses, to simply justify this supervisory safety measure on the basis of ‘better safe than sorry’ is not enough.


Sanne Struijk
Sanne Struijk, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at the Erasmus School of Law.

Paul Mevis
Paul Mevis is a Professor at the Erasmus School of Law.
Article

Access_open Legal Constraints on the Indeterminate Control of ‘Dangerous’ Sex Offenders in the Community: The French Perspective

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 2 2016
Keywords Preventive detention, mandatory supervision, sex offenders, retrospective penal laws, legality principle
Authors Martine Herzog-Evans
AbstractAuthor's information

    France literally ‘discovered’ sexual abuse following neighbour Belgium’s Dutroux case in the late 1990s. Since then, sex offenders have been the focus of politicians, media and law-makers’ attention. Further law reforms have aimed at imposing mandatory supervision and treatment, and in rare cases, preventive detention. The legal framework for mandatory supervision and detention is rather complex, ranging from a mixed sentence (custodial and mandatory supervision and treatment upon release or as a stand-alone sentence) to so-called ‘safety measures’, which supposedly do not aim at punishing an offence, but at protecting society. The difference between the concepts of sentences and safety measures is nevertheless rather blurry. In practice, however, courts have used safety measures quite sparingly and have preferred mandatory supervision as attached to a sentence, notably because it is compatible with cardinal legal principles. Procedural constraints have also contributed to this limited use. Moreover, the type of supervision and treatment that can thus be imposed is virtually identical to that of ordinary probation. It is, however, noteworthy that a higher number of offenders with mental health issues who are deemed ‘dangerous’ are placed in special psychiatric units, something that has not drawn much attention on the part of human rights lawyers.


Martine Herzog-Evans
Martine H-Evans, PhD, is a Professor at the Department of Law, Universite de Reims Champagne-Ardenne.

    Online dispute resolution (ODR) has been developed in response to the growth of disputes in electronic commerce transactions. It is based on the legal framework of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) by taking into consideration electronic communications and information technology. This article will introduce the current legal framework and practice of ODR in China, find legal issues that affect the development of ODR and, finally, propose suggestions to overcome these barriers.


Jie Zheng
Jie Zheng is a PhD researcher in Ghent University, Faculty of Law, Department of Interdisciplinary Study of Law, Private Law and Business Law. E-mail: <jie.zheng@ugent.be>.

    What is there to learn about managing conflict or negotiation that you do not already know? How can mediation techniques make a difference in achieving your personal goals and advance the objectives of your organisation even when there is no conflict? How can new skills benefit all management levels and change the role of the legal department?
    This issue of the Corporate Mediation Journal will address these and other questions. Is corporate mediation a prospect for the legal department and organisations as a whole?


Martin Brink
Martin Brink, PhD, is attorney at law, arbitrator and deputy judge at the The Hague Court of Appeals and an internationally certified mediator (MfN, IMI, CEDR Global Panel).
Article

Defining ‘Better’

Investigating a New Framework to Understand Quality of Regulation

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2 2016
Keywords better regulation, businesses, cross-disciplinary approaches, quality of regulation, European Union
Authors Morten Jarlbæk Pedersen
AbstractAuthor's information

    Better regulation is a political and scholarly theme, which has gained in both relevance and salience throughout the last two decades or so. Regulatory quality is the epicentre of these discussions. Despite this, quality is seldom conceptualized in its own right. Thus, beyond loose principles, we are rarely aware of what we mean by ‘better’ regulation, and academic discussions hereof usually centre themselves on other topics such as meta-regulation and processes. This leaves the notion of quality hard to asses especially from a comparative perspective. In this article, a core concept of quality is suggested. This concept is founded on an acknowledgement of the importance of the legal texts when it comes to achieving regulatory aims and objectives. The concept and methodology proposed has components from both law and political science and is sought to be of relevance to scholars and practitioners alike.


Morten Jarlbæk Pedersen
Morten Jarlbæk Pedersen is a Ph.D. fellow at the Department of Political Science at the University of Copenhagen. He has an affiliation with the Confederation of Danish Enterprise, where he has been employed for 5 years before engaging in this research project. For the purpose of the project, he was relieved of responsibilities as a consultant at the Confederation.
Article

The Quality of Regulation in the Service of Preventing Corruption

Corruption Impact Assessment (CIA)

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2 2016
Keywords corruption, regulation, quality, impact assessment, risk
Authors Luca Di Donato
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article describes the Corruption Impact Assessment (CIA), which is a better regulation tool suggested by the OECD, with the fundamental purpose to enhance the regulatory quality.
    The first part explains some risk-corruption factors of the legal framework. The first factor is represented by the number and complexity of rules, which can be a negative incentive to corruption as well as to produce negative consequences for the proper functioning of the market. The second factor is intrinsically linked to the ambiguity in legal drafting, which does not encourage the right interpretation of norms; therefore, there is the question of the rule of law. The third factor refers to the lack of regulation concerning pressure group participation in the regulatory process and, as a result, the lack of transparency in identifying both benefits from norms and the relevant beneficiaries.
    The second part focuses on CIA, which is considered a sub-category of traditional Regulatory Impact Assessment. It detects the factors in regulations that cause corruption, and its main potential is to prevent future corruption facilitated by bad regulation. Then, this part illustrates the implementation of CIA by Korean governments: the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission (ACRC) carries out the CIA, realizes its guidelines – which are based on three fundamental criteria, i.e., compliance, discretionality and transparency – and supports the application of the tool in the regulatory cycle.
    Finally, the third part discusses the results given by CIA. This new anti-corruption strategy needs that regulators take into account the results, providing for their publication to inform stakeholders; otherwise there is the possibility of the CIA use being formal, rather than substantial.


Luca Di Donato
PhD candidate at LUISS University.
Article

Comparative Legislative Drafting

Comparing across Legal Systems

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2 2016
Keywords comparative legislative drafting, comparative law, drafting process
Authors Constantin Stefanou
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article is an original, first attempt at establishing a list of comparative criteria for the comparative study of legislative drafting or aspects of legislative drafting between the two families of legal systems: common law and civil law. Because of the limited bibliography in the field of legislative drafting – let alone in comparative legislative drafting between common law and civil law systems – this article adds to existing scholarship on the field aiming to become a basis for further comparative research in legislative drafting. The list of criteria can be used on its own for different jurisdictions within the same family of legal systems, or the two lists can be used to juxtapose civil and common law experiences in legislative drafting. As this is the first time that such lists of comparative criteria in legislative drafting have been produced, it should be stressed that the lists are certainly not exhaustive. The aim of this article is to generate comparative research in legislative drafting, and so, inevitably, such comparative research might add or even subtract criteria from the lists depending on results.


Constantin Stefanou
Dr Constantin Stefanou is the director of the Sir William Dale Centre for Legislative Studies, at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (School of Advanced Study, University of London). He is also the convener of the oldest master’s programme in the field of legislative drafting (LLM in advanced legislative studies) at the IALS.
Article

Enforcement of Judgments in SEE, CIS, Georgia and Mongolia

Challenges and Solutions

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2 2016
Keywords enforcement, bailiffs, judgments, CIS, SEE
Authors Kim O’Sullivan and Veronica Bradautanu
AbstractAuthor's information

    The article considers the results of the Assessment of enforcement systems for commercial cases, carried out by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in 2013-2014. In phase I the Assessment looked at the systems in thirteen countries, namely Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, Mongolia, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan (“CIS+ region”); and in phase II another eight countries were reviewed: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, FYR Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia (“SEE region”).
    On the basis of the information gathered during the Assessment, the article compares the three forms of enforcement systems and their manifestation in the assessed regions: public (state), private and mixed (hybrid) systems. Using examples from the reviewed jurisdictions, the article discusses the benefits and downsides of each form. There is no preferred form; however, each may borrow elements from the other to result in a stronger system.
    The Assessment attempted to provide a comprehensive overview of the enforcement frameworks and practices and to pinpoint areas that might need reform and attention in order to improve the quality of the service. It looked at the following elements of enforcement: resources and framework, supervision and integrity issues, searching for assets, seizure of assets, sale of assets, speed of enforcement, cost and fees.
    The article discusses in detail the two areas of enforcement that emerged from the Assessment as most challenging: searching for debtors’ assets and sale of seized assets. Facilitated access to registers, wider use of electronic means of communications and clear process are identified among the contributors to better practice in searching for assets. Similarly, use of electronic platforms, establishing a fair price, ensuring sufficient flexibility in methods and process of sale would help improve the outcome of enforcement.
    The article further analyses another two components often overlooked by the regulatory bodies and policymakers, which permeate the enforcement system, significantly influencing the enforcement process. This refers to gathering of statistical data about the results of enforcement and its effective use; as well as efficient supervisory system over enforcement agents. The article argues that gathering data about, for example, enforcement timeline and percentage of recovered claims, and publicizing such data shall contribute to improved results. Furthermore, having an adequate complaints system will help build trust in the enforcement profession.


Kim O’Sullivan
Kim O’Sullivan is a Principal Counsel at EBRD.

Veronica Bradautanu
Veronica Bradautanu is a Consultant to the EBRD.

    The comparative discussions held during this seminar show that the different jurisdictions make use of – approximately – the same ingredients for their legislation on adult guardianship measures and continuing powers of attorney. Given the common international framework (for example the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities) and given the common societal context (cfr. the strong increase of the ageing population) this may not come as a surprise. Despite these common ingredients, the different jurisdictions have managed to arrive at different dishes spiced with specific local flavours. Given that each jurisdiction bears its own history and specific policy plans, this may not come as a surprise either. The adage ‘same same but different’ is in this respect a suitable bromide.
    For my own research, the several invitations – that implicitly or explicitly arose from the different discussions – to rethink important concepts or assumptions were of most relevance and importance. A particular example that comes to mind is the suggestion to ‘reverse the jurisprudence’ and to take persons with disabilities instead of healthy adult persons as a point of reference. Also, the invitation to rethink the relationship between the limitation of capacity and the attribution of a guard comes to mind as the juxtaposition of the different jurisdictions showed that these two aspects don’t need to be automatically combined. Also the discussion on the interference between the continuing powers of attorney and the supervision by the court, provoked further reflection on hybrid forms of protection on my part. Finally, the ethical and medical-legal approaches may lead to a reconsideration of the traditional underlying concepts of autonomy and the assessment of capacity.


Veerle Vanderhulst Ph.D.
Veerle Vanderhulst works at the Faculty of Law and Criminology, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Article

Access_open The Categorisation of Tax Jurisdictions in Comparative Tax Law Research

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 4 2016
Keywords Classification of jurisdictions, international comparative tax law, tax law methodology
Authors Renate Buijze
AbstractAuthor's information

    The number of comparative tax law studies is substantial. The available literature on the methodology behind these tax comparisons, however, is rather limited and underdeveloped. This article aims to contribute to the theoretical background of tax comparisons by explicating methodological considerations in a comparative tax research on tax incentives for cross-border donations and relating it to the available methodological literature. Two aspects of tax law make comparative research in tax law a challenging endeavour: its complexity and fast-changing nature. To overcome these issues, this article proposes to divide jurisdictions into a limited number of categories. In this process the different legal levels are analysed systematically, resulting in categories of jurisdictions. Among the jurisdictions in one category, common characteristics are identified. This results in an abstract description of the category. I use the term ‘ideal types’ for these categories. The high level of abstraction in the use of ideal types allows for comparison of tax jurisdictions, without the risk that the comparison gets outdated. An additional advantage of working with ideal types is that the conclusions of the comparison can be applied to all jurisdictions that fit in the ideal type. This increases the generalisability of the conclusions of the comparative tax research.


Renate Buijze
PhD candidate at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Email: buijze@law.eur.nl.
Article

Access_open Keck in Capital? Redefining ‘Restrictions’ in the ‘Golden Shares’ Case Law

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 4 2016
Keywords Keck, selling arrangements, market access, golden shares, capital
Authors Ilektra Antonaki
AbstractAuthor's information

    The evolution of the case law in the field of free movement of goods has been marked by consecutive changes in the legal tests applied by the Court of Justice of the European Union for the determination of the existence of a trade restriction. Starting with the broad Dassonville and Cassis de Dijon definition of MEEQR (measures having equivalent effect to a quantitative restriction), the Court subsequently introduced the Keck-concept of ‘selling arrangements’, which allowed for more regulatory autonomy of the Member States, but proved insufficient to capture disguised trade restrictions. Ultimately, a refined ‘market access’ test was adopted, qualified by the requirement of a ‘substantial’ hindrance on inter-State trade. Contrary to the free movement of goods, the free movement of capital has not undergone the same evolutionary process. Focusing on the ‘golden shares’ case law, this article questions the broad interpretation of ‘capital restrictions’ and seeks to investigate whether the underlying rationale of striking down any special right that could have a potential deterrent effect on inter-State investment is compatible with the constitutional foundations of negative integration. So far the Court seems to promote a company law regime that endorses shareholders’ primacy, lacking, however, the constitutional and institutional legitimacy to decide on such a highly political question. It is thus suggested that a refined test should be adopted that would capture measures departing from ordinary company law and hindering market access of foreign investors, while at the same time allowing Member States to determine their corporate governance systems.


Ilektra Antonaki
Ilektra Antonaki, LL.M., is a PhD candidate at Leiden University, The Netherlands.
Article

Prohibition of Discrimination: Citizenship as a Possible Discrimination Basis

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2016
Keywords anti-discrimination law, Serbian Law, harmonization, right to a personal name, European Court of Justice
Authors Olga Jović-Prlainović and Jelena Belović
AbstractAuthor's information

    In modern society, the right to equality is not just a universal moral obligation; it is rather an expression of a generally accepted rule in international law that all people have equal rights, independently of differences based on innate or acquired personal characteristics. Prohibition of discrimination is a civilization heritage, and it is determined by systematically overcoming prejudices and stereotypes as key factors of discrimination, where educational institutions, media, public authority, and non-governmental organizations all have a vital role. Tackling with discrimination is not just the application of rules regulated by law and taking necessary measures towards social groups which are in an unequal position, but it is also a continuous development of tolerance when it comes to ethnicity, religion, gender, minorities, as well as acceptance of the existing interpersonal differences. It is well known that the area of West Balkans is often a breeding ground where stereotypes and prejudices thrive for decades. The strategic aim of the Republic of Serbia is membership in the European Union, and so nation-wide law regulation concerning this matter is directed at complying with the European Union Law since the prohibition of discrimination is one of the pillars of the European Union Law. In this article, the influence of the European Union Law and practical measures taken by the European Court of Human Rights in order to prohibit discrimination in a specific international and private domain are analyzed.


Olga Jović-Prlainović
Olga Jović-Prlainović is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Pristina, Kosovska Mitrovica.

Jelena Belović
Jelena Belović is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Pristina, Kosovska Mitrovica.
Article

Managing the EU Acquis

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2016
Keywords EU, legislation, accessibility, updating
Authors William Robinson
AbstractAuthor's information

    EU legislation plays a key role in filling in the gaps in the framework created by the EU Treaties. The body of EU legislation known as the acquis has grown piecemeal over 60 years to a confused and confusing patchwork of over 100,000 pages. There is an urgent need for a more coherent approach to updating, condensing and revising that legislation to ensure that it is readily accessible. New mechanisms should be established for those tasks, or else the existing mechanisms should be enhanced and exploited to the full.


William Robinson
Associate Research Fellow, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, London.
Article

The Mechanisms Used to Review Existing Legislation in the Civil Law System

Case Study – Italy

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2016
Keywords codification, consolidation, law revision, legal restatement, legislative scrutiny
Authors Enrico Albanesi
AbstractAuthor's information

    The aim of this article is to describe the mechanisms that are used in the civil law system to review existing legislation. The case study will be based on the Italian system. In the civil law system we are not familiar with the concept of law reform, in the sense used in the common law system, because there is no law reform agency in the civil law world. The mechanisms used to review the existing law in civil law systems are: codification, consolidation, repeal, law revision and legal restatement. To understand how the mechanisms used to review existing legislation work in Italy, an overview of the Italian law-making and drafting processes will be carried out here, underlying the bad impact that the Italian equal bicameralism has on the quality of legislation and also on the mechanisms to review existing legislation. After this, the article will focus on the specific tools that are used in Italy for codification and consolidation (decreti legislativi), for law revision (the so-called taglia-leggi) and for legal restatement (examining the role of the Consiglio di Stato). Particular attention will also be paid to the parliamentary scrutiny on the quality of legislation. Finally, the article will focus on the constitutional amendment process Italy carried out in 2014-2016 and that was expected to fundamentally change the Italian law-making process, superseding the equal bicameralism arrangement (a referendum on this was held on 4 December 2016, and the reform was rejected by the Italian people).


Enrico Albanesi
Lecturer in Constitutional Law at the University of Genoa (Italy) and Associate Research Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS), University of London. Co-leader of the IALS Law Reform Project.
Article

Access_open E pluribus unum? The Manifold Meanings of Sovereignty

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2016
Keywords political sovereignty, power, legislative sovereignty, constitutive power, external sovereignty
Authors Raf Geenens
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article investigates and classifies the different meanings of the term sovereignty. What exactly do we try to convey when using the words “sovereign” or “sovereignty”? I will argue that, when saying that X is sovereign, we can mean five different things: it can mean that X holds the capacity to force everyone into obedience, that X makes the laws, that the legal and political order is created by X, that X holds the competence to alter the basic norms of our legal and political order, or that X is independently active on the international stage. These different usages of the term are of course related, but they are distinct and cannot be fully reduced to one another.


Raf Geenens
Raf Geenens is an assistant professor of Ethics and Legal Philosophy at the Institute of Philosophy, University of Leuven.
Article

Access_open National Identity, Constitutional Identity, and Sovereignty in the EU

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2016
Keywords national identity, constitutional identity, EU law, constitutional courts, Court of Justice
Authors Elke Cloots
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article challenges the assumption, widespread in European constitutional discourse, that ‘national identity’ and ‘constitutional identity’ can be used interchangeably. First, this essay demonstrates that the conflation of the two terms lacks grounding in a sound theory of legal interpretation. Second, it submits that the requirements of respect for national and constitutional identity, as articulated in the EU Treaty and in the case law of certain constitutional courts, respectively, rest on different normative foundations: fundamental principles of political morality versus a claim to State sovereignty. Third, it is argued that the Treaty-makers had good reasons for writing into the EU Treaty a requirement of respect for the Member States’ national identities rather than the States’ sovereignty, or their constitutional identity.


Elke Cloots
Elke Cloots is post-doctoral researcher at the Centre for Government and Law, University of Hasselt.
Article

The New Handshake: Where We Are Now

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 2 2016
Keywords consumers, consumer protection, online dispute resolution (ODR), remedies, e-commerce
Authors Amy J. Schmitz and Colin Rule
AbstractAuthor's information

    The internet has empowered consumers in new and exciting ways. It has opened more efficient avenues for consumers to buy just about anything. Want proof? Just pull out your smartphone, swipe your finger across the screen a few times, and presto – your collector’s edition Notorious RBG bobblehead is on its way from China. Unfortunately, however, the internet has not yet delivered on its promise to improve consumer protection.


Amy J. Schmitz
Amy J. Schmitz is the Elwood L. Thomas Missouri Endowed Professor at the University of Missouri School of Law and Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution, and the founder of MyConsumertips.info.

Colin Rule
Colin Rule is co-founder and Chairman of Modria.com and the former Director of Online Dispute Resolution for eBay and PayPal.
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.
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