Search result: 26 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 Burgerlijk procesrecht en ideologie

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2011
Keywords civil procedure, ideology, principles of procedural law
Authors Remme Verkerk
AbstractAuthor's information

    This contribution offers a partial explanation of the differences between procedural systems. In most jurisdictions, civil procedural regulations constitute a carefully designed system. Generally, a number of underlying principles, guidelines, theories and objectives can be identified that clarify and justify more specific rules of procedure. It will be argued that the main differences between legal systems flow from different political and theoretical views of those who determine and shape the form of the legal process. This contribution identifies the ideological influences on the rules of procedure in a number of influential jurisdictions.


Remme Verkerk
Remme Verkerk was Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law of Maastricht University. Presently he practices law at Houthoff Buruma.
Article

From Uneasy Compromises to Democratic Partnership

The Prospects of Central European Constitutionalism

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2011
Keywords Central Europe, parliamentarism, freedom of religion, Roma people, discrimination
Authors Gábor Attila Tóth
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Central European constitutional democracies were created by the political and constitutional transition of 1989. However, twenty years later, in the light of antidemocratic, authoritarian and intolerant tendencies, it is far from clear whether the negotiated revolution is a story of success or failure. This paper first outlines the constitutional background of revolutionary transition. It shows that the achieved structures and rules do not prevent political communities from realizing the full promise of democracy. Second, this analysis attempts to explore how the century-old historical circumstances, the social environment, and the commonly failed practice of constitutional institutions interact. This section focuses on the constitutional features of presidential aspirations, the privileges of churches and certain ethnic tensions. Finally, the paper argues that the chances of success of liberal democracies depend significantly on extraconstitutional factors. It seems that Hungary is in a more depressing and dangerous period of its history than for example Poland.


Gábor Attila Tóth
Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Debrecen, former senior adviser, Constitutional Court of Hungary. The author welcomes comments via email: tga818@law.unideb.hu.
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.
Editorial

WG Hart Legal Workshop

Comparative Perspectives on Constitutions: Theory and Practice 29 June – 1 July 2010

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2011
Authors Constantin Stefanou
Author's information

Constantin Stefanou
Dr. Constantin Stefanou (BA, MA, MPhil, PhD) is the LLM Director – ALS at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (School of Advanced Study, University of London).
Article

The Combination of Negative with Positive Constitutionalism in Europe

The Quest of a ‘Just Distance’ between Citizens and the Public Power

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2011
Keywords democracy, constitutionalism, totalitarism, fundamental rights, judicial review
Authors Cesare Pinelli
AbstractAuthor's information

    The article is focused on European constitutionalism as resulting from the transformations following the experiences of totalitarian states. The notion of democracy was then significantly re-shaped, to the extent that democratic devices (federalism and sometimes referendum) were introduced with a view to balance the excesses of a purely representative democracy. The recognition of social rights and of human dignity reacted against totalitarism and, on other hand, against the individualistic notion of rights affecting the XIX century’s constitutionalism. Constitutional review of legislation was introduced, thus overriding the myth of parliamentary sovereignty, particularly the idea of parliament as the sole authority capable of granting fundamental rights.


Cesare Pinelli
Cesare Pinelli is Professor of Constitutional Law in the Faculty of Law, La Sapienza University of Rome.
Article

The Importance of the Symbolic Role of the Head of State

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2011
Keywords head of state, monarchy, democracy, symbolic, Sarkozy
Authors David Marrani
AbstractAuthor's information

    Why do we need, in a society that we assume to be democratic, someone that reminds us of the archaic organisation of humanity, someone like a head of state? We know that the ‘powerful’ heads have now been transformed, most of the time, in ‘powerless’ ones, with solely a symbolic role, often not recognised. So why do we need them and how important are they? Because they are part of our archaic memory, images of the father of the primitive hordes, and because they ‘sit’ above us, the symbolic role of the head of state can be read with the glasses of a psychoanalyst and the magnifier of a socio-legal scholar. This paper is a journey in time and space, looking at the move from the sovereign-monarch to the president-monarch, unfolding the question of authority and its link to ‘distance’ but also the connection to ‘the Father’ and the notion of the two bodies.


David Marrani
Dr. David Marrani, Senior Lecturer, University of Essex, School of Law, UK.
Article

The European Law from Grundnorm towards the Cathedral

Constitutional Features of a Complex Legal System

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2011
Keywords economic analysis of legal remedies, state liability for breach of the EU law, judicial dialogue in the EU, self-referring legal rules, efficiency of the EU law
Authors Mariusz Jerzy Golecki
AbstractAuthor's information

    Many hopes of the adherents of constitutional reform in the EU remained in vain after the enactment of the Lisbon Treaty. Meanwhile the creeping constitutionalisation of the EU law leads to the empowerment of the UE quasi constitutional court – the Court of Justice of the European Union. This kind of constitutionalism is albeit firmly grounded on judicial cross-border cooperation. The main purpose of this paper is to address the question of whether and how the concept of judicial control based on transactional framework developed in law and economics could effectively supplement if not substitute the notion of constitutional democratic legitimacy. In order to demonstrate that it is logically possible and institutionally feasible to build a system based on circularity, self-referentiality and privatization of legal remedies, the paper contains the economic analysis of the recent development of the EU law which at least partially takes this direction.


Mariusz Jerzy Golecki
PhD, LL.M. Cantab. Associate Professor, University of Łódź (Poland).
Article

Judicial Activism

Usurpation of Parliament’s and Executive’s Legislative Functions, or a Quest for Justice and Social Transformation

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2 2011
Keywords judicial activism, separation of powers, constitutional interpretation
Authors Reyneck Matemba
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article examines the concept of judicial activism in relation to the courts’ role of interpreting legislation, particularly focusing on the courts’ function of interpreting the Constitution. It specifically examines modes of constitutional interpretation obtaining in RSA and Nigeria, by focusing on selected judicial decisions by superior courts in the two countries. It also examines constitutional provisions governing the interpretation of the Constitution (Bill of Rights) and legislation as provided for in the Constitution of RSA and that of Nigeria. It also makes a comparative examination of judicial approaches to the interpretation of socio-economic rights enshrined in the Constitution of each of the two countries, specifically focusing on the rights to health and housing.The article observes that the concept of judicial activism is a necessary tool for attaining justice and achieving social transformation.


Reyneck Matemba
Reyneck Thokozani Matemba is a member of the Malawi Law Society and the Commonwealth Association of Legislative Counsel (CALC) and works as an Assistant Chief Legislative Counsel for the Ministry of Justice, Malawi.
Article

Sir William Dale Annual Memorial Lecture

Gender-Neutral Law Drafting: The Challenge of Translating Policy into Legislation

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2 2011
Keywords legislation, policy, gender-neutral law drafting, New Zealand
Authors Margaret Wilson
AbstractAuthor's information

    For legislation to be inclusive it must be expressed in a way that is gender-neutral. Gender-neutral drafting became a policy issue in New Zealand in the 1980s and since that time gender-neutral drafting has become an accepted drafting practice. The issue has been to ensure previous legislation is gender-neutral. The Legislation Bill that is before the Parliament provides for legislation already enacted to be reviewed to remove gendered language. The main lesson to be learnt from the New Zealand experience is the need for political and bureaucratic commitment to gender-neutral drafting.


Margaret Wilson
Margaret Wilson is Professor of Law and Public Policy at the University of Waikato, New Zealand.

Constantin Stefanou
Dr. Constantin Stefanou (BA, MA, MPhil, PhD) is the LLM Director – ALS at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (School of Advanced Study, University of London).
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.

    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.

    Africa is a major source of commodities and other natural resources. However, such wealth has not yet led to economic development or to increased living standards. On the contrary, Africa remains underdeveloped while other regions of the world enjoy significant, if not spectacular, success. Between 1970 and 2008, the pro-capita income of African energy-exporting countries has increased 72%, while that of African Least Developed Countries has decreased 13%, and that of remaining African countries has increased 31%; in the same period of time, the increase in pro-capita income for South Asian and East Asian low income countries has been, respectively, 236% and 223%, and that of China a staggering 1,531%.


Luca G. Castellani
Legal officer with the UNCITRAL Secretariat, Vienna, Austria. The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations.

    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.

    International commercial law as a body of law that governs international sale transactions has a bright future in the East African Community (EAC) region. As long as international trade is growing so does the relevancy of international commercial law. As a Regional Economic Community, the EAC continues to facilitate trade arrangements between its Partner States to enable them to benefit from greater access to each other’s markets. Regional trade initiatives and economic integration as espoused by the EAC are no doubt integral to international commercial law through their impact on commercial transactions. In particular, the creation of an economic and monetary union is bound to advance international commercial law.This paper posits, therefore, that international commercial law has a favourable future in EAC, and indeed there are many developments that have been embarked on by the EAC to boost its relevancy. As will be illustrated in the paper, key among these developments is the holistic integration approach that has been embraced by the EAC. Commencing with a Customs Union, integration in the EAC has moved to a Common Market, is heading to a Monetary Union, and is ultimately bound to crystallize into a Political Federation. The paper shows that such an ambitious integration process poses both potential opportunities and limitations on the future of international commercial law. The paper highlights what the EAC is doing to harmonise its commercial laws to attain a common investment area and an effective functioning common market. It also explores the implications of this effort on the future of international commercial law and suggests proposals on the way forward.


Stephen Agaba
Principle Legal Officer, East African Community (EAC).
Article

Is Africa Ready for Electronic Commerce?

A Critical Appraisal of the Legal Framework for Ecommerce in Africa

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

    It remains a daunting but not insurmountable challenge to actualize broad-based long term economic development in Africa. Statistics indicate that the poverty level in the continent is very high and the continent’s contribution to global trade remains very low in terms of export outflows. While acknowledging the negative aspects of Africa’s development however, it is important to note that the future may yet become brighter if key steps are taken by law and policy makers in the continent to put in place laws and policies that can facilitate the development process. One of the ways in which economic development can be facilitated is to significantly boost Africa’s contribution to global trade. In this regard, it has been noted that ‘After falling by 2.5% in 2009, export volumes of African countries are expected to increase on average by 3.2% in 2010 and by 5% in 2011.


Nnaemeka Ewelukwa
Dr. iur. (Queen Mary, London), Senior Teaching Fellow, International Trade Law, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London (SOAS).
Article

Chinese Judicial Methodologies to Determine the Validity of Arbitration Agreements

“Arbitration in Hong Kong and English Law to Apply” as an Example

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3-4 2011
Authors Song Lianbin and Sophia Juan Yang
AbstractAuthor's information

    As Financial Times says, “it is now difficult to consider African prospects without the mention of China, which in the past decade has increased trade with the continent 10-fold – from $ 10 billion to more than $ 100 billion and has overtaken the US and the Europe as the largest trading partner in some important economies”.1x See Financial Times Special Report on Africa-China Trade, available at <http://media.ft.com/cms/de832bb2-7500-11df-aed7-00144feabdc0.pdf>. Africa has particular needs for cost-effective and time-effective mechanisms for resolving trade disputes with Chinese parties. The most preferred choice is, not surprisingly, commercial arbitration.

Noten


Song Lianbin
Song Lianbin is Professor in Law, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China.

Sophia Juan Yang
Sophia Juan Yang is Dr. iur. (University of Basel, Switzerland), LL.M. (Wuhan), former Research Assistent for Global Sales Law Project.

    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).

    The demands for corporate sanity and probity have increased tremendously in recent years, especially in the aftermath of the Enron Scandal, whose impacts were so profound that it ushered in a wave of corporate and securities law reforms both in the US and globally. International organizations, civil society, financial institutions, multinational corporations, business men and scholars have joined the bandwagon by being unanimous in their clarion call for more accountability and transparency in the ways companies are managed. Aside the Enron Scandal which exposed managerial frailties, such clarion call might have also been largely influenced by the view that the way a company is managed might reflect to a certain extent the way it does business. Hence an assumption that bad management would not only be detrimental to the shareholders who have invested their fortunes in the company, but might have long-term ramifications on local communities in particular and to the host country in general. For instance, the company might go bankrupt and current investors might pull out, thereby creating unemployment and sending a very bad impression to prospective investors contemplating business ventures in such a host country. The answer to these uncertainties has been the emergence of corporate governance codes and/or pieces of legislation with Sarbanes Oxley Act of the US, being one of the oft-cited examples.


Enga Kameni
LL.B (Hons) (Buea, Cameroon), Maîtrise (Yaoundé II), LL.M (UWC, Cape Town), LL.M (Harvard Law School), Doctoral Candidate, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria.
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