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I·CONnect

Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

Book Review: Alicia Pastor y Camarasa on Eneida Desiree Salgado’s “Reforma Política”


[Editor’s Note: In this installment of I•CONnect’s Book Review Series,
Alicia Pastor y Camarasa reviews Eneida Desiree Salgado’s book “Reforma Política” (Editora Contracorrente 2018)


–Alicia Pastor y Camarasa, PhD candidate, Centre de recherche sur l’Etat et la Constitution (CRECO), University of Louvain (Belgium)

The demographics of Brazil’s parliament, overwhelmingly white and male, is at odds with its deeply diverse society. Improving the quality of representative democracy in Brazil through modifying the composition of the parliament has been a central project over the past two hundred years, largely occurring through both constitutional and legal reform. Eneida Desiree Salgado explores this topic in her book, Reforma Política. Throughout the text, Salgado undertakes a comprehensive legal analysis of reforms to political rights in Brazil – from the days of the Empire to the present – and explores the challenges that surround democratization. The central thesis of the text is that the fight for liberty in Brazil has always been exclusive, and that legal reforms have often in effect reduced the possibility of radically changing the power structures at play.[i]

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Published on October 2, 2019
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What’s New in Public Law


Maja Sahadžić, Ph.D. Researcher (University of Antwerp)

In this weekly feature, I-CONnect publishes a curated reading list of developments in public law. “Developments” may include a selection of links to news, high court decisions, new or recent scholarly books and articles, and blog posts from around the public law blogosphere.

To submit relevant developments for our weekly feature on “What’s New in Public Law,” please email contact.iconnect@gmail.com.

Developments in Constitutional Courts

  1. The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom ruled that the Prime Minister suspended Parliament illegally.
  2. The Constitutional Court of Italy ruled that it should not always be punishable to help someone “under intolerable physical and psychological suffering” to commit suicide.
  3. The Constitutional Court of South Africa set to rule on “common purpose” in rape cases. The legal question is whether or not people who share the intent to rape can be convicted even if they did not all physically rape the victim.
  4. The Constitutional Court of South Africa found that moderate and reasonable chastisement by a parent is unconstitutional.
  5. The Constitutional Court of Romania decided that the president must appoint interim ministers.
  6. The Constitutional Court of Montenegro instituted preliminary proceedings to consider non-working Sundays.
  7. The Constitutional Court of Thailand decided that the Prime Minister was not a state official when he ruled a decision that secures his position as prime minister.
  8. The Constitutional Court of Ecuador rejected a petition for local consultation on a mining ban.
  9. The Supreme Court of Spain ruled in favor of exhumation of Francisco Franco.
  10. The EU General Court overturned a European Commission decision that Starbucks benefited from illegal tax breaks in the Netherlands.

In the News

  1. The Slovak Parliament ended the long series of votes and selected the four missing candidates of the Constitutional Court of Slovakia.
  2. The speaker of the US House of Representatives announced a formal impeachment inquiry against President Trump.
  3. The Austrian Parliament declared a “climate emergency” making climate change a priority issue just four days from elections.
  4. The European Union appointed the first head of the newly-created EU Public Prosecutor’s Office.
  5. A Haitian senator opened fire outside the Parliament injuring a photojournalist.
  6. The Parliament of the United Kingdom returned a day after the Supreme Court ruled that the decision to suspend sittings for five weeks was unlawful.
  7. The Israeli’s Prime Minister asked to form a new government after a post-election deadlock that has paralyzed the country’s political system.

New Scholarship

  1. Richard Albert, Antonia Baraggia and Cristina Fasone (eds.), Constitutional Reform of National Legislatures: Bicameralism under Pressure (2019) (examining the challenges, difficulties, and prospects of reforming bicameralism in constitutional democracies)
  2. Patricia Popelier, Helen Xanthaki, João Tiago Silveira, Felix Uhlmann and William Robinson (eds.), Lawmaking in Multi-level Settings, Legislative Challenges in Federal Systems and the European Union (2019) (discussing systems where law-making is a shared responsibility assigned to various levels of authority).
  3. Francesco Palermo, Alice Valdesalici and Annika Kress (eds.), Comparing Fiscal Federalism (2018) (investigating intergovernmental financial relations and the current de jure and de facto allocation of financial and fiscal powers in compound states from a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective).
  4. Kate Puddister, The Canadian Reference Power: Delegation to the Courts and the Navigation of Federalism, Publius (2019) (examining how reference cases have been used by governments in Canada, with particular attention to issues related to federalism).
  5. Melissa Crouch, The Constitution of Myanmar, A Contextual Analysis (2019) (analyzing the 2008 Constitution of Myanmar in its historical, political, and social context).
  6. Michael D. Gilbert, Mauricio Guim and Michael Weisbuch, Constitutional Locks, Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper (2019) (studying constitutional “locks” as forced waiting periods for amendments).
  7. Angioletta Sperti, Constitutional Courts, Gay Rights and Sexual Orientation Equality (2019) (considering a wide-range of decisions by constitutional and international courts, from the decriminalization of sexual acts to the recognition of same-sex marriage and parental rights for same-sex couples).

Call for Papers and Announcements

  1. The Review of Constitutional Studies invites submissions of manuscripts in English or French for its issues 24(2) and 25(1). The deadline for submissions in 1 November 2019.
  2. The Gujarat National Law University (GNLU) Law Review welcomes submissions for its seventh volume.
  3. The University of Bologna Law Review invites applications for new Associate Editors. The deadline for submissions is 31 October 2019.
  4. The Institute for Immigration and Social Integration at Ruppin Academic Center, the Association for Canadian Studies and the International Metropolis Project, invite proposals for the 6th Ruppin International Conference on “Immigration and Social Integration: Migration and Diasporas,” to be held in Ruppin on 18-20 May 2020. The deadline for submissions is 10 November 2019.
  5. The Maastricht Centre for European Law and the Maastricht European Centre on Privacy and Cybersecurity invite papers for the workshop on “Digitalisation, Ethics and EU Fundamental Rights,” to be held in Maastricht on 9-10 January 2020. The deadline for submissions is 31 October 2019.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Fracesco Palermo, Editorial – ’70 Years of the German Basic Law’ Symposium, IACL-AIDC BLOG
  2. David R. Cameron, Another government in Italy, another election in Spain, Yale MacMillan Center
  3. David R. Cameron, After UK Supreme Court declares prorogation unlawful, Parliament resumes, Yale MacMillan Center
  4. Omphemetse S Sibanda, Ruling banning the spanking of children is both legally and morally sound, Daily Maverick
  5. Greg Weiner, The Not-So-Supreme Court, The Atlantic
  6. Ian Millhiser, The fight to end Roe v. Wade enters its endgame next week, Vox
  7. Thomas Stephens, The art of interpreting in Switzerland’s polyglot parliament, swissinfo.ch
  8. Michael Power and Avani Singh, South African High Court Finds Surveillance Law Unconstitutional, IACL-AIDC BLOG
  9. Gregor Kirchhof, The Financial Constitution of the Basic Law, IACL-AIDC BLOG
  10. Michelle Maziwisa, Giving a Voice to Subnational Authorities and Citizens in EU Trade Agreements, Eureka!
  11. Alex Green, Our Constitution, Accountability and the Limits of the Power to Prorogue, UK Constitutional Law Association
  12. Sam Fowles, Cherry/Miller: What’s Next?, UK Constitutional Law Association
  13. Oskar J. Gstrein, The Judgment That Will Be Forgotten, Verfassungsblog
  14. Michał Ziółkowski, Undemocratic but Formally Lawful: The Suspension of the Polish Parliament, Verfassungsblog
  15. Oliver Garner, Why the UK’s Government’s Demands on the Irish Backstop Would Violate the Sovereignty of the EU-27, Verfassungsblog
  16. Cheta Nwanze, Xenophobic attacks: Why the official outrage from Nigeria this time?, African Arguments
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Published on September 30, 2019
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Book Review: Sophie Weerts on “La loi de la langue: Dialogue euro-indien” (Alain Supiot & Sitharamam Kakarala, eds.)


[Editor’s Note: In this installment of I•CONnect’s Book Review Series, Sophie Weerts reviews La loi de la langue: Dialogue euro-indien (Alain Supiot & Sitharamam Kakarala, eds., Schulthess 2017)


Sophie Weerts, University of Lausanne

In 2012, the Institute of Advanced Studies in Nantes held a seminar on “Droit et Langage”, within the framework of the ‘Indian-European Advanced Research Network’. The strength of the ensuing book – La loi de langue: Dialogue euro-indien – is its engagement with questions concerning the relation between language and law with a transdisciplinary approach. Nine authors from different disciplinary backgrounds – law, philosophy, philology, linguistics, sociology – investigate this relation in light of the European and Indian legal and political system, including a tertium comparationis, with contributions concerning China and Japan. With this comparative framework, the value of the book is to serve as a ‘wake-up call’. It does not only address canonical themes for scholars working on questions of linguistic diversity, linguistic rights, and linguistic regime, but proposes exploration outside of the classic paths of legal positivism and mainstream Western modes of legal thought.

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Published on September 28, 2019
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Special Discount–New Book–“Constitutional Reform of National Legislatures: Bicameralism under Pressure”

Richard Albert, William Stamps Farish Professor in Law and Professor of Government, The University of Texas at Austin

I-CONnect is pleased to share a special 35% discount code for our readers interested in a new book entitled Constitutional Reform of National Legislatures: Bicameralism under Pressure (Edward Elgar, 2019), edited by Richard Albert (Texas), Antonia Baraggia (Milan), and Cristina Fasone (LUISS).

To order this book at the discount rate, enter code RALB35 at checkout here.

Here is the book’s description:

What makes bicameral reform so difficult? Why choose bicameralism over unicameralism? What are the constitutional values of bicameralism? This innovative book addresses these questions and many more from comparative, doctrinal, empirical, historical and theoretical perspectives.

Featuring contributions from leading and emerging scholars in the field, this book provides a timely account of the tensions between bicameralism and its reform, demonstrating for the first time how this relates to the protection of liberal democracy and the rule of law. Contributors analyse the pressures that contemporary constitutional politics exert on bicameralism in an array of countries and legal systems, including the complex relationships between the EU and national second chambers.

And here are the contents of the volume:

Foreword

Bicameralism in an Age of Populism
Meg Russell

Introduction

1. The Challenge of Reforming Bicameralism
Richard Albert, Antonia Baraggia and Cristina Fasone

Part I–Theories and Challenges to Bicameralism: Multi-tiered Government Systems and the EU

2. Bicameralism. Multiple Theoretical Roots in Diverging Practices
Maria Romaniello

3. ‘Visible’ and ‘Invisible’ Second Chambers in Unitary States. ‘Territorialising’ National Legislatures in Italy and the United Kingdom
Barbara Guastaferro

4. How Does the European Union Challenge Bicameralism? Lessons from the Italian Case
Pietro Faraguna

5. The Scrutiny of EU Documents in Bicameral System. Opportunity or Weakness?
Wouter Wolfs and Caterina Cigala

6. The House of Lords faces up to Brexit
Peter Leyland

7. Bicameralism in Multi-tiered Systems
Patricia Popelier

Part II–Challenging Unicameralism

8. The Shadow of Bicameralism in a Unicameral State: Dispersed Functional Bicameralism in Bulgaria?
Mihail Vatsov and Polina Vakleva

9. Defending Bicameralism and Equalizing Powers: the Case of Peru
Diego Serra

10. The Failed Referendum to Abolish the Ireland’s Senate: Rejecting Unicameralism in a Small and Relatively Homogenous Country
David Kenny

11. Unicameralism and “Masked” Bicameralism
Cristina Fasone

Part III–Reforming or Abolishing the Upper House?

12. The Sénat Français of the Fifth Republic: The Permanent Paradox
Priscilla Jensel Monge

13. The Future of Poland’s Second Chamber: Is the Senate Still Needed?
Katarzyna Granat

14. Reshaping the National Council of the Republic of Slovenia
Dušan Štrus

15. Bicameralism(s) in the Age of Ethnicity: Prospects for Reform of Legislatures in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Nedim Kulenović

16. Bicameralism As a Normative Choice In the Tension Between Its Reform and Its Passing
Giovanni Piccirilli

Conclusion

What Are We To Make of Bicameralism in the Twentieth-First Century? The Reform Trap
Cristina Fasone

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Published on September 26, 2019
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Showcase–New Directions in Administrative Law Research: The Distinction between Constitutional and Administrative Law


[Editor’s Note: This is the final entry in an eight-part Showcase on new ideas in administrative law theory. The introductory post is available here.]


–Farrah Ahmed, University of Melbourne

Are constitutional and administrative law distinguishable? If so, how? These questions are often met with indifference or scepticism. In the UK it is said that “the dividing line between constitutional and administrative law [is] hard to locate and somewhat artificial” and that “[t]he twofold division of public law (into constitutional and administrative law) is of no great significance.” In the US, scholarship blurs the boundary between constitutional and administrative law. In South Africa, complex connections between administrative law and constitutional text and principle make untangling the two challenging. In India the expansive interpretation of ‘Fundamental Rights’ has obscured the distinctive nature of administrative law norms.

Are constitutional and administrative law distinguishable? If so, how? These questions are often met with indifference or scepticism. In the UK it is said that “the dividing line between constitutional and administrative law [is] hard to locate and somewhat artificial” and that “[t]he twofold division of public law (into constitutional and administrative law) is of no great significance.” In the US, scholarship blurs the boundary between constitutional and administrative law. In South Africa, complex connections between administrative law and constitutional text and principle make untangling the two challenging. In India the expansive interpretation of ‘Fundamental Rights’ has obscured the distinctive nature of administrative law norms.

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Published on September 24, 2019
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Observations on the Supreme Court’s Miller and Cherry Hearings


Theodore Konstadinides, Professor of Law, University of Essex

The Miller / Cherry legal battle last week lingered between the tectonic plates of the political and the legal. It was three days of carefully defined legal terms, extended and masterful advocacy combined with awkward pauses, grimaces of disbelief, and phrases that baffled non-lawyers. Both prior and during the hearing we heard from the Prime Minister that the Supreme Court must not involve itself in the political. A barrage of questions was accordingly hurled at the Miller appellants and Cherry respondents by Sir Eadie (on behalf of the Prime Minister) and Lord Keen (AG for Scotland) that must have made even the best of law students query what relevant principles of public law should apply in these appeals. Both barristers skillfully warned the Supreme Court not to trespass into forbidden territory and question proceedings in Parliament out of Parliament. To do so would be in breach of Article 9 of the Bill of Rights 1689 expressly prohibiting such intervention. Millions of members of the public watching on live-stream or in the overflown courts must have wondered whether it is perhaps too abstract (or academic) to ask judges to determine how long is too long when the Prime Minister decides to suspend Parliament? Similarly, can we expect judges in their wisdom to deduce the motive (malign or not) behind the Prime Minister’s advice to the Queen to prorogue Parliament for five weeks?

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Published on September 23, 2019
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What’s New in Public Law

–Nausica Palazzo, Lecturer in Public Law, Bocconi University

In this weekly feature, I-CONnect publishes a curated reading list of developments in public law. “Developments” may include a selection of links to news, high court decisions, new or recent scholarly books and articles, and blog posts from around the public law blogosphere.

To submit relevant developments for our weekly feature on “What’s New in Public Law,” please email contact.iconnect@gmail.com.

Developments in Constitutional Courts

  1. UK Supreme Court is to rule next week on Parliament shutdown.
  2. The Court of Justice of the EU started hearing Apple and Ireland’s appeal against the EU Commission’s 14 billion tax bill.
  3. Romania’s Constitutional Court ruled that the President of the Republic must accept the nominations of interim ministers by PM Dancila, as within the PM’s prerogatives.
  4. Turkey Constitutional Court ruled that the broadcast ban on news related to the criminal investigation against former ministers violates freedom of press.
  5. The Constitutional Court of Thailand dismissed a constitutional challenge against the PM for his failure to recite the full oath, especially the sentence whereby he commits himself to abide by the constitution.
  6. The Nelson Mandela Foundation lodged a constitutional complaint against AfriForum’s “provocative” tweet of an apartheid flag, whose display constitutes hate speech following last week’s Equality Court’s decision.
  7. The Constitutional Court of Jordan ruled that a contract entered by a national company and Israel does not require parliamentary approval.
  8. The Constitutional Court of South Africa ruled that parents cannot use corporal punishment at home.
  9. Zimbabwe’s law on the functioning of the Constitutional Court, implementing the 2013 constitution, goes into effect.
  10. The President of Albania explains to the Venice Commission the reasons for the 18 months long inactivity of the Constitutional Court.

In the News

  1. Turkey, Russia and Iran announced that an agreement on the committee that will rewrite Syria’s constitution was reached.
  2. Algeria’s interim president called the presidential elections with a view to overcoming the political crisis.
  3. The ICC prosecutor appealed the ICC’s decision to acquit former Ivory Coast president, accused of starting a civil war after losing the elections. Notice of appeal here.
  4. An Armenian court rejects former President Kocharian’s motion to end pretrial detention.
  5. Former Italy’s PM Renzi formed a breakaway party, thereby potentially engendering the stability of the new coalition government.
  6. Liberia’s President endorses a war crimes court to investigate the crimes committed during Liberia’s civil wars.
  7. The US sued Snowden for breaking non-disclosure agreement with CIA and NSA when writing his book.
  8. New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern introduced a bill to strengthen the nation’s gun laws, after the Christchurch attacks.
  9. A US same-sex couple sued the US State Department for treating them as “unmarried” thereby denying their child, born in Canada through surrogacy, US citizenship.

New Scholarship

  1. Antonina Bakardjieva Engelbrekt, Xavier Groussot, The Future of Europe: Political and Legal Integration Beyond Brexit (Hart Publishing, 2019) (addressing the institutional challenges ahead for the European Union, with a special focus on rule of law and security)
  2. Alysia Blackham, Miriam Kullmann, Ania Zbyszewska, Theorising Labour Law in a Changing World: Towards Inclusive Labour Law (Hart Publishing, 2019) (providing a more inclusive theory of labor law by bringing together various disciplines, including industrial relations, political economy, gender studies and regulatory theory)
  3. Ingrid V. Eagly, The Movement to Decriminalize Border Crossing, 61 Boston College Law Review (forthcoming) (exploring the growing resistance to border criminalization in the United States and the proposed reforms that would reconstitute border crossing as a civil violation of immigration law)
  4. Laura M. Henderson, The Promise and Peril of Designing a Radical Democratic Populism, in Ingeborg van der Geest, Henrike Jansen & Bart van Klink (eds.), Vox Populi: Populism as a Rhetorical and Democratic Challenge (Edgar Elgar, forthcoming) (analyzing radical democracy’s turn to a populist rhetorical strategy, and what populist politics should do to be compatible with radical democracy)
  5. Andras Jakab, What Can Constitutional Law Do Against the Erosion of Democracy and the Rule of Law? On the Interconnectedness of the Protection of Democracy and the Rule of Law Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law & International Law (MPIL) Research Paper No. 2019-15. (presenting a list of tips and tricks on how to stop the populist tide through constitutional law)
  6. Zachary Kramer, Outsiders: Why Difference is the Future of Civil Rights (Oxford University Press, 2019) (advancing two proposals to align civil rights law to increasingly individualized forms of discrimination)
  7. Lorne Neudorf, Separating Powers through the Constitution: A Comparison of India and Australia (2019) (examining the separation of powers in India and Australia to better understand the idea of separating powers more generally, especially in relation to how it takes shape and operates in different legal systems)
  8. Lewis D. Sargentich, Liberal Legality: A Unified Theory of our Law (Cambridge University Press, 2019) (exploring what rule-based law and policy-based law have in common and proposing a novel conception of the rule of law based on a commitment to what the Author calls “liberal legality”)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The Constitution Unit set up a Working Group on unification referendums on the Island of Ireland examining how any future referendum on Northern Ireland’s status would be conducted. The members of the Working Group are keen to hear from anyone with views on the matters they are examining.
  2. UCD Sutherland School of Law is seeking one post-doctoral fellow and six PhD students for a forthcoming European Research Council-funded project on the socio-political factors leading to populism in selected case studies. The deadline for the post-doc position is September 27, 2019. The deadline for PhD positions Oct. 1, 2019.
  3. Emory University School of Law seeks to fill a named professorship in international law beginning in the 2020-2021 academic year. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.
  4. European University Institute seeks to hire a Director for its School of Transnational Governance (deadline for receipt of applications: October 30, 2019) and chairs in transnational governance (deadline for receipt of applications: October 28, 2019).
  5. The Touro College, Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center is seeking applicants for two tenure-track appointments to its full-time faculty starting in August 2020. Subject areas of particular interest include Constitutional Law, Evidence, Property, and Torts. The application must be submitted here.
  6. The Common Market Law Review invites scholars to attend the conference “A Cultural and Identity-related Shift in European Union Law?”, to be held on October 11, 2019 in Paris. The conference program can be found here.
  7. The Federalist Society launched this year’s Article I Initiative Writing Contest on the on Nondelegation Doctrine in the United States. The contest is open to individuals under age 40. Entries must be received on or before Monday, January 7, 2020.
  8. The editor of the book “Personal Data Protection and Legal Developments in the European Union” (Maria Tzanou) issued a call for chapters. The book will be published by IGI Global, an international publisher of progressive academic research. The deadline to submit chapter proposals is October 18, 2019.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Brian Christopher Jones, Panel Numbers: From “Court Packing” to “Institution Building”, UK Constitutional Law Blog
  2. Sepideh Afshar, Bill 21: Impractical on paper and in practice, The McGill Tribune
  3. Supreme Court challenge over Boris Johnson’s suspension of parliament, Channel 4 News on Youtube
  4. Mike Eckel, Change the Russian Constitution? Might Be a Good Idea, Says Putin Confidant, Radio Free Europe
  5. Erik Røsæg, Maritime rescue operations in the Mediterranean, PluriCourts Blog
  6. Makena Kelly, Facebook’s ‘Supreme Court’ can overrule Zuckerberg, per new charter, The Verge
  7. Tom Hals, Kristina Cooke, Explainer: U.S. enacts sweeping new asylum bar following Supreme Court decision, Reuters
  8. Kees Sterk, Frans van Dijk, Protecting the Independence of National Councils of the Judiciary on the EU Level, Verfassungsblog
  9. Tomiwa Ilori, A human rights approach to internet taxes in Africa, AfricLaw
  10. Alexandra Tomaselli & L. Mariana Olvera Colin, What’s next to preserve the linguistic richness of Indigenous Peoples?, Völkerrechtsblog
  11. Andrea McArdle, The Fair Housing Act in the Trump Era: A Proposed Agency Rule Will Seriously Dilute Disparate-Impact Liability, OxHRH Blog
  12. Estera Flieger, The populist rewriting of Polish history is a warning to us all, The Guardian
  13. Maria Chr. Alvanou, 9/11 Trials Will Shape Global Terrorism, Jurist
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Published on September 23, 2019
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Showcase–New Directions in Administrative Law Theory: Administrative Law Theory and Empirical Research


[Editor’s Note: This is the seventh entry in an eight-part Showcase on new ideas in administrative law theory. The introductory post is available here.]


–Sarah Nason, Prifysgol Bangor University

Studies examining empirical dimensions of administrative law have grown up in parallel too, but largely disconnected from, theoretical work. Some suggests that contemporary preoccupation both with theory and empiricism is part of a trend away from traditional doctrinal scholarship in administrative law, perhaps due to dissatisfaction with the limits of common law method.

Elsewhere I have developed a constructivist methodology that attempts to meaningfully bring together administrative law theory and empirical evidence. The facts relied upon have largely been those about who issues cases and defends them, who their lawyers are, the topics of claims and their outcomes. Here I begin to examine how we can use judgments as empirical evidence, and what this might contribute to administrative law theory.

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Published on September 21, 2019
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Showcase–New Directions in Administrative Law Theory: Non-Statutory Executive Powers in the Commonwealth Constitutional Family


[Editor’s Note: This is the sixth entry in an eight-part Showcase on new ideas in administrative law theory. The introductory post is available here.]


–J.G. Allen, Humboldt University of Berlin Centre for British Studies, University of Tasmania Faculty of Law

The nature and source of non-statutory executive powers has increased in importance in recent decades in many constitutional orders, not least in response to the changing modalities of administration (particularly “contracting out”), risk politics, and emergency. 

In the UK and Commonwealth context, the question of non-statutory powers is couched in terms of the capacities of the Crown; in other contexts, it is framed in terms of the State, for which the Crown has (for better or worse) been a stand-in.[1] While the core question is the similar, the UK and Commonwealth context demands a unique, historically-inflected idiom. This makes the debate obscure in certain respects, but in others provides a welcome link to the some of the classical sources in political theory. Prerogative, raison d’Etat, and emergency are never remote. 

My view is that we should approach this difficult area of law by first addressing the problem of official action. When we speak of the Crown (or the State) doing anything, what we actually mean is that some individual occupying a certain type of institutionalised social role has done something, in circumstances such that we attribute her actions to the Crown (or the State).[2] In my contribution to this workshop, a chapter in a forthcoming book The Judicial Review of Official Action, I set out why I think this starting point helps to avoid muddled thinking about non-statutory powers. 

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Published on September 20, 2019
Author:          Filed under: Analysis
 

I·CON Volume 17, Issue 3: Editorial

On My Way Out – Advice to Young Scholars VI: WeakPoint, On the Uses and Abuses of PowerPoint

I have most certainly reached the final phase of my academic and professional career and as I look back I want to offer, for what it is worth, some dos and don’ts on different topics to younger scholars in the early phases of theirs. This is the sixth instalment and regards that staple of academic life: PowerPoint.

There is a concept in Jewish law called “Fencing.” (Seyag). It is a prophylactic; a new prohibition is decreed, which is not, in and of itself, biblically based but is introduced in the interest of protecting people from inadvertently committing an infraction of a divine commandment or in order to prevent people from entering into a danger zone of temptation. Here is a trivial example: the recitation of one’s nightly prayers can (and should) take place during the night. Night time lasts, surely, until daybreak – just before dawn. One o’clock in the morning is surely still night time. The Rabbis decreed a “Fence” and fixed a deadline of midnight. “A man”, they reasoned, “will return home, and say to himself: I’ll eat a little bit, and drink a little bit, and sleep a little bit – and then recite my prayers. [After all, I have all night ahead of me]. He ends up sleeping all night and missing his nightly prayers.”

I have imposed on myself a Fence: No PowerPoint at all (for that matter, no FaceBook, Twitter or Instagram). It is an extreme (im)position, which I am not suggesting others should adopt. However, I am advocating a far more prudent and discerning use of PowerPoint.

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Published on September 19, 2019
Author:          Filed under: Editorials