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Article

Access_open Brazilian Civil Procedure in the ‘Age of Austerity’?

Effectiveness, Speed, and Legal Certainty: Small Claims, Uncontested Claims, and Simplification of Judicial Decisions and Proceedings

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 4 2015
Keywords austerity, civil procedure, access to justice, Brazil, small claims
Authors Antonio Gidi and Hermes Zaneti, Jr.
AbstractAuthor's information

    The current debate in Brazilian Civil Procedure revolves around efficiency, legal certainty, and access to justice, not austerity. As a matter of fact, the debate over austerity is nonexistent in Brazil so far. By expanding the access to justice to a broader portion of the society, the legal system increased the number of cases and the costs associated with the judicial system. But the excess litigation and expense associated with the expansion of access to justice has contradictorily curtailed access to justice. This new situation demands new efforts to increase efficiency and legal certainty, while still increasing access to justice.


Antonio Gidi
Antonio Gidi is Visiting Assistant Professor at the Syracuse University. SJD, University of Pennsylvania Law School; LLM and PhD, PUC-SP University; LLB, Federal University of Bahia.

Hermes Zaneti, Jr.
Hermes Zaneti, Jr. is Professor of Law at the Universidade Federal do Espirito Santo and Prosecutor. PhD in Philosophy and Theory of Law, Università degli Studi di Roma Tre; LLM and PhD in Civil Procedure, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRS).

Ádám Békés
Ádám Békés, Ph.D., is senior lecturer of the Péter Pázmány Catholic University Faculty of Law and Political Sciences Criminal Law Department since 2006. Collaterally he also holds a practice as a lawyer, his legal office mainly dealing with criminal, international and commercial law cases was grounded in 2004. He is member of the Hungarian Criminal Law Association since 2007. Moreover at the same time in 2004 he graduated as economist from the Corvinus University Budapest. He carries out some researches relating to the European criminal law.

    Those who talk can be heard. Those who are allowed to talk may be listened to. This study is an attempt to give legal voice to those who cannot talk or are usually not listened to: children. This study is about the attention given to their interests, the best interests of the child. When these interests are immersed in a minority context, children may be overlooked for different reasons, including discriminatory attitudes or prejudice regarding their families. Law and its interpretation must be changed in order to include the difference. This study discusses the best interests of the child principle with special attention to its legal relevance in cases where lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) are, or want to be, parents. The authoritative source for the interpretation of the principle is the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The analysis focuses on the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and its case law. The study aims to explore the Court’s approach to the best interest of the child and identify whether the principle is being consistently applied in cases involving LGBT families, given the fact that sexual orientation and gender identity are still sensitive issues in Europe. This is done by comparing these cases to cases lodged by applicants who were not identified as an LGBT person. The margin of appreciation doctrine and the lack of European consensus on sexual minorities’ rights are confronted with the urgent paramount consideration that has to be given to children’s best interests. The analysis explores whether there is room for detecting a possible Court’s biased approach towards the concept of the best interests of the child. This study challenges the Court’s decisions in the sense that the focus should not only be at the LGBT parents’ rights to private and family life, but also at the interests of their daughters and sons. This is an attempt to call upon the ECtHR and all states not only to actively fight discrimination against LGBT persons, but, ultimately, to stop interpreting the concept of the best interests of the child in an arguably biased way, and to consider the principle’s legal value in any decision, regardless of their parents’ sexual orientation, gender identity or any other distinction.


Mr. Gabriel Alves de Faria
Gabriel Alves de Faria is a Brazilian lawyer, LGBTI activist and human rights specialist who holds a Law degree from the Federal University of Espirito Santo and a European Master’s Degree in Human Rights and Democratisation (E. MA/EIUC - Utrecht University). Among other legal and social experiences in the human rights field, Gabriel has worked as a researcher in comparative sexual orientation Law at Leiden University and most recently as a Fellow and consultant lawyer at the LGBTI Rapporteurship of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Washington, DC. His latest project is a documentary on the situation of LGBTI persons in Southeast Asia.
Article

Which Direction Is the Regulatory Quality Pendulum Taking?

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2015
Keywords regulatory quality, meta-policy, competitiveness, impact assessment, cognitive sciences
Authors Luca Di Donato
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article seeks a systematic definition of regulatory quality. Most of the literature has recognised that the concept of regulatory quality is particularly difficult to define. Member states, international organisations, and others have produced studies on regulatory quality, and they have reached different findings. Even if regulatory quality is based on conventional good governance principles, the enforcement and measurement of the quality of regulations and of its tools within any single country can differ widely and be very complicated.
    For these reasons, Part I explores regulatory quality in the European Union and – through the analysis of the policies, reports, and documents – indicates which direction the regulatory quality pendulum has taken.
    Part II, basing itself on the results of Part I, provides a general definition of quality, and it based on the procedures that legislator should comply with to enact its rules.
    Part III confirms the relationship between regulatory quality and competitiveness, and, in particular, this link has become more solid because the financial crisis has promoted new regulatory reforms by member states.
    Finally, this article notes that the legislator’s objectives can be achieved if the former takes into account the real people, including their irrational choices, human errors, and limits.


Luca Di Donato
PhD Candidate at Luiss Guido Carli University. Email: sdc.luca@gmail.com.
Article

Regulating Genetic Discrimination in the European Union

Pushing the EU into Unchartered Territory or Ushering in a New Genomic Era?

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2015
Keywords genetics, regulation, discrimination, data protection, European Union
Authors Aisling de Paor and Delia Ferri
AbstractAuthor's information

    Against the backdrop of rapid developments in genetic science and technology, one of the main concerns arising in this area is the potential use of genetic testing to discriminate, especially in the employment and insurance contexts. Employers and insurance companies may use the results of genetic tests to discriminate (primarily for economic advantage), based on perceptions of future health risks or future disabilities. This article explores the scope for an EU to effectively address genetic discrimination and the misuse of genetic information. It first provides a theoretical overview of the choice of regulatory frameworks. It then examines the scope and protection of current non- discrimination laws in the EU and investigates the possibility of an EU level response to address the misuse of genetic information.


Aisling de Paor
BCL, LLM, PhD, Solicitor (Law Society of Ireland) – Lecturer in Law, Dublin City University.

Delia Ferri
LLM, PhD in European and Italian constitutional law, Attorney at Law registered at the Verona Bar (Italy) – Lecturer in Law, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

    This article sets out to contribute to the special issue devoted to multi-disciplinary legal research by discussing first the limits of purely doctrinal legal research in relation to a particular topic and second the relevant considerations in devising research that (inter alia) draws on non-legal, auxiliary disciplines to ‘fill in’ and guide the legal framework. The topic concerned is the (analysis of the) fundamental rights of minorities.
    The article starts with a long account of the flaws in the current legal analysis of the European Court of Human Rights regarding minorities’ rights, particularly the reduction in its analysis and the related failure to properly identify and weigh all relevant interests and variables. This ‘prelude’ provides crucial insights in the causes of the flaws in the Court’s jurisprudence: lack of knowledge (about the relevant interests and variables) and concerns with the Court’s political legitimacy.
    The article goes on to argue for the need for multi-disciplinary legal research to tackle the lack of knowledge: more particularly by drawing on sociology (and related social sciences) and political philosophy as auxiliary disciplines to identify additional interests and variables for the rights analysis. The ensuing new analytical framework for the analysis of minorities’ rights would benefit international courts (adjudicating on human rights) generally. To operationalise and refine the new analytical framework, the research should furthermore have regard to the practice of (a selection of) international courts and national case studies.


Kristin Henrard
Professor of minorities and fundamental rights at the Erasmus School of Law.
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