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 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.
Laws2015, 4(4), 803-831; doi:10.3390/laws4040803 - published 21 December 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: As the debate about the need to clarify the content of the human right to science intensifies, this article assesses opportunities for opening a scholarly and policy dialogue on fair and equitable benefit-sharing between international human rights and biodiversity lawyers. To that end, the article contrasts the emerging conceptualizations of the right to science in the context of international cultural rights and of fair and equitable benefit-sharing under international biodiversity law. It then critically assesses the potential for cross-fertilization with specific regard to: the sharing of scientific information and promotion of scientific cooperation, the transfer of technology, and the protection and valorization of traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples and local communities. While acknowledging that both the right to science and fair and equitable benefit-sharing are far from being fully understood or operationalized, the article argues that developments in international biodiversity law concerning the latter may provide insights into how a vague and optimistic concept can (and when it cannot) lead to tangible outcomes, rather than remaining merely rhetorical.
Laws2015, 4(4), 771-802; doi:10.3390/laws4040771 - published 18 December 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: “Global health” is an increasingly important area of research and practice, concerned with the profound implications of globalisation for individual and communal health (particularly in developing countries) and focused on achieving health equity for all people worldwide. As such, it is often viewed as overlapping with public health and, thus, conceptually distinct from the field of biomedicine and bioethics. Both fields bear an uneasy relationship with the field of human rights, which remains largely unexplored. The paper constructively utilises insight derived from theories of global legal pluralism and global constitutionalism to argue, perhaps controversially, that recent developments in international biomedical law and bioethics, constitute an important phase in the constitutional construction of a global health law system. In doing so, the paper analyses the role of human rights in the growing constitutional autonomy and organization of global health.
Laws2015, 4(4), 755-770; doi:10.3390/laws4040755 - published 7 December 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Human dignity is considered by a number of commentators as a normative concept that could potentially bridge the gap between bioethics and human rights. The purpose of this article is to question this assumption insofar as it applies to embryonic human life by way of a case study. The article will chart the way dignity has been historically used in French political and legal debates since the 1990s to attempt to afford constitutional protection to human embryos. It then proposes an interpretation of why such attempts failed, which could have wider significance for current debates.
Laws2015, 4(4), 729-754; doi:10.3390/laws4040729 - published 25 November 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Over the last decade states passed hundreds of immigration bills covering a range of policy areas. This article considers the recent state legislative surge against scholarly treatments of immigration federalism, and identifies the symbolic politics in state lawmaking. The analysis combines a historical treatment of key court decisions that delineated boundaries of state and federal immigration roles with a legislative analysis of over 2200 immigration bills passed between 2006 and 2013, to identify the numerous ways in which national immigration policy shapes state measures. It argues that recent laws must be considered against symbolic federalism which privileges state sovereignty and justifies social policy devolution by advancing frames of intergovernmental conflict, state-level policy pragmatism, and federal ineffectiveness.