Search result: 14 articles

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Year 2011 x
Discussion

Access_open Hybrid Constitutionalism, Fundamental Rights and the State

A Response to Gunther Teubner

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2011
Keywords societal constitutionalism, Gunther Teubner, system theory, fundamental rights
Authors Gert Verschraegen
AbstractAuthor's information

    This contribution explores how much state is necessary to make societal constitutionalism work. I first ask why the idea of a global societal constitutionalism ‘beyond the state-and-politics’ might be viewed as a significant and controversial, but nonetheless justified innovation. In the second part I discuss what Teubner calls ‘the inclusionary effects of fundamental rights’. I argue that Teubner underplays the mediating role of the state in guaranteeing inclusion or access, and in a way presupposes well-functioning states in the background. In areas of limited statehood there is a problem of enforcing fundamental rights law. It is an open question whether, and under which conditions, constitutional norms within particular global social spheres can provide enough counter-weight when state constitutional norms are lacking.


Gert Verschraegen
Gert Verschraegen is Assistant Professor of Theoretical Sociology at the University of Antwerp, Belgium.
Article

Access_open Transnational Fundamental Rights: Horizontal Effect?

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2011
Keywords fundamental rights, societal constitutionalism, inclusionary and exclusionary effects, anonymous matrix
Authors Gunther Teubner
AbstractAuthor's information

    Violations of human rights by transnational corporations and by other ‘private’ global actors raise problems that signal the limits of the traditional doctrine of ‘horizontal effects’. To overcome them, constitutional law doctrine needs to be complemented by perspectives from legal theory and sociology of law. This allows new answers to the following questions: What is the validity basis of human rights in transnational ‘private’ regimes – extraterritorial effect, colère public or external pressures on autonomous law making in global regimes? Do they result in protective duties of the states or in direct human rights obligations of private transnational actors? What does it mean to generalise state-directed human rights and to respecify them for different social spheres? Are societal human rights limited to ‘negative’ rights or is institutional imagination capable of developing ‘positive’ rights – rights of inclusion and participation in various social fields? Are societal human rights directed exclusively against corporate actors or can they be extended to counteract structural violence of anonymous social processes? Can such broadened perspectives of human rights be re-translated into the practice of public interest litigation?


Gunther Teubner
Gunther Teubner is Professor of Private Law and Legal Sociology and Principal Investigator of the Excellence Cluster ‘The Formation of Normative Orders’ at the Goethe-University, Frankfurt/Main. He is also Professor at the International University College, Torino, Italy.
Discussion

Access_open The Destruction and Reconstruction of the Tower of Babel

A Comment to Gunther Teubner’s Plea for a ‘Common Law Constitution’

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2011
Keywords global society, constitutionalism, social systems theory, Teubner, law and order
Authors Bart van Klink
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article presents some critical comments concerning the conceptual, normative and institutional foundations of Teubner’s plea for a ‘common law constitution’. My comments question the desirability of the means chosen for attaining this objective as well as their efficacy. In particular, I have difficulties with the ambivalent role that is assigned to man, either as a person or as a human being; with the reduction of social problems to problems of communication; and, finally and most importantly, with the attempt to conceive of law and politics beyond established legal and political institutions, which in my view is doomed to fail. The conclusion offers some tentative suggestions for an alternative approach.


Bart van Klink
Bart van Klink is Professor of Legal Methodology at the Faculty of Law of the VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Article

Methods and Materials in Constitutional Law

Some Thoughts on Access to Government Information as a Problem for Constitutional Theory and Socio-Legal Studies

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2011
Keywords Citizenship, democracy, government information, representative government, secrecy
Authors Barry Sullivan
AbstractAuthor's information

    To be subject to law, Hobbes argued, is to be deprived of liberty, as we understand it. In this respect, democratic governments are no different from others. Hobbes’s insight has not caused us to abandon our commitments to democracy, but it still challenges us to think hard about the nature of representative government, the nature of citizenship in a democratic society, and the conditions necessary for fulfilling the promise of democratic citizenship. Two recent trends are evident. Some citizens have embraced a more active sense of citizenship, which necessarily entails a more insistent need for information, while governments have insisted on the need for greater concentration of governmental power and a higher degree of secrecy. Much is to be learned from the approaches that various national and transnational regimes have taken with respect to this problem. This essay will consider the problem of access to government information from a comparative perspective and as a problem for constitutional theory and socio-legal studies.


Barry Sullivan
Cooney & Conway Chair in Advocacy and Professor of Law, Loyola University Chicago School of Law.
Article

Investor Protection v. State Regulatory Discretion

Definitions of Expropriation and Shrinking Regulatory Competence

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2011
Keywords regulatory freeze, expropriation, investor protection, economic governance, environmental protection
Authors Ioannis Glinavos
AbstractAuthor's information

    The purpose of this paper is to offer support to the idea that the contemporary international legal framework offers opportunities to investors to challenge and control government action via what has been described as a ‘regulatory freeze’. This regulatory freeze is the consequence of government reluctance to legislate/regulate in areas where claims of expropriation may be brought. The paper presents evidence from investment-treaty dispute resolution mechanisms, national and supranational judicial processes from both sides of the Atlantic. The paper concludes by suggesting that the potential for expanded definitions of expropriation is having a greater impact than actual case outcomes, as states seek to preempt any adverse developments by shying away from regulations that may provide fertile grounds for challenge. This effect is significant, as it is contrary to expectations of greater state involvement in economic management bred by the financial crisis.


Ioannis Glinavos
Dr. Ioannis Glinavos is Lecturer in Law at the University of Reading, School of Law, i.glinavos@reading.ac.uk.
Article

Competing Constitutional Ideals in the United States’ Force Majeure-Federalism Cases

Calling the Shots in Disaster Management

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2011
Keywords federalism, force majeure, disaster, commerce clause, necessary and proper clause
Authors Riddhi Dasgupta
AbstractAuthor's information

    Structure is no less important than substance in the long run. When dealing with disaster management, what is truly national and what is truly local? Disasters are the “perfect” time, if only because of the confusion they sow and/or witness, for the central government to usurp some sovereign powers of its constituent states (and sometimes vice versa). This article examines where, in the American model with its strong federalism tradition, the constitutional tipping point lies. The article conveys the practical imperatives of federalism and why ordinary citizens should care: a federalist structure to promote democratic participation and the carrying out of democratic will by splitting up authority and stopping any one layer of government from becoming too powerful or making it a dysfunctional appendage. That has special significance in the disaster context, of course, and there is no better kaleidoscope than the recent Gulf of Mexico oil spill.


Riddhi Dasgupta
Doctoral student (Expropriation in International Investment Regimes), University of Cambridge.
Article

Instructions to Draft Legislation

A Study on the Legislative Drafting Process in Malaysia

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2 2011
Keywords legislative drafting process, role of instructing officer and drafter
Authors Rozmizan Muhamad
AbstractAuthor's information

    The importance of legislation is beyond any dispute. Legislation governed us perhaps even before our birth, certainly during our life and until our death. Even after our death there is still the Estate Duty Act to worry about, although of course the burden passes on to our executors or administrators. But day after day, many more new laws have been proposed and many existing laws have been revised and amended for various reasons and motives. The need for legislation has never diminished but continues to increase. Governments need legislation to govern, by which they achieve their political objectives and public policies. In other words, legislation is needed to affect changes in the law, to interfere with vested rights and interests, and to impose taxes, duties, excise and imposts. Such need originates from one or more of a great many sources such as a commission of inquiry, politicians, a particular pressure group or the public as a whole and also a reaction to social situations which seemingly develop independently or deliberately


Rozmizan Muhamad
Rozmizan Muhamad is a drafter at the Malaysian Attorney-General’s office.
Article

Judicial Review

An Essential Tool for Curbing the Excesses and Abuse of Executive Action in Sierra Leone

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2 2011
Keywords delegated legislation, administrative law, judicial review
Authors Kadija Kabba
AbstractAuthor's information

    This essay examines judicial review in executive/administrative action as an essential tool for curbing the excesses and abuse of delegated legislative powers in Sierra Leone based on the valid assumption that there is a system of administrative law due to a developed system of judicial review in Sierra Leone. To examine and establish the facts, focus is laid on judicial review of administrative/ executive action and not on judicial review of primary legislation.This article first and foremost tried to establish that, the practice of delegated legislation from which judicial review ensues is a necessity in any given democratic society.This piece of work in trying to establish its facts, put forward arguments by scholars and writers in support and against the use of judicial review as an essential tool to curb the abuse and excesses of executive’s action. This is juxtaposed in conjunction with cases laws from Sierra Leone dealing with judicial review.The irrefutable fact this article tried to illustrate is that judicial review is important in any society in curtailing the excesses and abuse of executive actions.


Kadija Kabba
Kadija Kabba is a Legal Officer and Legislative Drafter at the Central Bank of Sierra Leone. She holds an LLM form the Universitty of London, A MPhil from the University of Tromsee, Norway, a LLB and BA Degrees from the University of Sierra Leone. She is also a qualified barrister and Socilitor of the High Court of Sierra Leone.

    Even amongst those clauses frequently found in commercial contracts in general and sales contracts in particular, agreed sums enjoy exceptional popularity. Now, when I say ‘agreed sum’, of course I do not talk about the purchase price but about clauses that in traditional terminology are called penalty or liquidated damages clauses.


Pascal Hachem
Dr. iur. (University of Basel, Switzerland), ACIArb, Senior Researcher in the Global Sales Law Project at the Chair of Private Law held by Prof. Dr. Ingeborg Schwenzer, LL.M. and Lecturer of Comparative Private Law and International Trade Law at the University of Basel, Switzerland.

    This paper will make the case for more widespread African adherence to the United Nations Convention on the International Sale of Goods, 1980 (“CISG”) on the ground that it represents an effort through the United Nations system to make available harmonised rules on the international sale of goods which are intended to have an international and universal reach. The paper begins with an introduction which briefly examines the origins of CISG and proceeds to discuss the relevance of CISG to Africa. It ends with a recommendation to African States to accede to, or ratify, the Convention.


S.K. Date-Bah
LL.B (Ghana), LL.M (Yale), Ph.D (London School of Economics), Professor of law. Justice at the Supreme Court of Ghana.

    ICC arbitration was conceived by and for international business. When the International Chamber of Commerce was created in 1920 to combat insularity and protectionism in world trade, dispute resolution was seen as an indispensable part of the services it was to provide. Recognizing that contracts, especially between partners of different cultures, are inevitably exposed to strain, misunderstanding and even, regrettably, sometimes flagrant abuse, the ICC considered it crucial to provide the business world with an appropriate means of overcoming commercial conflict. In the words of Etienne Clementel, the French Minister of Commerce at the time and one of the founders of the ICC, “freedom can truly flourish only if it finds within itself the means to achieve its own moderation”. ICC arbitration was initially developed as a means of self regulation in international commerce.


Jason Fry
LL.B., BCL (Oxon), FCIArb, Secretary General International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce.

    Conflicts of jurisdiction between a state court and an arbitral tribunal occur in two different scenarios: (a) claimant X institutes a court action and the defendant subsequently commences with arbitration or requests to be referred to arbitration (as envisaged by the 1958 New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards – NYC); and (b) claimant X commences arbitration and the defendant subsequently challenges in a national court. X should be able to seek a stay of the parallel litigation on the ground of the existence of a valid agreement to arbitrate the dispute, but the duty on the part of South African courts to do so is not clearly legislated, nor is it as well-understood as it deserves to be. Various interests have fallen into disharmony in this area of the law.


Christa Roodt
Doctor of Laws (University of Orange Free State), LL.M (University of South Africa), LL.B. (University of Pretoria).
Article

Unification of General Contract Law in Africa

The Case of the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3-4 2011
Authors Stefan Vogenauer
AbstractAuthor's information

    The organizers of this conference kindly invited me to speak on the unification of general contract law and on one specific instrument in this area: the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts (‘PICC’).1xSee UNIDROIT International Institute for the Unification of Private Law, UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts 2004, Rome, April 2004, available at <www.unidroit.org/english/principles/contracts/principles2004/integralversionprinciples2004-e.pdf>. I would like to use the 14 minutes allocated to my paper to touch on three issues. First, I will give a short overview of the PICC for those who are not yet familiar with this instrument. Secondly, I will look at the use of the PICC in legal practice. And thirdly, I will assess the potential of the PICC for making a contribution to the unification of general contract law in Africa. Overall, I can afford to be brief and limit myself to introductory comments because Ms Mestre of UNIDROIT will cover much of the ground in greater detail.

Noten


Stefan Vogenauer
Professor of Comparative law at the University of Oxford.

    Multinational Companies may result in culture clashes, incompatibility of Western corporate governance and legal resolution strategies. As one of the most successful joint venture models, the high-profile Danone/Wahaha dispute has been accelerated into a two-year legal feud against the infringement of the famous brand of WAHAHA across jurisdictions. The case represents a significant watershed which reflects the status quo of controversies over cooperation and competition in China. Under the current legal framework, Danone’s withdrawal would serve as a wake-up call for both foreign investors and Chinese companies in the dramatically increasing cross-border merger & acquisitions. The seminal case perfectly illustrates unwritten issues about public opinion, nationalism and the rule of law. Danone v. Wahaha has also been commonly conceived as a landmark case through which Chinese side may verify the fairness of the Western judicial system, while the European party may regard it as a touchstone for China’s investment environment as well as the specific sphere of contract spirit. It also offers myriad lessons, including the need for watertight contracts, IP rights, and international arbitrations.


Quingxui Bu
Dr. iur., LL.M. (Queen’s University).
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