Autumn/Winter 2013/2014 - Volume 6 - Issue 2

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Editorial


Editorial

By: Tiago Andreotti   UK - Download PDF Version Download pdf (UK)

General Articles


The Constitutionalization of International Law: A Comparative Federal Perspective

By: Federico Fabbrini   UK - Download PDF Version Download pdf (UK)

During the last two decades, extraordinary legal developments have taken place at the regional and global level, as the world of international law has become inhabited by a growing number of organizations designed to govern phenomena cutting across state borders and affecting the life and wealth of individuals world-wide. This evolving reality has challenged traditional understandings of international law and increasingly scholars have resorted to the language of constitutionalism to describe the variety of regimes that by now exist beyond the states. The purpose of this essay is to discuss how comparative law can inform the discussion about the alleged constitutionalization of international law and provide insights to understand several features of the structure, functioning and finality of global governance institutions. In particular, the essay argues that a comparative analysis, grounded on historical studies, of experiences of federal governance offers a valuable perspective to analyse the phenomena of transnational governance and suggests that steps should be made to re-evaluate a long thread of legal practice and political thought that, from Althusius to the Federalist Papers, has offered original models and ideas to conceptualize constitutional regimes which were neither national nor international, but rather a mixture of both. Comparative federalism can today supply a rewarding framework to explain the developments occurring on a global scale. Indicating the path for future scholarly research in the field, the essay begins exploring the mysteries of global governance through the prism of federalism, identifies three recurrent features of transnational constitutional regimes - pluralism, subsidiarity and liberty - and underlines how these find correspondence in the experiments of federal governance of the past.

The Functionality of Conceptual Terms in International Law and International Legal Discourse

By: Ulf Linderfalk   UK - Download PDF Version Download pdf (UK)

Investigating the meaning of conceptual terms is an important task for legal scholars. Traditionally, the meaning of conceptual terms has been analyzed by reference to what those terms describe, namely a relationship between, on the one hand, the particular properties identifying a particular phenomenon or state of affairs as belonging to the extension of a concept, and on the other hand, the legally relevant inferences ensuing from the categorization. While this theory works reasonably well as long as studies are confined to the meaning of conceptual terms in law, it is ill-suited for any similar study of international legal discourse. In the search for workable alternatives, this essay adopts a different approach. It equates the meaning of a conceptual term with its functionality, ie with what the uttering of a conceptual term potentially does to the beliefs, attitudes, and behaviour of participants in a legal discourse. The essay illustrates the many important further implications of this theory of meaning for the analysis of international legal discourse.

La Question de la Nature Juridique de l’Eau des Cours d’Eau Internationaux - Essai d’Épistémologie

By: Fabienne Quilleré-Majzoub   FR - Download PDF Version Download pdf (FR)

Le grand public considère l’eau comme une ressource naturelle. Le concept de « ressource naturelle » se rapporte d’abord à la ressource vue comme réalité autonome et individualisée. Ce concept reste cohérent avec la préservation de la souveraineté permanente des États sur leurs ressources naturelles. En considérant l’eau du cours d’eau international comme une ressource naturelle, les spécialistes du droit international proposent une vision unique de l’eau, tant nationale qu’internationale. Or, ce point de départ n’est pas pertinent : il est nécessaire de distinguer entre l’eau soumise à l’exclusivité d’une souveraineté nationale et celle du cours d’eau international soumisse à plusieurs souverainetés, successives et/ou concomitantes. Il convient donc de discuter de la validité de ce regard sur l’eau du cours d’eau international et de tenter d’esquisser pourquoi le concept de ressource naturelle appliqué à l’eau du cours d’eau international est inadapté à l’aune des réalités du droit des cours d’eau internationaux. Il apparaît alors nécessaire de s’interroger sur la qualification retenue par la Cour internationale de justice, à savoir le caractère de ressource partagée du cours d’eau international. Le rejet de ce dernier pose alors la question des éléments qui justifient le caractère unique de la nature des cours d’eau internationaux. Cette recension est un passage obligé pour prendre la mesure de la difficulté qu’il y a à vouloir définir la nature de l’eau des cours d’eau internationaux. À cet égard, doter l’eau du cours d’eau international d’un statut spécifique qui doit rendre compte de sa réalité suppose de résoudre la tension inhérente à l’objet, territorialisé dans ses usages nationaux et globalisés dans ses répercussions sur les autres États du cours d’eau, et de créer tout à la fois les conditions nécessaires à la préservation du cours d’eau international comme unité hydrologique en prenant dûment en considération l’aspiration à la souveraineté territoriale étatique. Cette étude se place délibérément dans le cadre d’une étude prospective de l’émancipation du droit des cours d’eau internationaux.

Temporal Limitation by the Court of Justice of the EU: Dealing with the Consequences

By: Donatas Murauskas   UK - Download PDF Version Download pdf (UK)

Temporality is one of the tools enabling courts to deal with the consequences of a judgment. The present paper focuses on the special case of temporality in judicial review type judgments, ie the doctrine of temporal limitation of a judgment by the Court of Justice of the EU in the procedure of a preliminary ruling. Although the primary goal of the doctrine was to avoid harsh consequences in cases determined by the conventional retroactive application of a judgment, the doctrine has created its own costs. The paper is an attempt to discuss the arguments of the Court from the perspective of a consequences-based argumentation regarding the temporal effects of a preliminary ruling. The analysis provided is merely the positive type of insights regarding the current argumentation of the Court which aims to extend the view on the social impact driven argumentation of the Court.

Eurostat, Soft Law and the Measurement of Public Debt: The Case of Public-Private Partnerships

By: Alberto Vega   UK - Download PDF Version Download pdf (UK)

Budget stability seems to be mainly regulated through hard law, but in order to measure public debt, Eurostat has had to complement many aspects with informal instruments such as decisions in press releases, manuals, recommendations or decisions on particular cases contained in letters to the national statistical authorities. The aim of this paper is to analyse the legal status of these instruments and to comment on their main limitations. In order to do this, we will focus on the case of public-private partnerships, which have frequently been criticised for being used to hide public debt and whose accounting treatment on or off the government’s balance sheet depends mainly on the criteria published by Eurostat.

On the Conceptual Origins of the Law of Unjustified Enrichment in the Draft Common Frame of Reference

By: Jack Wright Nelson   UK - Download PDF Version Download pdf (UK)

Book VII of the Draft Common Frame of Reference presents a codification of the law of unjustified enrichment, derived from European jurisdictions and legal traditions. Yet European private law lacks a ‘common core’ concerning unjustified enrichment. Thus the question arises: where did Book VII’s drafters derive their material, and which national jurisdictions are represented therein? Through comparative analysis, this paper aims to clarify the conceptual origins of Book VII, comment on the causes of divergence in this area of law, and consider the future uses of Book VII.

In Defence of Defence Rights: The Need for Common Rules of Criminal Procedure in the European Union

By: Corri Longridge   UK - Download PDF Version Download pdf (UK)

The phenomenon of globalization and the expansion of EU mobility rights have been a catalyst for cross-border crime and a driving force for Member State cooperation in the field of criminal law. This paper argues broadly that EU mechanisms which facilitate Member State cooperation in criminal investigations and prosecutions have problematic consequences for EU citizens and the functioning of the EU as an independent legal order. A comprehensive approach to criminal justice that balances the need to cooperate in combating crime and the need to respect the defence rights of suspects is necessary. In particular, for EU defence rights to be practical and effective, EU law must buttress the right of access to legal counsel and legal aid.

Rent Seeking with Asymmetric Players: An Application to Litigation Expenditures

By: Svetoslav Salkin   UK - Download PDF Version Download pdf (UK)

This paper uses insights from the literature on rent-seeking contests toanalyze the expenditure decisions of a Defendant and a Plaintiff in the course of their legal battle. It is shown that the total amount of litigation expenditures is affected by the sequence of moves (protocols of interaction), differences in stakes, and the effectiveness of the parties (or the strength of their cases) and information asymmetries. In particular, it is shown that allowing for different stakes many of the results in the rent-seeking literature may not hold.

The Controversies about Legal Indeterminacy and the Thesis of the ‘Norm as a Framework’ in Kelsen

By: Juan Alberto del Real Alcalá   UK - Download PDF Version Download pdf (UK)

One of the most persistent controversies in law is related to its completeness or incompleteness. In the context of the debate between inconclusive law or the completeness of the law, the main argument of the paper is that Hans Kelsen paradoxically converges with Ronald Dworkin in denying legal indeterminacy, and albeit from radically different and opposing positions, both of them would arrive at the same conclusion in the discussion about completeness or incompleteness in the law: the law is ‘complete’. Both advocate a position contrary to HLA Hart.

Exemplary Damages: A Genuine Concept?

By: Vaclav Janecek   UK - Download PDF Version Download pdf (UK)

In this article I examine the concept of exemplary damages. Unlike many other studies this paper omits policy reasons and focuses primarily on the very concept of exemplary damages. My aim is thus not to argue for or against this remedy but rather to show whether or not it is a coherent and genuine legal category. Following relevant case law I will develop a conceptual definition of exemplary damages under English law of tort. This, I argue, is subject to three types of critical arguments – an argument from insufficiency, from positive exclusivity and from negative exclusivity – that highlight its incoherence. With respect to problematic aspects of the concept I compare exemplary damages under English law to germane Czech law which helps to show the relevance of ontology to law of damages. I suggest that from certain ontological perspective, we can reinterpret exemplary damages in a more coherent and acceptable manner. I conclude that such an understanding of exemplary damages makes them immune to the previous critique and also to the objection of ‘ordre public’ in private international law.