Search result: 59 articles

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Year 2015 x

    Arbitration is an important feature of the American justice system, providing numerous benefits, such as flexible dispute resolution, efficiency, privacy and avoidance of unwarranted punitive damages, while significantly reducing cases on overloaded court dockets. Its success, however, is not without criticism; and in the case of class arbitration waivers, as this article suggests, that criticism is well founded.
    Since the enactment of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) in 1925, the United States Supreme Court has pronounced a sweeping policy in favour of arbitration. More recently, the Court has made significant pronouncements in favour of class arbitration waivers, overruling a lower-court trend towards refusing to enforce such waivers.
    The Supreme Court’s endorsement of class arbitration waivers unfortunately results in claim preclusion of consumer claims for relatively small amounts of money. Stuck in this relatively inequitable playing field, there exists an opportunity to design innovative solutions to protect consumers from claim preclusion. Online binding arbitration, OArb, offers numerous benefits that offset its drawbacks, and it provides an accessible forum for some consumers to effectuate small claims. While OArb has failed to gain traction as an alternative dispute resolution process, it seems likely that a private, properly administered OArb programme could succeed and provide benefits to companies and consumers alike. OArb, however, is not a complete substitute for class arbitration, especially because numerous consumers are probably unaware of their claims. OArb, nevertheless, is a step in the right direction, and consumers are sure to benefit if it is implemented on a wider scale.


Andrew M. Malzahn
Andrew M. Malzahn, J.D., summa cum laude, 2015, Hamline University School of Law; Associate, Dady & Gardner, P.A., Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Article

E-Commerce, ICTs and Online Dispute Resolution: Is This the Beginning of a New Professional Profile?

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 2 2015
Keywords Mobile phones, ADR, ODR, mediation, conflict resolution
Authors Aura Esther Vilalta and Rosa Pérez Martell
AbstractAuthor's information

    There is a close link between the growth of Internet usage, the development of mobile technology, the expansion of markets and the increasing number of online dispute resolution mechanisms (ODRs). This article seeks to start a conversation about the need to provide justice by means of effective mechanisms, in particular for e-commerce disputes and transnational litigation. It also provides some information on the recent international initiatives towards the regulation of this new arena, and concludes with an early approach to the future challenges and the impact on training, qualifications and expertise of ODR professionals and service providers.


Aura Esther Vilalta
Senior Lecturer in Civil Law at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), Barcelona, Spain. Fellow of the National Center of Technology and Dispute Resolution (NCTDR), University of Massachusetts – Amherst; CEO of Iusmediare, mediator and arbitrator. Vilalta has been Spanish national representative at UNCITRAL, WG III (Online Dispute Resolution) and Deputy Magistrate in the Barcelona Court of Appeals.

Rosa Pérez Martell
Senior Lecturer in Procedural Law at Las Palmas de Gran Canaria University, lecturer at the Open University of Catalonia and member of the Mediation Commission at the Gran Canaria Government.
Article

13th Sir William Dale Memorial Lecture

Innovation and Continuity in Law Making

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2015
Authors Richard Heaton
Author's information

Richard Heaton
First Parliamentary Counsel and First Secretary to the Cabinet Office.
Article

Delegated Legislation in Nigeria: The Challenges of Control

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2015
Keywords delegated legislation, parliament, control, quality, parliamentary scrutiny
Authors Jemina Benson LL.M
AbstractAuthor's information

    In considering how society generally is regulated, most times focus is always on Acts of parliament that are passed by the legislative arm of government. However, delegated legislation is another aspect of law making that is of immense importance for the regulation of any given society. This form of lawmaking being a deviation from the norm has some challenges in terms of control. This article seeks to examine some of these challenges emphasising that adequate parliamentary scrutiny will prevent the harbouring of bad-quality legislation.


Jemina Benson LL.M
Jemina Benson LL.M (University of London) is a legislative drafter for Rivers State House of Assembly in Nigeria. Email: jeminabenson@yahoo.com.
Article

Financial Crime Prevention and Control

The Reforms of a ‘Unique’ Jurisdiction under EU Law and International Standards

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 4 2015
Keywords Vatican financial system, money laundering, terrorist financing, 3rd AMLD, FATF Recommendations
Authors Francesco De Pascalis
AbstractAuthor's information

    Between 2011 and 2014, the Vatican City State (VCS) experienced a reform process which dramatically changed its financial system. The process is still ongoing, and its goal is to establish an anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) system. Importantly, this system will be based on the AML/CTF EU legislation and international standards. These facts are noteworthy. First, the reforms cast light on the main Vatican financial institutions against the background of the secrecy that has always characterized their functioning and business operations. Accordingly, there is now more transparency and information about the Vatican financial system. Second, the relevant EU law and international standards are tools through which the VCS can, for the first time, join an international network of countries, sharing and applying the same rules against money laundering (ML) and terrorist financing (TF). This is of extraordinary importance for a jurisdiction like the VCS, which has never referred to European or international principles in its rule-making. In particular, the openness to EU law and international standards stimulates investigating the reasons behind these changes and the impact that these sources of law are having on a jurisdiction regarded as ‘unique’ in the world.


Francesco De Pascalis
PhD in Law, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies University of London; Research Fellow, University of Zurich, Law Faculty. All errors and omissions remain the author’s.
Article

Corruption and Controls

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 4 2015
Keywords corruption, controls, inspections, administration, regulation
Authors Maria De Benedetto
AbstractAuthor's information

    Anti-corruption is a relatively recent policy which calls for controls. They represent the most effective means in rebalancing institutions which are not fully informed: ‘secrecy’, in fact, characterizes infringements and corrupt behaviour.
    Alongside criminal investigation, administrative controls and administrative investigation should be considered crucial because they intervene at early stages, when corruption has been developing, allowing real prevention.
    This article analyses some points that we should remember in order to connect controls and corruption correctly: first of all, controls have a hybrid nature: not only are they a way to combat or prevent corruption but also they are real occasions for corrupt transactions; furthermore, controls are a cost and administrative capacity of control is limited; moreover, planning controls is not a simple task; and finally, sanctions following controls must be effective in order to deter.
    The article also analyzes what is needed in matters of corruption controls, with special reference to good rules (aiming at a legal system with fewer but better rules, rules which work as incentives, rules capable of designing good institutions). There is also a need for good practices (in order to improve the understanding of corruption processes, to reduce controls, to cooperate in investigating cases of corruption).
    Finally, the article warns about the fact that corruption controls produce more bureaucracy and that early detection of corruption would mean, in this perspective, to make a diagnosis of ‘corruptibility’ starting from rules.


Maria De Benedetto
Full Professor, Roma Tre University.
Article

‘Living in Sin’: A Reform Proposal for Financial Relief Following Cohabitation Breakdown

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 4 2015
Keywords cohabitation, financial relief, family trusts, common law marriage
Authors Luke Tattersall
AbstractAuthor's information

    The number of adults choosing to cohabit has increased by over 67% since 1991. Despite such a dramatic shift in social norms, the law governing financial relief upon relationship breakdown remains inept to handle the significant increase in cohabitants. This article examines how the current system of family trusts constitutes an archaic and inadequate means of dividing cohabitants’ assets. The law of trusts fails to reflect the subtleties of personal relationships, often resulting in financial injustice. The author goes on to consider the notion of common law marriage, highlighting how despite attempts by both the government and policy makers to dispel the concept it nevertheless remains prevalent throughout the United Kingdom. The core counterargument to extending financial relief is that it would undermine the institution of marriage and obscure the boundaries between cohabitant and spouse. This article critically examines this claim, adopting cross-jurisdictional analysis by considering the experiences of Scotland, Ireland and Australia where cohabitants have greater financial rights before concluding that the argument fails to stand up to scrutiny. The author ends by advancing a series of reforms designed to vindicate cohabitants, resulting in a fairer distribution of assets and bringing legal recognition to the United Kingdom’s largest growing family unit.


Luke Tattersall
Luke Tattersall is a trainee-barrister and Research Assistant in Law at Durham University. All opinions, errors and omissions are solely those of the author.
Article

Can Imprisonment Be Cheaper? The Case for Private Prisons

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 4 2015
Keywords costs, criminal law, law and economics, private prisons, privatization
Authors Elena Kantorowicz-Reznichenko
AbstractAuthor's information

    Custody is the most expensive method of punishment in the Western world, as compared to other alternatives. Although expensive, prison is an indispensible instrument to deal with judgement proof or dangerous offenders. Hence, by using the law and economics approach, this article explores prison privatization as an instrument for less expensive incarceration. This method has the potential to reduce the prison costs without hampering its quality. However, a restructuring of the current contracts is needed to achieve this purpose. The attention given to the topic of private prisons by the law and economics scholars, especially in the European context, is limited, and this article attempts to fill this gap. The present article applies arguments from the bureaucracy and political science literature to explain the inefficiencies of public prisons. Subsequently, the potential problems of private prisons are presented through the principle-agent model and solutions are offered.


Elena Kantorowicz-Reznichenko
Rotterdam Institute of Law & Economics (RILE), Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

    The Kenyan Situation pending before the International Criminal Court (ICC) is the first situation in which the prosecutor exercised his power to initiate cases “proprio motu” under Article 15 of the Rome Statute. In the wake of the comments from the former Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Luis Moreno-Ocampo, that there was political interference from foreign diplomats during the investigation stage of the cases, it is prudent to re-examine the standards provided under the Rome Statute regarding prosecutorial discretion and evaluate the prosecutorial power and how the Kenyan cases may shape this discretionary power in order to align it with the Preamble of the Rome Statute. The Preamble affirms that the most serious crimes of concern to the international community must not go unpunished. Further, that their effective prosecution must be ensured for the purposes of ending impunity for the perpetrators of international crimes and thus to contribute to the prevention of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crimes of aggression.


Simeon P. Sungi
Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at the United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya. He is also an Advocate of the High Court of Tanzania and the High Court of Kenya. Dr. Sungi holds a PhD in Criminal Justice from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana; an MA in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana; and an LLM in International Human Rights Law from Indiana University School of Law (now Robert H. McKinney School of Law) in Indianapolis, Indiana, all in the United States of America. He also holds an LL.B. Hons degree from the Open University of Tanzania. He is a former United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda staff member. The views expressed herein are his own; ssungi@alumni.iu.edu.

    Over the last decade, Nigeria has witnessed several high-intensity conflicts. It became a country under preliminary investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC) following allegations of serious crimes. In 2013, the boko haram insurgency was classified as a “non-international armed conflict.” Commentators appear divided over the capacity and willingness of domestic institutions to manage crimes arising from or connected with conflicts in Nigeria. Those who argue for unwillingness often point to the struggle to domesticate the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (Rome Statute) as one of the clearest indication that there is not sufficient interest. This article interrogates the question of seeming impunity for serious crimes in Nigeria and makes a case for domesticating the Rome Statute through an amendment to the Crimes against Humanity, War Crimes, Genocide and Related Offences Bill, 2012 pending before the National Assembly.


Stanley Ibe
LL.B. (Lagos State University, Nigeria); LL.M. (Maastricht University, The Netherlands); Postgraduate Diploma in International Protection of Human Rights (Abo Akademi, Finland). Ibe is an associate legal officer for Africa at the Open Society Justice Initiative. He writes in a private capacity.
Article

Access_open Cutting Corners or Enhancing Efficiency?

Simplified Procedures and the Israeli Quest to Speed up Justice

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 4 2015
Keywords Israel, austerity, civil procedure, simplified procedures, small claims
Authors Ehud Brosh
AbstractAuthor's information

    Israel was spared the worst of the world financial crisis of 2008-2009. However, austerity concerns are by no means invisible in the developments in the field of civil procedure. These concerns correlate heavily with the long-standing Israeli preoccupation with ‘speeding up’ justice. An array of simplified procedural tracks, aimed at addressing the perceived inadequacy of ‘standard’ procedure, have been developed in Israel over the years. The importance of simplified procedures in the Israeli system cannot be overestimated. Their development illustrates the dialectical tension between the values of ‘efficiency’ and ‘quality’ in the administration of justice. During periods of austerity, the scales are easily (or easier) tipped in favour of efficiency and general or particular simplification of procedure. In times of prosperity, on the other hand, concerns over ‘quality’, access to justice, and truth discovery predominate, and attempts at promoting efficiency and/or simplification at their expense tend to be bogged down. Such attempts also tend to lose their extrinsic legitimacy and are widely viewed as ‘cutting corners’. This is evident in the recent Israeli experience with civil procedure reform.


Ehud Brosh
Ehud Brosh, LL.M., is a research student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Article

Access_open Austerity’s Effect on English Civil Justice

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 4 2015
Keywords Austerity, court fees and legal aid, adversarial and inquisitorial process, McKenzie Friends, simplified process
Authors John Sorabji
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article considers the effect of austerity-induced public spending cuts on the English civil justice system. In doing so it initially examines two fundamental changes engendered by the effect austerity has had on civil court fees and legal aid: first, a challenge to the traditional commitment in English procedure to adversarial process, and a concomitant increase in inquisitorial or investigative processes; and secondly, the growth in use of unqualified individuals to act as advocates in court for individual litigants who are unable to afford legal representation. It then turns to consider what, if any, effect austerity has had on simplified processes available in English civil procedure.


John Sorabji
DPhil, Senior Fellow, UCL Judicial Institute, University College, London, email: j.sorabji@ucl.ac.uk.
Article

Access_open Canadian Civil Justice: Relief in Small and Simple Matters in an Age of Efficiency

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 4 2015
Keywords Canada, small and simple matters, austerity, civil justice, access to justice
Authors Jonathan Silver and Trevor C.W. Farrow
AbstractAuthor's information

    Canada is in the midst of an access to justice crisis. The rising costs and complexity of legal services in Canada have surpassed the need for these services. This article briefly explores some obstacles to civil justice as well as some of the court-based programmes and initiatives in place across Canada to address this growing access to justice gap. In particular, this article explains the Canadian civil justice system and canvasses the procedures and programmes in place to make the justice system more efficient and improve access to justice in small and simple matters. Although this article does look briefly at the impact of the global financial crisis on access to justice efforts in Canada, we do not provide empirical data of our own on this point. Further, we conclude that there is not enough existing data to draw correlations between austerity measures in response to the global crisis and the challenges facing Canadian civil justice. More evidence-based research would be helpful to understand current access to justice challenges and to make decisions on how best to move forward with meaningful innovation and policy reform. However, there is reason for optimism in Canada: innovative ideas and a national action plan provide reason to believe that the country can simplify, expedite, and increase access to civil justice in meaningful ways over the coming years.


Jonathan Silver
Jonathan Silver, B.A. Honors, J.D. 2015, Osgoode Hall Law School.

Trevor C.W. Farrow
Trevor C.W. Farrow is Professor and Associate Dean, Osgoode Hall Law School. He is very grateful to Jonathan Silver, who took the lead in researching and writing this article.
Article

Access_open Simplified Civil Procedure in Japan

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 4 2015
Keywords Japan, civil procedure, simplified procedure, summary courts, actions on small claims
Authors Etsuko Sugiyama
AbstractAuthor's information

    Japanese civil procedure covers four types of simplified procedures: ordinary proceedings in summary courts; actions on bills, notes, and checks; actions on small claims; and payment orders. Actions on small claims were newly introduced as civil procedure in 1996 to promote public access to justice. Summary courts have jurisdiction over these actions. The use of actions on small claims once increased to adjudicate a number of cases for the reimbursement of overpayment against consumer loan companies (Kabaraikin Suits). Although they have been used with less frequency recently due to the decrease of Kabaraikin Suits and increase of the use of other ADR procedures, they have a good reputation among their users and have successfully eased the burden on judges of district courts regardless of budget constraint. However, as more and more difficult cases are filed as actions on small claims, the burden of summary courts and court clerks seems to have increased. Providing information on simplified proceedings by courts and institutions of ADRs to citizens will solve this new problem by helping them to choose appropriate proceedings.


Etsuko Sugiyama
Associate Professor, Hitotsubashi University.
Article

Access_open Austerity in Civil Procedure

A Critical Assessment of the Impact of Global Economic Downturn on Civil Justice in Ghana

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 4 2015
Keywords austerity, small claims, civil justice, civil procedure, Ghana civil procedure
Authors Ernest Owusu-Dapaa and Ebenezer Adjei Bediako
AbstractAuthor's information

    The demand for and availability of civil justice procedures for small claims can neither be disentangled nor extricated from the health of the economic climate of the relevant country concerned. In this article, it is argued that despite not being a developed country, Ghana was not completely insulated from the hardships or implementation of austerity measures that were triggered by the global economic meltdown. The inevitability of behavioural changes on the part of the Government of Ghana as lawmaker and provider of the machinery for civil justice on the one hand and small claims litigants as users of the civil procedure on the other hand are also explored in the article. After properly situating the exploration in the relevant economic context, the article makes recommendations regarding how to minimise the impact of the austerity measures on small claims litigants.


Ernest Owusu-Dapaa
Ernest Owusu-Dapaa is Lecturer in Law at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana. Email: eodapaa@yahoo.com.

Ebenezer Adjei Bediako
Ebenezer Adjei Bediako is Principal Research Assistant at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana.
Article

Access_open The 2015 Proposal for an EU Directive on the Societas Unius Personae (SUP)

Another Attempt to Square the Circle?

Journal The Dovenschmidt Quarterly, Issue 2 2015
Keywords EU law harmonisation, single member private companies, Proposed SUP Directive, European ‘trade mark’
Authors Stephan Rammeloo
AbstractAuthor's information

    Stimulating business throughout the Single Market, not in the least for Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs), is one of the key priorities of the EU’s ten-year growth strategy, ‘Europe 2020’. One of the strategies to achieve this goal is the recently developed legal concept of a ‘European trademark’ for single member private limited liability companies duly established under the laws of any EU Member State and complying with preconditions required by a draft Proposal for a Directive on the Societas Unius Personae (SUP). The 2015 Compromising text, having replaced the initial 2014 Draft for a Directive requires to be analysed in view of its ‘scope’ (functional and geographical reach). Furthermore, attention is given to matters of formation and ‘long distance’ registration, share capital, internal organization and functioning of company organs, the functioning of SUP’s as stand alone companies or SUP’s embedded in company group or chain structures. Critical observations inter alia focus on relinquished provisions on the SUP’s seat as well as the powers of SUP organs and on ‘national law’ creeping in the Proposed Directive more and more at the cost of legal certainty and legal coherence between EU law instruments relevant to private limited liability companies.


Stephan Rammeloo
Associate Professor EU Company Law, Private International Law and Comparative Law, Maastricht University.

Stephan Hobe
Professor of International Law, Director, Institute of Air and Space Law, University of Cologne.
Article

Report of the Symposium

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 11 2015
Authors Carol A. Anderson and Mclee Kerolle
Author's information

Carol A. Anderson
At the Symposium, the Rapporteurs were both candidates for the Advanced LLM in Air and Space Law offered by Leiden University’s International Institute of Air and Space Law (IIASL).

Mclee Kerolle
At the Symposium, the Rapporteurs were both candidates for the Advanced LLM in Air and Space Law offered by Leiden University’s International Institute of Air and Space Law (IIASL).
Article

Access_open Directors’ Disqualification in the Netherlands

An International Comparative Re-Evaluation of an Amended Disqualification Proposal

Journal The Dovenschmidt Quarterly, Issue 1 2015
Keywords directors’ disqualification, directors’ liability, fraud, company law, insolvency law
Authors Tom Reker
AbstractAuthor's information

    In response to the effects of the global financial crisis on bankruptcy tendencies and the role of fraudulent company directors within that context, the Dutch government has introduced a proposal for a civil law directors’ disqualification instrument. This proposal aims to prevent both fraudulent conduct (by barring directors) and financial harm to corporate stakeholders, as well as to safeguard competitiveness and the trust which is necessary for effective trade. The fact that Dutch criminal law already allows for disqualification of directors in certain circumstances, which are partly similar to those in the proposal, raises doubts about the necessity of a civil law equivalent. This article concludes that the current proposal seems to have lost value vis-à-vis an earlier draft due to alterations to the disqualification and exculpation criteria, which may result in an overlap of the civil law and criminal law instruments. Consequently, there is a more pressing need for demarcation and reallocation of certain aspects of the proposal. By comparing the proposal with foreign (UK, US, Australian and German) counterparts, several suggestions are formulated to both counteract the overlap which the proposal may cause in Dutch law and to contribute to a model of effective disqualification instruments in general.


Tom Reker
Tom Reker recently graduated from the Leiden Law School, Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands. Email: tomreker_1@hotmail.com.
Article

Access_open Corporate Social Responsibility via Shareholders’ Proposals

Journal The Dovenschmidt Quarterly, Issue 1 2015
Keywords corporate social responsibility, shareholders, Rule 14a-8, social proposals, strategy
Authors Maria Paz Godoy Uson
AbstractAuthor's information

    Can shareholders’ proposals be considered as a mainstream alternative to incorporate social and environmental policies into the core businesses strategy? Proposing non-financial resolutions at the general meeting of shareholders is a form of shareholders’ activism that is shaping company’s direction. The American court case Lovenheim v. Iroquois Brands, Ltd. confirms that social and environmental issues, when significantly related to the core business, can give rise to new business directions firmly promoted by shareholders, resting authorial power to the board of directors in conducting the company’s direction. The US SEC Rule 14a-8 is widely used by social activists and institutional investors to influence the direction of business in becoming more sustainable. In virtue of the American Rule 14a-8, shareholders may include proposals in the company’s proxy materials and, thereby, compel a vote on the issue at the annual shareholders’ meeting. The result is that American shareholders’ proposals are being considered as an effective gateway to improve corporations’ social and environmental behaviour. This article examines, from a comparative perspective, the further developments of shareholders’ social proposals with the attempt to incorporate social and environmental policies into the core business. The article also suggests that the increasing demand of social proposals promoted by American shareholders versus the limited activity of shareholders’ proposals in Continental European jurisdictions is precipitating the process of converge between the main corporate governance models; the shareholder-oriented model and the stakeholder-oriented model, respectively. The issue of CSR via shareholders’ proposals as presented here is primarily based on literature and various cases related to SEC 14a-8, more in particular on lessons drawn from Lovenheim v. Iroquois Brands, Ltd.


Maria Paz Godoy Uson
PhD Fellow Maastricht University.
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