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Laws, Volume 5, Issue 1 (March 2016)

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Open AccessArticle Germany without Coercive Treatment in Psychiatry—A 15 Month Real World Experience
Received: 28 December 2015 / Revised: 10 March 2016 / Accepted: 14 March 2016 / Published: 17 March 2016
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Abstract
Coercive treatment with antipsychotic drugs was commonly used in German psychiatric institutions until it became a topic of substantial medical, legal and ethical controversy. In 2011 and 2012, several landmark decisions by Germany’s Constitutional Court and Federal Supreme Court challenged this practice in
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Coercive treatment with antipsychotic drugs was commonly used in German psychiatric institutions until it became a topic of substantial medical, legal and ethical controversy. In 2011 and 2012, several landmark decisions by Germany’s Constitutional Court and Federal Supreme Court challenged this practice in all but life-threatening emergencies. In March 2013, the new legal provisions governing coercive treatment took effect allowing coercive medication under stricter criteria. While mainstream psychiatry in Germany resumed the use of coercive medication, although less frequently than before 2012, there are examples where clinicians put an even greater emphasis on consensual treatment and did not return to coercive treatment. Data from a case study in a local mental health service suggest that the use of coercive medication could be made obsolete. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Disability Human Rights Law) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessReview In the Best Interests of the Abuser: Coercive Control, Child Custody Proceedings and the “Expert” Assessments That Guide Judicial Determinations
Received: 20 December 2015 / Revised: 6 March 2016 / Accepted: 7 March 2016 / Published: 10 March 2016
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (235 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper outlines why domestic violence (or more specifically, coercive control) should be crucial to child custody proceedings. What is known about parenting in the context of coercively controlling violence, and what the legislation directs courts to consider, is juxtaposed with the actuality
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This paper outlines why domestic violence (or more specifically, coercive control) should be crucial to child custody proceedings. What is known about parenting in the context of coercively controlling violence, and what the legislation directs courts to consider, is juxtaposed with the actuality of court decision making. Current knowledge about the recognition of domestic violence in judicial practice is overviewed, drawing particular attention to the role of the “expert” family assessment in determinations of a child’s “best interests”. A comprehensive synopsis of the existing research on these “expert” reports in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States is provided. It is concluded that, in court proceedings the reality of living with coercively controlling violence and the potential on-going risks it poses to children and non-abusive parents, is typically negated. Instead, “best interests” considerations prioritise the maintenance of perpetrator/child relationships, and thus “abuser’s rights” over victim safety. Judicial officers are not experts in domestic violence and they can only make decisions on the basis of the evidence before them, the assessments made by the “experts” likely play an important role in best interest considerations. Of concern is current research that calls into serious question the expertise of these “experts” when it comes to proceedings involving allegations of coercively controlling violence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Justice Connections)
Open AccessArticle Legal Capacity and Access to Justice: The Right to Participation in the CRPD
Received: 24 December 2015 / Revised: 3 February 2016 / Accepted: 15 February 2016 / Published: 8 March 2016
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Abstract
This article provides an applied analysis of Article 12 (Equal recognition before the law) of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and Article 13 (Access to justice) in the context of Article 6 (Women with disabilities). Recent literature on
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This article provides an applied analysis of Article 12 (Equal recognition before the law) of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and Article 13 (Access to justice) in the context of Article 6 (Women with disabilities). Recent literature on the CRPD has extended the analysis of Article 12 to consider its broader relevance for the interpretation of Article 13. The interaction between Article 12 and Article 13 is an emerging issue in CRPD debates. This article argues that the CRPD must be interpreted in light of current human rights theory. It provides a case study of the interaction between Article 12 and Article 13 based on the facts recited in the Court of Appeal case in the United Kingdom (RP v Nottingham City Council (2008)) and RP’s petition to the European Court of Human Rights (RP and Others v United Kingdom (2012)). The analysis shows that CRPD principles could and should have been applied in RP’s case. It concludes that current practices excluding people with disabilities from participation in legal proceedings are contrary to the CRPD. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Disability Human Rights Law) Printed Edition available
Open AccessArticle Can a Patriarchal World Be Corrected by a Criminal Law? Feminist Struggles, Penal Justice and Legal Reform in France (1970–1980)
Received: 11 January 2016 / Revised: 19 February 2016 / Accepted: 20 February 2016 / Published: 4 March 2016
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Abstract
This article describes (1) the relationship between the demands made by feminist movements of the 1970s in cases of sexual violence and criticism of the criminal justice system by these movements and other groups, including the prisoners’ movement; and (2) the relationship between
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This article describes (1) the relationship between the demands made by feminist movements of the 1970s in cases of sexual violence and criticism of the criminal justice system by these movements and other groups, including the prisoners’ movement; and (2) the relationship between this debate and the legal process of reforming the definition and punishment of rape. Two periods are analyzed. In the early 1970s, the common cause of very different movements targeting the law was the priority given to the defense against forms of repression and disciplinary institutions. After 1975, the demands of feminist and prisoner movements diverged and even conflicted. One camp called for an offensive approach to changing the legal punishment of rape whereas the other camp fought against penal reforms imposed by the government and, more specifically, against long sentences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Justice Connections)
Open AccessArticle Feminist Jurisprudence, the Australian Legal System and Intimate Partner Sexual Violence: Fiction over Fact
Received: 5 January 2016 / Revised: 3 February 2016 / Accepted: 22 February 2016 / Published: 2 March 2016
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Abstract
In this paper we briefly focus on intimate partner sexual violence (IPSV) and the Australian legal response, using recent Court judgements and Heather Wishik’s feminist jurisprudence framework for inquiry to guide investigation. The key questions being asked are: (1) What have been and
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In this paper we briefly focus on intimate partner sexual violence (IPSV) and the Australian legal response, using recent Court judgements and Heather Wishik’s feminist jurisprudence framework for inquiry to guide investigation. The key questions being asked are: (1) What have been and what are now all women’s experiences of IPSV addressed by the substance and process of rape law? (2) What assumptions, descriptions, assertions and/or definitions of consent, corroboration and reporting does the law make in IPSV matters? (3) What is the area of mismatch, distortion or denial created by the differences between women’s life experiences of IPSV coercion and the law’s assumptions or imposed structures? (4) What patriarchal interests are served by the mismatch? The paper concludes with consideration of the limitations and benefits of law reform by reflecting on the findings of the paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Justice Connections)
Open AccessArticle Future Persons and Legal Persons: The Problematic Representation of the Future Child in the Regulation of Reproduction
Received: 22 December 2015 / Revised: 29 January 2016 / Accepted: 22 February 2016 / Published: 26 February 2016
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Abstract
Increasingly, the law has been paying attention to the future child and the prevention of preconceptual harms. Regulation on procreation often appeals to the future child’s interests in order to justify the prevention of the child’s existence. However, besides bioethical critique, there is
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Increasingly, the law has been paying attention to the future child and the prevention of preconceptual harms. Regulation on procreation often appeals to the future child’s interests in order to justify the prevention of the child’s existence. However, besides bioethical critique, there is also a legal-theoretical problem that has been neglected so far. This article argues that the future child whose existence is prevented by an appeal to its own interests does not fit in the “regular” concept of law’s subject: the legal person. This creates two representation problems: First, the law lacks the proper vocabulary to address and represent this non-existent entity. Second, the appeal to its own interests as a justification of the prevention of the child’s existence creates a paradox, as the future child is treated as a subject and a non-subject at the same time. These two representation problems complicate the way law can “deal with” this singular entity. Since the vocabulary of the legal person is not equipped to articulate the future child, this article argues that further research is needed to understand what the future child is and how it functions in law. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Children’s Rights and Family Law)
Open AccessArticle Access to Preventive Health Care for Undocumented Migrants: A Comparative Study of Germany, The Netherlands and Spain from a Human Rights Perspective
Received: 12 January 2016 / Revised: 16 February 2016 / Accepted: 17 February 2016 / Published: 25 February 2016
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Abstract
The present study analyzes the preventive health care provisions for nationals and undocumented migrants in Germany, the Netherlands and Spain in light of four indicators derived from the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights’ General Comment 14 (GC 14). These
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The present study analyzes the preventive health care provisions for nationals and undocumented migrants in Germany, the Netherlands and Spain in light of four indicators derived from the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights’ General Comment 14 (GC 14). These indicators are (i) immunization; (ii) education and information; (iii) regular screening programs; and (iv) the promotion of the underlying determinants of health. It aims to answer the question of what preventive health care services for undocumented migrants are provided for in Germany, the Netherlands and Spain and how this should be evaluated from a human rights perspective. The study reveals that the access to preventive health care for undocumented migrants is largely insufficient in all three countries but most extensive in the Netherlands and least extensive in Germany. The paper concludes that a human rights-based approach to health law and policy can help to refine and concretize the individual rights and state obligations for the preventive health care of undocumented migrants. While the human rights framework is still insufficiently clear in some respects, the research concedes the added value of a rights-based approach as an evaluation tool, advocacy framework and moral principle to keep in mind when adopting or evaluating state policies in the health sector. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Intersection of Human Rights Law and Health Law)
Open AccessArticle Dissecting Marriage Fraud as a True Immigration Crime
Received: 12 November 2015 / Revised: 7 January 2016 / Accepted: 2 February 2016 / Published: 24 February 2016
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Abstract
Marriage fraud is considered a true immigration crime in that not only does it carry penalties related to an immigrant’s status, but also severe penal consequences under federal law. This paper seeks to explore how a case of marriage fraud is discovered, investigated
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Marriage fraud is considered a true immigration crime in that not only does it carry penalties related to an immigrant’s status, but also severe penal consequences under federal law. This paper seeks to explore how a case of marriage fraud is discovered, investigated and prosecuted by immigration officials, and, ultimately, by the judicial system. The paper focuses on recent immigration law developments and lays out a blueprint of a marriage fraud case under the 1986 Marriage Fraud Amendments to the Immigration and Naturalization Act. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immigration Law and Criminal Justice)
Open AccessArticle Marine World Heritage and the Quest for Sustainability
Received: 4 December 2015 / Revised: 13 February 2016 / Accepted: 15 February 2016 / Published: 23 February 2016
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Abstract
This paper discusses the contribution of marine sites of outstanding universal value, enlisted as natural and mixed sites in the World Heritage List, to the sustainability of marine resources and protection schemes. Departing from the strict application of the Convention’s criteria, the management
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This paper discusses the contribution of marine sites of outstanding universal value, enlisted as natural and mixed sites in the World Heritage List, to the sustainability of marine resources and protection schemes. Departing from the strict application of the Convention’s criteria, the management requirements and good practices will be discussed, with emphasis on the dissemination of the latter in other (non)protected areas as well as its contribution, in terms of the integrity principle to be met, to the expansion of this approach in areas beyond national jurisdiction through the development of synergies with existing and emerging marine environment protection regimes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Law and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Assumptions of Decision-Making Capacity: The Role Supporter Attitudes Play in the Realisation of Article 12 for People with Severe or Profound Intellectual Disability
Received: 17 December 2015 / Revised: 31 January 2016 / Accepted: 15 February 2016 / Published: 19 February 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (181 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) was the first legally binding instrument explicitly focused on how human rights apply to people with disability. Amongst their obligations, consistent with the social model of disability, the Convention requires signatory
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The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) was the first legally binding instrument explicitly focused on how human rights apply to people with disability. Amongst their obligations, consistent with the social model of disability, the Convention requires signatory nations to recognise that “…persons with disabilities enjoy legal capacity on an equal basis with others in all aspects of life” and mandates signatory nations to develop “…appropriate measures to provide access by persons with disability to the support they may require in exercising their legal capacity”. The Convention promotes supported decision-making as one such measure. Although Australia ratified the UNCRPD in 2008, it retains an interpretative declaration in relation to Article 12 (2, 3, 4), allowing for the use of substituted decision-making in situations where a person is assessed as having no or limited decision-making capacity. Such an outcome is common for people with severe or profound intellectual disability because the assessments they are subjected to are focused on their cognition and generally fail to take into account the interdependent nature of human decision-making. This paper argues that Australia’s interpretative declaration is not in the spirit of the Convention nor the social model of disability on which it is based. It starts from the premise that the intention of Article 12 is to be inclusive of all signatory nations’ citizens, including those with severe or profound cognitive disability. From this premise, arises a practical need to understand how supported decision-making can be used with this group. Drawing from evidence from an empirical study with five people with severe or profound intellectual disability, this paper provides a rare glimpse on what supported decision-making can look like for people with severe or profound intellectual disability. Additionally, it describes the importance of supporters having positive assumptions of decision-making capacity as a factor affecting supported decision-making. This commentary aims to give a focus for practice and policy efforts for ensuring people with severe or profound cognitive disability receive appropriate support in decision-making, a clear obligation of signatory nations of the UNCRPD. A focus on changing supporter attitudes rather than placing the onus of change on people with disability is consistent with the social model of disability, a key driver of the UNCRPD. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Disability Human Rights Law) Printed Edition available
Open AccessArticle CRISPR, a Crossroads in Genetic Intervention: Pitting the Right to Health against the Right to Disability
Received: 11 December 2015 / Revised: 8 February 2016 / Accepted: 14 February 2016 / Published: 18 February 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (208 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Reproductive genetic technologies (RGTs), including gene-editing technology, are being discovered and refined at an exponential pace. One gene-editing innovation that demands our swift attention is CRISPR/Cas9, a system of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats and a protein called Cas9. As CRISPR and
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Reproductive genetic technologies (RGTs), including gene-editing technology, are being discovered and refined at an exponential pace. One gene-editing innovation that demands our swift attention is CRISPR/Cas9, a system of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats and a protein called Cas9. As CRISPR and other RGTs continue being developed, we must remain vigilant concerning the potential implications of genetic-engineering technology on our interpersonal and legal relationships. In the face of increasingly numerous and refined RGTs, we must maintain the rights of everyone: potential parents, prospective children, and individuals (both living and prospective) with disabilities. For those who wish to become parents, how should procreation be regulated in light of developing RGTs, especially gene-editing technology? What duties do parents owe their children, and when does such a duty attach? What role should RGTs play in parents’ fulfillment of their duties to their children? This article will contextualize the right to health and what I will term the “right to disability” in the CRISPR/Cas9 landscape. The article will then explore these rights in reference to the “subjunctive-threshold” interpretation of harm. Finally, I will argue that RGTs must be thoughtfully regulated, with such regulations taking into account the opinions of geneticists, bioethicists, and lay people concerning both the right to health and the right to disability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Precision Medicine, Law & Disability)
Open AccessArticle Australia’s National Anti-Bullying Jurisdiction: Paper Tiger or Velvet Glove
Received: 14 December 2015 / Revised: 27 January 2016 / Accepted: 3 February 2016 / Published: 15 February 2016
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Abstract
Australia’s innovative national anti-bullying legislation came into effect on 1 January 2014, against a backdrop of fear and resistance on the part of some conservative politicians and other stakeholder opponents. This paper contributes to an understanding of the efficacy and value of this
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Australia’s innovative national anti-bullying legislation came into effect on 1 January 2014, against a backdrop of fear and resistance on the part of some conservative politicians and other stakeholder opponents. This paper contributes to an understanding of the efficacy and value of this fledgling jurisdiction or its lack thereof. In it, we describe the beginnings of the anti-bullying regime, outline the new legislative provisions, explore whether the inaction of the first six months has continued, examine the statistics arising from the jurisdiction’s first 15 months of operation, and review the case law development over its first 18 months. We ask whether the anti-bullying jurisdiction is proving to be a paper tiger in an empty suit or iron fist in a velvet glove. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Justice Connections)
Open AccessArticle Explaining Patterns of Urban Violence in Medellin, Colombia
Received: 21 December 2015 / Revised: 2 February 2016 / Accepted: 3 February 2016 / Published: 15 February 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (913 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Latin America is one of the world’s most violent regions, with 40 of the 50 most violent cities, but with only 8% of the world’s population, and a staggering 33% of global homicides. At the forefront of these high levels of violence are
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Latin America is one of the world’s most violent regions, with 40 of the 50 most violent cities, but with only 8% of the world’s population, and a staggering 33% of global homicides. At the forefront of these high levels of violence are gangs that are more flexible and persistent than previously thought. This paper provides a discussion on gangs in one Latin American city, Medellin, Colombia, where different non-state groups have contributed to changing patterns of homicide rates. The paper presents preliminary findings to show how, despite the city experiencing a 90% reduction in homicide rates in less than 25 years, violent non-state groups have become embedded as part and product of their environment, acting as coherent, logical and functional players, linked to the structural inequalities and institutional fragility of the larger society. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Justice Connections)
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Open AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Laws in 2015
Received: 26 January 2016 / Accepted: 26 January 2016 / Published: 26 January 2016
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Abstract
The editors of Laws would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2015. [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle Services in the Field of Law within the Internal Market: Promoting e-Justice through Interoperability
Received: 20 October 2015 / Revised: 17 December 2015 / Accepted: 17 December 2015 / Published: 23 December 2015
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Abstract
The paper addresses the problem of intra-European services provided to professionals in the legal sector. Through a brief overview of the main services that are or may be offered in the internal market in this field, the author identifies the lack of interoperability
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The paper addresses the problem of intra-European services provided to professionals in the legal sector. Through a brief overview of the main services that are or may be offered in the internal market in this field, the author identifies the lack of interoperability as one of the most critical barriers currently preventing effective intra-community competition. The author wonders to what degree and under which rules of the treaties a European intervention could be justified and, therefore, what purposes could be pursued through European legislation. The author analyses the rail transport sector to assess if, and to what degree, existing barriers to entry could be reduced and innovation could be fostered by defining certain standards at a European level for the interoperability of IT systems in the field of law. In particular, the example of the rail sector is analyzed to determine the degree to which the solutions already in place for the “telematics applications for the passenger services subsystem” could be replicated in the context of the services addressed by the paper. In conclusion, the author suggests that addressing the issues of interoperability in the legal services sector could be a useful first step towards the digitalization of the internal market, as advocated by the Commission in its recent Communication on the digital single market. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Open Government Technology and Law)
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