Search result: 7 articles

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Year 2012 x
Article

Structuring the Judiciary to Conduct Constitutional Review in the Netherlands

A Comparative and European Perspective

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 4 2012
Keywords centralized/decentralized constitutional review, Netherlands constitutional law, comparative law
Authors Gerhard van der Schyff
AbstractAuthor's information

    Whether a legal system decides to centralize or decentralize constitutional review by the judiciary is dependent on various factors. This article critically considers a host of these factors, ranging from the separation of powers to the desire to bring about far-reaching constitutional change and the possible impact of membership of the European Union, in studying whether in the Netherlands constitutional review should be centralized or decentralized upon its possible introduction. The conclusion is reached that although decentralization can be opted for under the current circumstances, a persuasive case for centralization can also be made and might even become stronger and inevitable depending on the course of future constitutional reform.


Gerhard van der Schyff
Gerhard van der Schyff is Senior Lecturer in Constitutional Law at Tilburg Law School, The Netherlands.
Article

Gender Equality Laws in the Post Socialist States of Central and Eastern Europe

Mainstream Fixture or Fizzer?

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 4 2012
Keywords gender equality laws, enforcement mechanisms, rule of law, post-socialist states, European Union
Authors Christine Forster and Vedna Jivan
AbstractAuthor's information

    In Central and Eastern European countries, the enactment of gender equality laws (GELs), defined as stand-alone national legislation that provide an overarching legislative response to gender discrimination as distinct from the traditional approach of incorporating gender equality provisions into existing legislation or constitutions, has been a marked regional trend since the collapse of the Soviet Union. However, rather than being driven by domestic movements for change, GELs seem primarily to have emerged due to pressure from development agencies, potential trading partners and donor organisations which predicate their assistance and business on the establishment of the ‘rule of law’ and of particular relevance in the region the desire to join the European Union (EU), which requires potential members to introduce gender equality legislation as part of the communtaire aquis. Despite the widespread enactment of GELs in the region, research suggests that the implementation of GELs has been slow, inefficient and in some cases non-existent. Reasons posited for this include a lack of judicial familiarity with new concepts contained in the legislation, the use of legislation taken from models in existing member states, lack of information disseminated about the new laws to relevant parties, weak political support and capacity weakness in states that are resource stretched. This article considers a further reason – the weakness of the enforcement and implementation mechanisms in the laws themselves and argues that despite the placement of expansive positive duties on a range of public and private actors in many of the GELs, the implementation and enforcement mechanisms of the fifteen GELs considered are weak. Consequently, despite their remarkable scope the duties created under the GELs are largely symbolic and will continue to be so unless, such legislation is amended to include mechanisms to enable the realization of those duties in practice.


Christine Forster
Christine Forster is a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Law of the University of New South Wales, Australia.

Vedna Jivan
Vedna Jivan is Senior Lecturer, UTS Faculty of Law, Australia.
Discussion

Access_open Who is ‘we’?

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2012
Keywords democracy, we, world, self-government, democratic impulse
Authors Evert van der Zweerde
AbstractAuthor's information

    Which human material forms the real basis of a democratic polity, i.e. of the preconditions of a ‘we’ that inhabits a ‘world’? How is a political ‘we’ related to the ‘we’ that is created by systemic processes of subjectivization? These questions presents themselves with new relevance in a ‘globalized’ world, in which democratic spurts and waves spread from other parts of the world to the West, and in which the liberal-democratic rule of law state appears to be undermining its own moral preconditions. The real task ahead is to find out what ‘we’ denotes politically.


Evert van der Zweerde
Evert van der Zweerde is Professor of Political Philosophy at Radboud University, Nijmegen.
Article

Access_open ‘Down Freedom’s Main Line’

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2012
Keywords democracy, radical freedom, free market economy, consumerism, collective action
Authors Steven L. Winter
AbstractAuthor's information

    Two waves of democratization define the post-Cold War era of globalization. The first one saw democracies emerge in post-communist countries and post-Apartheid South Africa. The current wave began with the uprisings in the Middle East. The first focused on the formal institutions of the market and the liberal state, the second is participatory and rooted in collective action. The individualistic conception of freedom and democracy that underlies the first wave is false and fetishistic. The second wave shows democracy’s moral appeal is the commitment to equal participation in determining the terms and conditions of social life. Freedom, thus, requires collective action under conditions of equality, mutual recognition, and respect.


Steven L. Winter
Steven L. Winter is Walter S. Gibbs Professor of Constitutional Law at Wayne State University Law School, Detroit, Michigan.
Discussion

Access_open Political Freedom after Economic Freefall and Democratic Revolt

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2012
Keywords globalisation, civic tradition, Enlightenment, free-market economy, autonomy
Authors Tinneke Beeckman
AbstractAuthor's information

    Can globalisation lead to more democracy? And if so, what concept of freedom lies at the basis of this development? The ideal of liberal freedom, supposedly exercised by the autonomous, rational individual is no longer tenable. Finding a new way of interpreting self-rule beyond self-interested choice has become a crucial aspect of regenerating democratic spirit. This paper formulates three comments on Winter’s paper. The first comment concerns the resemblance between the attitudes of consumers and voters. A second comment reflects on the positive heritage of the Enlightenment. A third comment focuses on the recent Tahrir Square protests and reflects on the republican civic tradition.


Tinneke Beeckman
Tinneke Beeckman is postdoctoral researcher at the Fund for Scientific Research, Flanders, University of Brussels.

    In this reply, Steven L. Winter adresses his critics.


Steven L. Winter
Article

Immigration, Religion and Human Rights

State Policy Challenges in Balancing Public and Private Interests

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2012
Keywords globalization, religious symbols, reasonable accommodations, comparative law, immigration, burqa, human rights
Authors Eric Tardif
AbstractAuthor's information

    Three regions of the world – Western Europe, North America, and Australia – are probably the most popular options when families of emerging countries decide to emigrate in order to better their economic future. As the flow of immigrants establishing themselves in the receiving societies allows for these countries to get culturally richer, it creates, on the other hand, legal tensions as to the extent religious practice is to be accommodated by the governments of secular societies so as to facilitate the insertion of the newcomers into the workplace, social networks, and education system. In order to eliminate or diminish the effect of legal provisions that cause an indirect harm to religious minorities, several countries have taken steps aimed at “reasonably accommodating” them. This paper looks at these efforts made by receiving States, taking into account both the legislative aspect and the interpretation of the statutes and constitutional provisions by national as well as international tribunals; it also gives a critical appreciation of the results that have been obtained in the societies that have implemented those shifts in their legal system.


Eric Tardif
LL.L. (Ottawa); LL.M., LL.D. (National Autonomous University of Mexico - UNAM). The author is currently a Lecturer at the Faculty of Law of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, in the subjects of International and Comparative Law. This document was initially prepared for presentation at the VIIIth World Congress of the International Association of Constitutional Law, held in Mexico City, 6-10 December, 2010; an earlier version of this article was published in the International Journal of Public Law and Policy in 2011.
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