Search result: 41 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 English Perspective

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 2 2016
Keywords Dangerous, sex offenders, human rights, community supervision, punishment
Authors Nicola Padfield
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article explores the legal constraints imposed on the rising number of so-called ‘dangerous’ sex offenders in England and Wales, in particular once they have been released from prison into the community. The main methods of constraint are strict licence conditions, Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements and civil protective orders such as Sexual Harm Prevention Orders. ‘Control’ in the community is thus widespread, but is difficult to assess whether it is either effective or necessary without a great deal more research and analysis. Post-sentence ‘punishment’ has been largely ignored by both academic lawyers and criminologists. The article concludes that financial austerity might prove to be as important as the human rights agenda in curbing the disproportionate use of powers of control.


Nicola Padfield
Nicola Padfield, MA, Dip Crim, DES, Reader in Criminal and Penal Justice, University of Cambridge. I thank Michiel van der Wolf for involving me in this project and for his many useful insights and comments.
Article

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

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 2 2016
Keywords Supervision, twin track system, principle of proportionality, human rights, violent and sex offenders
Authors Bernd-Dieter Meier
AbstractAuthor's information

    After release from prison or a custodial preventive institution, offenders may come under supervision in Germany, which means that their conduct is controlled for a period of up to five years or even for life by a judicial supervising authority. Supervision is terminated if it can be expected that even in the absence of further supervision the released person will not commit any further offences. From the theoretical point of view, supervision is not considered a form of punishment in Germany, but a preventive measure that is guided by the principle of proportionality. After a presentation of the German twin track system of criminal sanctions and a glimpse at sentencing theory, the capacity of the principle of proportionality to guide and control judicial decisions in the field of preventive sanctions is discussed. The human rights perspective plays only a minor role in the context of supervision in Germany.


Bernd-Dieter Meier
Prof. Dr. Bernd-Dieter Meier is the Chair in Criminal Law and Criminology at the Law Faculty of Leibniz University Hannover.

    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>.
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.
Article

Access_open The Right to Mental Health in the Digital Era

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 3 2016
Keywords E-health, e-mental health, right to health, right to mental health
Authors Fatemeh Kokabisaghi, Iris Bakx and Blerta Zenelaj
AbstractAuthor's information

    People with mental illness usually experience higher rates of disability and mortality. Often, health care systems do not adequately respond to the burden of mental disorders worldwide. The number of health care providers dealing with mental health care is insufficient in many countries. Equal access to necessary health services should be granted to mentally ill people without any discrimination. E-mental health is expected to enhance the quality of care as well as accessibility, availability and affordability of services. This paper examines under what conditions e-mental health can contribute to realising the right to health by using the availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality (AAAQ) framework that is developed by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Research shows e-mental health facilitates dissemination of information, remote consultation and patient monitoring and might increase access to mental health care. Furthermore, patient participation might increase, and stigma and discrimination might be reduced by the use of e-mental health. However, e-mental health might not increase the access to health care for everyone, such as the digitally illiterate or those who do not have access to the Internet. The affordability of this service, when it is not covered by insurance, can be a barrier to access to this service. In addition, not all e-mental health services are acceptable and of good quality. Policy makers should adopt new legal policies to respond to the present and future developments of modern technologies in health, as well as e-Mental health. To analyse the impact of e-mental health on the right to health, additional research is necessary.


Fatemeh Kokabisaghi
Fatemeh Kokabisaghi, Iris Bakx and Blerta Zenelaj are Ph.D. candidates at the Institute of Health Policy and Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam. All authors contributed equally.

Iris Bakx
Fatemeh Kokabisaghi, Iris Bakx and Blerta Zenelaj are Ph.D. candidates at the Institute of Health Policy and Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam. All authors contributed equally.

Blerta Zenelaj
Fatemeh Kokabisaghi, Iris Bakx and Blerta Zenelaj are Ph.D. candidates at the Institute of Health Policy and Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam. All authors contributed equally.
Article

Access_open A Theoretical Framework to Study Variations in Workplace Violence Experienced by Emergency Responders

Integrating Opportunity and Vulnerability Perspectives

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 3 2016
Keywords Workplace aggression, workplace violence, emergency responders, blaming the victim, victimology
Authors Lisa van Reemst
AbstractAuthor's information

    Emergency responders are often sent to the front line and are often confronted with aggression and violence in interaction with citizens. According to previous studies, some professionals experience more workplace violence than others. In this article, the theoretical framework to study variations in workplace violence against emergency responders is described. According to criminal opportunity theories, which integrate the routine activity theory and lifestyle/exposure theory, victimisation is largely dependent on the lifestyle and routine activities of persons. Situational characteristics that could be related to workplace violence are organisational or task characteristics, such as having more contact with citizens or working at night. However, they do not provide insight in all aspects of influence, and their usefulness to reduce victimisation is limited. Therefore, it is important to consider the role of personal characteristics of the emergency responders that may be more or less ‘attractive’, which is elaborated upon by the victim precipitation theory. Psychological and behavioural characteristics of emergency responders may be relevant to reduce external workplace violence. The author argues that, despite the risk of being considered as blaming the victim, studying characteristics that might prevent victimisation is needed. Directions for future studies about workplace violence are discussed. These future studies should address a combination of victim and situation characteristics, use a longitudinal design and focus on emergency responders. In addition, differences between professions in relationships between characteristics and workplace violence should be explored.


Lisa van Reemst
Lisa van Reemst, M.Sc., is a Ph.D. candidate at the Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Article

Access_open Exit, Voice and Loyalty from the Perspective of Hedge Funds Activism in Corporate Governance

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 4 2016
Keywords Uncertainty, entrepreneurship, agency costs, loyalty shares, institutional investors
Authors Alessio M. Pacces
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article discusses hedge funds activism based on Hirschman’s classic. It is argued that hedge funds do not create the loyalty concerns underlying the usual short-termism critique of their activism, because the arbiters of such activism are typically indexed funds, which cannot choose short-term exit. Nevertheless, the voice activated by hedge funds can be excessive for a particular company. Furthermore, this article claims that the short-termism debate cannot shed light on the desirability of hedge funds activism. Neither theory nor empirical evidence can tell whether hedge funds activism leads to short-termism or long-termism. The real issue with activism is a conflict of entrepreneurship, namely a conflict between the opposing views of the activists and the incumbent management regarding in how long an individual company should be profitable. Leaving the choice between these views to institutional investors is not efficient for every company at every point in time. Consequently, this article argues that regulation should enable individual companies to choose whether to curb hedge funds activism depending on what is efficient for them. The recent European experience reveals that loyalty shares enable such choice, even in the midstream, operating as dual-class shares in disguise. However, loyalty shares can often be introduced without institutional investors’ consent. This outcome could be improved by allowing dual-class recapitalisations, instead of loyalty shares, but only with a majority of minority vote. This solution would screen for the companies for which temporarily curbing activism is efficient, and induce these companies to negotiate sunset clauses with institutional investors.


Alessio M. Pacces
Professor of Law & Finance, Erasmus School of Law, and Research Associate, European Corporate Governance Institute.
Article

Access_open A World Apart? Private Investigations in the Corporate Sector

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 4 2016
Keywords Corporate security, private investigations, private troubles, public/private differentiation
Authors Clarissa Meerts
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article explores the investigative methods used by corporate security within organisations concerned about property misappropriation by their own staff and/or others. The research methods are qualitative: interviews, observations and case studies carried out between October 2012 and November 2015. The findings include that, even though corporate investigators do not have the formal investigative powers enjoyed by police and other public agencies, they do have multiple methods of investigation at their disposal, some of which are less used by public investigative agencies, for example the in-depth investigation of internal systems. Corporate investigators also rely heavily on interviews, the investigation of documentation and financial administration and the investigation of communication devices and open sources. However, there are many additional sources of information (for example, site visits or observations), which might be available to corporate investigators. The influences from people from different backgrounds, most notably (forensic) accountants, (former) police officers, private investigators and lawyers, together with the creativity that is necessary (and possible) when working without formal investigative powers, make corporate security a diverse field. It is argued that these factors contribute to a differentiation between public and private actors in the field of corporate security.


Clarissa Meerts
Clarissa Meerts, MSc., is a PhD student at the Criminology Department of the Erasmus University Rotterdam.
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

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

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.

Ethan Katsh
Ethan Katsh is Director and Co-Founder of the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution, and Professor Emeritus of Legal Studies, University of Massachusetts.

Orna Rabinovich-Einy
Orna Rabinovich-Einy is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of Haifa, Israel.
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

Credibility of Sunnah

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 4 2016
Keywords Sunnah, Hadith, traditions of Prophet Muhammad, sources of Islamic Law, rules of Hadith acceptance
Authors Ahmad Alomar
AbstractAuthor's information

    Islamic Law (Sharia) consists primarily of the Qur’an, the actual word of God revealed to Prophet Muhammad during his lifetime. The Qur’an itself is relatively short, compact and immutable. It was revealed in Classical Arabic and in a very poetic and elaborate format. Many parts of it are not easy to understand even for educated speakers of Arabic. In order to understand the meaning of some of its provisions and to be able to apply its teachings to changing times and societies, recourse is often made to other sources of Islamic law, first and foremost the Sunnah, or traditions of the Prophet Muhammad. The Sunnah consists of historic records of things the Prophet did or said in various situations during his lifetime. Because of the Prophet’s exalted position as God’s messenger, his words and deeds are considered supreme guidance for Muslims anywhere, as they are seeking to understand the teachings of Islam and its application to their lives. The problem with the Sunnah is, however, that the historic record of the words and deeds of the Prophet is not always clear and reliable. Therefore, giving the force of law to these words and deeds can be problematic. Distinguishing reliable and unreliable Sunnah is critically important. Muslim believe in many hadiths that may directly contradict the Qur’an, scientific evidence, fundamental principles of law and human rights, or each other. This article examines the Sunnah and the science of verifying hadith and argues that a more cautious approach should be taken and that Muslims around the world are being taught many rules that are supposedly rules of Islamic law where at the very least we cannot be sure. Instead of declaring thousands of weak hadith to be binding elements of Islamic law, we should be more discerning between strong and weak hadith and only treat those that are verifiable as binding. Other rules can still be persuasive if they meet certain conditions, in particular compatibility with the Qur’an itself, but they must not be used to impose rules on Muslims against their will, let alone against the provisions of the Qur’an.


Ahmad Alomar
S.J.D Candidate at IU McKinney School of Law, Faculty Member at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals.
Article

Systems Thinking, Big Data, and Data Protection Law

Using Ackoff’s Interactive Planning to Respond to Emergent Policy Challenges

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 4 2016
Keywords big data, data protection, data minimization, systems thinking, interactive planning
Authors Henry Pearce
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article examines the emergence of big data and how it poses a number of significant novel challenges to the smooth operation of some of the European data protection framework’s fundamental tenets. Building on previous research in the area, the article argues that recent proposals for reform in this area, as well as proposals based on conventional approaches to policy making and regulatory design more generally, will likely be ill-equipped to deal with some of big data’s most severe emergent difficulties. Instead, it is argued that novel, and possibly unorthodox, approaches to regulation and policy design premised on systems thinking methodologies may represent attractive and alternative ways forward. As a means of testing this general hypothesis, the article considers Interactive Planning, a systems thinking methodology popularized by the organizational theorist Russel Ackoff, as a particular embryonic example of one such methodological approach, and, using the challenges posed by big data to the principle of purpose limitation as a case study, explores whether its usage may be beneficial in the development of data protection law and policy in the big data environment.


Henry Pearce
University of Hertfordshire, Lecturer in law, e-mail: h.pearce@herts.ac.uk.
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