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Laws, Volume 12, Issue 1 (February 2023) – 19 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The gender balance between men and women is one of the most current controversial issues in recent years that provokes a number of debates, questioning whether it really exists or is instead a myth. The article examines how the issue is regulated by European Union (EU) law and to what extent the legal framework is implemented into the current composition and work of European institutions. The trend of women’s empowerment is examined through the example of some EU institutions, mainly the European Commission and the European Parliament. The authors point out that, at the moment, three of the institutions included in the single institutional framework of the EU are headed by women—Ursula von der Leyen, Roberta Metsola, and Christine Lagarde—and that the European Ombudsman is a woman. View this paper
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14 pages, 474 KiB  
Article
Crime and Punishment—Crime Rates and Prison Population in Europe
by Beata Gruszczyńska and Marek Gruszczyński
Laws 2023, 12(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws12010019 - 09 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2527
Abstract
This paper presents an attempt at establishing an association between crime levels and prison populations across European countries. We observe that the situation in Central and Eastern European countries differs distinctly from the rest of Europe. Building on this, we offer justification that [...] Read more.
This paper presents an attempt at establishing an association between crime levels and prison populations across European countries. We observe that the situation in Central and Eastern European countries differs distinctly from the rest of Europe. Building on this, we offer justification that is methodologically based on correlations and regressions of country incarceration rates on crime rates, with reference to governance indicators. Our cross-sectional analysis uses data on crime and prisoner rates by offence from Eurostat and SPACE for the year 2018. The paper’s empirical analysis is preceded by a discussion of the challenges faced when attempting to compare crime between countries in Europe. A review of research focused on relationships between incarceration and crime follows, with the emphasis on the deterrence effect and the prison paradox. Typically, this stream of research uses microdata covering a single country or limited to a smaller geographic area. International comparisons are rare, and are usually based on time series and trend analyses. The quantitative approach applied here is based on recognizing two clusters of countries: the Central and Eastern European (CEE) cluster and the Western European (WE) cluster. We show that the observation of higher prisoner rates and lower crime rates for CEE countries is confirmed with regression analysis. Our study encompasses four types of offences: assault, rape, robbery, and theft. The final section of the paper presents an attempt to incorporate Worldwide Governance Indicators into the analysis of the association between incarceration and crime rates. The results confirm that crime rates in WE countries are distinctly higher than in CEE countries, while incarceration rates in WE are significantly lower than in CEE countries. We think this is due to a higher percentage of crimes being reported and the greater accuracy of police statistics in WE countries. The prison population in each country is largely determined by its criminal and penal policies, which differ substantially between CEE and WE countries (e.g., in terms of frequency of imposing prison sentences and the length of imprisonment). These tendencies result in higher incarceration rates in CEE countries, despite lower crime rates when compared to WE countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Criminal Justice Issues)
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8 pages, 209 KiB  
Brief Report
Understanding the Healthcare Needs of Immigrant Children Currently and Previously in Government Custody: A Narrative
by Jaime La Charite, Elizabeth W. Tucker, Julia Rosenberg, Janine Young, Nikita Gupta and Katherine Hoops
Laws 2023, 12(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws12010018 - 08 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1758
Abstract
Little is known of pediatric clinicians’ experiences with and approaches to taking care of immigrant children who have been in US custody. The objectives of this article are to (1) recognize the challenges facing pediatric clinicians in caring for immigrant children previously in [...] Read more.
Little is known of pediatric clinicians’ experiences with and approaches to taking care of immigrant children who have been in US custody. The objectives of this article are to (1) recognize the challenges facing pediatric clinicians in caring for immigrant children previously in custody, and (2) propose ways that healthcare and legal professionals can collaborate to optimize the wellbeing of formerly detained immigrant children. We identify themes by assessing answers to multiple choice and short responses from a national survey. These findings can help to identify current issues faced by both detained immigrant children and pediatric clinicians, and suggest approaches to addressing these issues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protecting the Rights of Children in Migration)
7 pages, 204 KiB  
Perspective
The Trauma of the Family Separation Policy on Migrant Children (2017–2022)
by Mariela Olivares
Laws 2023, 12(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws12010017 - 02 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2787
Abstract
This work explores the plight of child migrants in the United States, specifically examining the Trump administration’s use of family separation as a means of migration deterrence between 2017 and 2020. The perspective discusses the ongoing physical and psychological trauma that these separated [...] Read more.
This work explores the plight of child migrants in the United States, specifically examining the Trump administration’s use of family separation as a means of migration deterrence between 2017 and 2020. The perspective discusses the ongoing physical and psychological trauma that these separated families continue to face. I explore the Biden administration’s Interagency Task Force on Family Reunification that is working to identify and reunify those families still separated while providing them with immigration and other resources and mental health therapy. I conclude by noting the critical importance of ensuring that families are never again separated in the name of immigration enforcement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protecting the Rights of Children in Migration)
15 pages, 303 KiB  
Article
A Will and a Way: Making Displaced Children’s Right to Education Enforceable
by Bill Van Esveld
Laws 2023, 12(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws12010016 - 31 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2259
Abstract
All children have the right to education without discrimination, but half of refugee children are out of school, far worse than global averages. Obstacles to education for refugee and migrant children include poverty and overstretched resources in host countries, and humanitarian donors and [...] Read more.
All children have the right to education without discrimination, but half of refugee children are out of school, far worse than global averages. Obstacles to education for refugee and migrant children include poverty and overstretched resources in host countries, and humanitarian donors and agencies have important roles and should ensure the right to education. However, policy barriers to education are key drivers of the education crisis facing displaced children. These policy barriers are internationally unlawful, but the children affected often lack standing under domestic law to demand a remedy. Countries with laws enshrining migrant, asylum-seeking, and refugee children’s rights to education and the European Union’s response to Ukrainian refugee learners provide examples that advocates can use to help raise the global floor for displaced children’s right to education. Advocates should press all countries to grant all children, including migrants and refugees, the enforceable right to education in domestic law. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protecting the Rights of Children in Migration)
19 pages, 279 KiB  
Article
The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) from a Civil Procedure Perspective
by Shahrul Mizan Ismail and Ali Ibrahim Alheji
Laws 2023, 12(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws12010015 - 30 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3276
Abstract
Terrorism is a global threat that has caused immense suffering and loss of life. The United States’ Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) is an important piece of legislation that allows victims of terrorism to hold foreign entities accountable for their actions. [...] Read more.
Terrorism is a global threat that has caused immense suffering and loss of life. The United States’ Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) is an important piece of legislation that allows victims of terrorism to hold foreign entities accountable for their actions. However, there is a need to evaluate the act from the perspective of Civil Procedure to determine its effectiveness in providing remedies for victims and addressing the challenges of holding foreign entities accountable. This paper’s analysis is based on the JASTA, for the evaluation of its position and application from a pre-litigation of Civil Procedure perspective. The two most significant parts of Civil Procedure in the segments of preliminary issues including Parties to the Suit and Cause of Action are examined to determine their susceptibility to being exploited in the process of executing the intention and purpose of the act concerning foreign entities, as highlighted in JASTA. Preliminary aspects must be considered before initiating a civil suit based on JASTA. This analysis is important in understanding the strength and weaknesses of JASTA in the civil suit and it involves a qualitative method of research. For the most part, the research methodology adopted will be pure legal research. Since the research will focus on JASTA, the regular method of analysis adopted is by referring to the sources and data discussing JASTA and procedural law. The findings of this work could be used to establish better laws from JASTA and provide the opportunity for the citizens who are victims to bring legal action against foreign states that are also responsible for their loss and suffering. Moreover, other countries faced with litigation initiated under JASTA could also benefit from the findings as they could be used in establishing better laws for countries that had also suffered greatly due to actions resulting from terrorism or the war against terrorism. Future research related to this topic is also recommended in this analysis. Full article
25 pages, 513 KiB  
Article
Regulation of Interaction between Hunters and Land Users: A Comparative Legal Study
by Natalia Lisina, Aleksandra Ushakova, Svetlana Ivanova and Alexander Prosekov
Laws 2023, 12(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws12010014 - 30 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1647
Abstract
Hunting is a complex type of nature management. In its process, objects of the animal world and the earth are used. Obviously, the relationship between hunters and other land users should be clearly regulated by legislation. The purpose of this work was to [...] Read more.
Hunting is a complex type of nature management. In its process, objects of the animal world and the earth are used. Obviously, the relationship between hunters and other land users should be clearly regulated by legislation. The purpose of this work was to identify common and specific problems for different systems of interaction between hunters and land owners and to assess the possibility of spreading the existing experience of solving problems faced by the hunting sector to different countries. Three main models of the relationship between hunters and land users (direct interaction, cooperation, and division of rights) are considered. Each of the models performs its tasks and has its own degree of efficiency. The interaction organization model adopted in a country depends on the specifics of the conditions in which the hunting farm develops including economic, property, legal, social, and state aspects. It is established that the availability of hunting is best ensured within the framework of the cooperation model, the observation of the rights of owners—within the direct interaction model, the convenience of management within large territories of wild animal habitats—within the division of rights model. At the same time, it is incorrect to single out the best model by all criteria or to designate a model that is universally suitable for different conditions. In the hunting farms of Russia, the described problems of interactions are not related to the potential of the division of rights model as such, but to a lack of understanding that this particular model requires increased attention of the state. The proposals aimed at improving the practice of developing and applying models of relationships between hunters and land users are represented. Full article
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16 pages, 279 KiB  
Article
Regulation of Incentives for Use of Renewable Energy at the Level of Regional Legislation in Federal States, Using the Russian Federation as an Example
by Anna Kirichenko, Ksenia Kirichenko and Evgeniy Kirichenko
Laws 2023, 12(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws12010013 - 25 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1433
Abstract
Effective use of renewable energy requires a system of energy legislation that meets modern challenges. Although, in large countries, climate and socioeconomic factors in different regions can significantly vary and can affect the regional legislation regulating renewable energy sources, careful reproduction of good [...] Read more.
Effective use of renewable energy requires a system of energy legislation that meets modern challenges. Although, in large countries, climate and socioeconomic factors in different regions can significantly vary and can affect the regional legislation regulating renewable energy sources, careful reproduction of good practices and successful experiences of other regions are a good basis for the development of legislation. The comparative method of legal research was the main method used to achieve the objectives set in this study. Based on the results, a number of recommendations were developed to consolidate and expand the powers of regional regulators in the field of renewable energy, to include an economic assessment of the effectiveness of state programs, to use tax incentives for renewable energy projects, and to introduce restrictions on the use of petroleum products. Recommendations were also made to improve regional legislation on renewable energy sources in terms of legal techniques. Further development of this study would contribute to the improvement of regional legal regulation and would accelerate the transition to “green” energy. Full article
3 pages, 162 KiB  
Editorial
Acknowledgment to the Reviewers of Laws in 2022
by Laws Editorial Office
Laws 2023, 12(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws12010012 - 18 Jan 2023
Viewed by 845
Abstract
High-quality academic publishing is built on rigorous peer review [...] Full article
19 pages, 286 KiB  
Article
The Separate Opinions of a Justice of a Constitutional Court: A Case of Lithuania
by Dovilė Pūraitė-Andrikienė
Laws 2023, 12(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws12010011 - 18 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1324
Abstract
Although allowing justices of constitutional courts to publish their separate opinions has become a clear trend in Europe, until an amendment to the Law on the Constitutional Court in 2008, the justices of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania did not [...] Read more.
Although allowing justices of constitutional courts to publish their separate opinions has become a clear trend in Europe, until an amendment to the Law on the Constitutional Court in 2008, the justices of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania did not have this possibility. However, after the introduction of this institution in Lithuania, criticism was voiced by the public regarding its legal regulation. Therefore, this article examines the legal regulation governing the institution of a separate opinion of a justice of the Constitutional Court, as well as the use of this institution in Lithuania. The article seeks to reveal the shortcomings of this regulation, as well as to provide proposals for its improvement. The issues in question are examined in the context of the legal framework governing the institution of a separate opinion in other European Union countries (with a particular focus on Eastern and Central European countries). In order to provide a basis for this research, the article also examines the institution of a separate opinion in the context of the principle of the secrecy of the deliberation room and the secrecy of voting results in the decision-making process of constitutional justice institutions. Full article
20 pages, 297 KiB  
Article
Children’s Developmental (Im)maturity: Aligning Conflicting Decisional Capacity Assessment Approaches in Australia
by Dominique Moritz
Laws 2023, 12(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws12010010 - 13 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2348
Abstract
Children’s decision-making is complex. There are many factors that contribute to children’s decisional capacity including cognitive reasoning, developmental maturity, upbringing and circumstances. For healthcare decisions, Australian law acknowledges children’s autonomy, and permits mature children to consent to beneficial healthcare. Yet, it also protects [...] Read more.
Children’s decision-making is complex. There are many factors that contribute to children’s decisional capacity including cognitive reasoning, developmental maturity, upbringing and circumstances. For healthcare decisions, Australian law acknowledges children’s autonomy, and permits mature children to consent to beneficial healthcare. Yet, it also protects them from making life-changing decisions that could contravene their best interests. The criminal law approaches to children’s decision-making in Australia’s jurisdictions involves holding older children fully responsible for their decision-making, regardless of circumstances or maturity. The two approaches conflict because health law offers a protective mechanism for children yet criminal law imposes a punitive approach to children’s decision-making. This article considers whether the dichotomous approaches for children’s capacity assessments in Australian law can be reconciled. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Law and Children’s Decision-Making)
17 pages, 281 KiB  
Article
Claiming Justice: An Analysis of Child Sexual Abuse Complainants’ Justice Goals Reported during Investigative Interviews
by Robyn L. Holder, Dirkje Gerryts, Francisco Garcia and Martine Powell
Laws 2023, 12(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws12010009 - 12 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1880
Abstract
Investigative interviewing of children who report sexual victimisation focuses on helping children tell in their own words what happened. Children may say other things important to them such as their justice goals. We conducted the first research into this possibility in an exploratory [...] Read more.
Investigative interviewing of children who report sexual victimisation focuses on helping children tell in their own words what happened. Children may say other things important to them such as their justice goals. We conducted the first research into this possibility in an exploratory analysis of 300 transcripts of actual interviews with child complainants aged 3 to 15 years. Building on an earlier study involving adults, we explored what goals children may articulate, when in the interview process their goals are relayed and in response to which interviewer prompts. Our analysis revealed that most children did articulate one or more justice goals during these interviews, especially their desire for acknowledgement of the victimisation and its wrongfulness. Children articulated their justice goals spontaneously and largely without any direct prompting by the police officer. These findings suggest that there is more that institutions [and researchers] can learn from carefully listening to children and understanding them as agents claiming justice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Law and Children’s Decision-Making)
22 pages, 292 KiB  
Article
Design of Equity Crowdfunding in the Digital Age
by Budi Agus Riswandi, Abdurrahman Alfaqiih and Lucky Suryo Wicaksono
Laws 2023, 12(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws12010008 - 11 Jan 2023
Viewed by 2058
Abstract
Equity crowdfunding is a form of alternative financing for MSMEs in Indonesia. However, the provision of equity crowdfunding still has various issues that boil down to the absence of guarantees of legal certainty for the parties. This, of course, can hinder the development [...] Read more.
Equity crowdfunding is a form of alternative financing for MSMEs in Indonesia. However, the provision of equity crowdfunding still has various issues that boil down to the absence of guarantees of legal certainty for the parties. This, of course, can hinder the development of equity crowdfunding itself in the MSME financing scheme. For this reason, the review of this is carried out based on normative legal research, where it examines various applicable legal provisions in regulating equity crowdfunding. Studies are also based on statute, comparative and conceptual approaches. The result is that, first, the arrangement regarding equity crowdfunding has not provided guarantees of legal certainty for the parties; second, many countries develop equity crowdfunding regulatory frameworks that are oriented to guarantee legal certainty for the parties; and third, the design of equity crowdfunding arrangements that provide guarantees of legal certainty to the parties can be made in the form of co-regulation arrangements. Full article
26 pages, 1030 KiB  
Article
Pediatric Perspectives and Tools for Attorneys Representing Immigrant Children: Conducting Trauma-Informed Interviews of Children from Mexico and Central America
by Ryan B. Matlow, Alan Shapiro and N. Ewen Wang
Laws 2023, 12(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws12010007 - 09 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3038
Abstract
Pediatric health and mental health professionals with expertise in the physical and emotional needs of immigrant children seeking humanitarian protection are trained to understand and address the sometimes deeply traumatic nature of their experience. This expertise plays an important role in collaborating with [...] Read more.
Pediatric health and mental health professionals with expertise in the physical and emotional needs of immigrant children seeking humanitarian protection are trained to understand and address the sometimes deeply traumatic nature of their experience. This expertise plays an important role in collaborating with immigration attorneys to provide compassionate, trauma-informed representation that centers on children’s best interests. In medicine, we say that “children are not small adults,” such that meeting a child’s needs requires consideration of their developmental stage and the unique impacts of child trauma exposure. This also holds true for legal professionals dedicated to protecting the rights of children in migration. This article aims to (1) review the principles of trauma-informed care in the context of child development, (2) understand the traumatic nature of the migration paradigm for children from Mexico and Central America seeking safety and protection, and (3) suggest ways that healthcare, mental health and legal professionals can inform one another’s efforts to optimize the wellbeing of children and improve legal outcomes. The application of this knowledge in practice can advance legal goals, reduce risk for child re-traumatization during interviews, and reinforce child strengths while also reducing vicarious trauma and burnout for legal professionals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protecting the Rights of Children in Migration)
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19 pages, 3740 KiB  
Article
Democracy, Capacity, and the Implementation of Laws Protecting Human Rights
by David Cingranelli, Skip Mark and Almira Sadykova-DuMond
Laws 2023, 12(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws12010006 - 06 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1710
Abstract
We analyze the cross-national and cross-temporal variation in the presence or absence of domestic compliance gaps for three different human rights: the right to a fair trial, children’s rights, and the right of workers to form unions. Besides constitutional provisions, which have been [...] Read more.
We analyze the cross-national and cross-temporal variation in the presence or absence of domestic compliance gaps for three different human rights: the right to a fair trial, children’s rights, and the right of workers to form unions. Besides constitutional provisions, which have been the focus of previous research on the de jure-de facto compliance gap, statutes, executive actions, and judicial decisions all can contain promises by domestic politicians to protect human rights. Our indicator of whether legal protection exists and how strong it is reflects the many ways states make human rights legal commitments to their citizens. Our findings show that (a) the probability of promise-keeping and the effects of combinations of accountability and capacity are different for each right; (b) strong laws are a necessary but not sufficient condition for effective protection of rights; (c) treaty participation does not affect the probability of promise-keeping for any right; (d) promise-keeping for one right predicted promise-keeping for other rights. For all rights, the number of countries with gaps grew between 1994 and 2008 and then declined between 2008 and 2019. An important inference from our findings is that international treaties may only be effective when ratifiers are willing to change their domestic laws to be consistent with international norms. One counterintuitive policy implication of our findings is that democratizing low-capacity authoritarian states may lead to more violations of some human rights. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Rights Issues)
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24 pages, 1304 KiB  
Article
Mitigating the Risk of Autonomous Weapon Misuse by Insurgent Groups
by Jonathan Kwik
Laws 2023, 12(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws12010005 - 30 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3734
Abstract
The intersection between autonomous weapon systems (‘AWS’) and non-State armed groups (‘NSAG’) is an underexplored aspect of the AWS debate. This article explores the main ways future policymakers can reduce the risk of NSAGs committing violations of the laws of armed conflict (‘LOAC’) [...] Read more.
The intersection between autonomous weapon systems (‘AWS’) and non-State armed groups (‘NSAG’) is an underexplored aspect of the AWS debate. This article explores the main ways future policymakers can reduce the risk of NSAGs committing violations of the laws of armed conflict (‘LOAC’) using AWS once the technology becomes more prolific and easily distributable. It does this by sketching a chronological picture of an NSAG’s weapons obtention process, looking first at its likely suppliers and transport routes (acquisition), and, subsequently, at factors which can increase the risk of LOAC violations once the system is in their possession (use). With regard to use, we find that the lack of explicit legal obligations in LOAC to (a) review weapons meant solely for transfer and (b) provide technical training to recipients of transfer constitute serious reasons why LOAC violations may be aggravated with the introduction of AWS to insurgent groups. We also find, however, that States are uniquely and powerfully placed to address both acquisition and use factors, and outline how they can be persuaded into implementing the risk-reducing measures recommended in this article for purely strategic reasons, i.e., even if they express no interest in improving LOAC compliance per se. Full article
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25 pages, 1442 KiB  
Article
International and National in Contemporary Private Law
by Alexei Avtonomov
Laws 2023, 12(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws12010004 - 29 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1820
Abstract
Private international law as a branch of law still causes discussions regarding its subject, nature and sources. Therefore, all these as yet unresolved problems, having practical importance and theoretical interest, still require attention. The study is carried out using such methods as synchronous [...] Read more.
Private international law as a branch of law still causes discussions regarding its subject, nature and sources. Therefore, all these as yet unresolved problems, having practical importance and theoretical interest, still require attention. The study is carried out using such methods as synchronous and diachronic comparative legal, historical, legal-linguistic, dialectical-materialistic, descriptive, analysis and synthesis. The present article is devoted to the main trends in the development of private international law in modern conditions from the point of view of the ratio of domestic (national) and inter-state (international and supranational) regulation. A brief historical overview provides the key to a better understanding of the current state of affairs. The competition of several factors contributing to the internationalization and nationalization of private law is one of the objects of exploration in the article. The development of private law is characterized by mutually contradictory trends, which, on the one hand, show the strengthening of the internationalization of legal regulation, and on the other hand, reflect the consolidation of the nationalization of legal means of streamlining the interaction of individuals and legal entities. The interweaving of factors (of legal and meta-legal nature) that feed both one and the other trend is specifically studied. Full article
16 pages, 296 KiB  
Article
EU Institutions: Revisiting Gender Balance and Women’s Empowerment
by Gabriela Belova and Albena Ivanova
Laws 2023, 12(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws12010003 - 26 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2848
Abstract
Equality Gender balance between men and women is one of the most current controversial issues in recent years that provokes a number of debates, questioning whether it really exists or is instead a myth. This article examines how the issue is regulated by [...] Read more.
Equality Gender balance between men and women is one of the most current controversial issues in recent years that provokes a number of debates, questioning whether it really exists or is instead a myth. This article examines how the issue is regulated by European Union (EU) law and to what extent the legal framework is implemented into the current composition and work of European institutions. The trend of women’s empowerment is examined on the example of some of the EU institutions, mainly the European Commission and the European Parliament. The authors point out that, at the moment, three of the institutions included in the single institutional framework of the EU are headed by women—Ursula von der Leyen, Roberta Metsola, and Christine Lagarde—and the European Ombudsman is a woman. This represents an undisputed achievement in the field of gender balance at a higher political level within the EU as well as the appointment of the first-ever commissioner for equality. The newest secondary legislation framework is observed: Directive 2019/1158/EU on work–life balance and the latest development with regard to the female representation on corporate boards (Women on Boards Directive). The article also concludes that while some of the institutions have managed to make steps towards a real gender balance during recent years, not all of the Member States have experienced such progress, and this is evident in the organization and work of the Council of the EU. Although the introduction of quotas for women on company boards has been assessed ambiguously, it represents a necessary action ‘to break the glass ceiling’ and would give a new impetus to women’s empowerment within the EU. Full article
49 pages, 537 KiB  
Review
Adolescent Capacity to Consent to Participate in Research: A Review and Analysis Informed by Law, Human Rights, Ethics, and Developmental Science
by Ben Mathews
Laws 2023, 12(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws12010002 - 23 Dec 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 10208
Abstract
Contemporary societies pose major challenges for adolescents and it is essential to conduct research with them to understand their experiences, identify their needs, and discover solutions to major social problems. Social science, humanities and health-related research into violence, technology, and climate change exemplify [...] Read more.
Contemporary societies pose major challenges for adolescents and it is essential to conduct research with them to understand their experiences, identify their needs, and discover solutions to major social problems. Social science, humanities and health-related research into violence, technology, and climate change exemplify vital research endeavours requiring adolescent participation to advance Sustainable Development Goals and enhance individual lived experience and societal flourishing for current and future generations. International and national research ethics guidelines emphasise the necessity to conduct research to advance societal benefit, while upholding principles of autonomy and justice, and promoting participant welfare and avoiding harm. International human rights instruments promote adolescents’ freedom of expression and right to participate in matters affecting them. The rapid generation of robust research findings is essential, but it remains commonly assumed that adolescents cannot provide their own consent to participate in research studies, and the belief that parental consent is required can impede and impair the entire research process. Debate continues about the proper interpretation of legal principles and research ethics guidelines about who may provide consent. Continuing confusion about who must provide consent, and why, impedes the protection of adolescents’ interests and the advancement of society. This article adds to knowledge by providing a multidisciplinary overview of evidence from developmental science, social science, law, human rights, and bioethics about decision-making capacity and entitlements in the context of research participation, and an updated evidence-based analysis of adolescents’ capacity to provide their own consent to participate in social, humanities and health-related research. A conservative application of knowledge from these domains both individually and collectively supports conclusions that adolescents aged 16 are able to provide their own consent to participate in research, and no legal or ethical principle requires the provision of parental consent on their behalf. Practical considerations may support parental involvement in conversations about participation, and some types of research require trauma-informed approaches, but adolescents are developmentally, legally and ethically entitled to make their own decision about whether or not to participate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Law and Children’s Decision-Making)
16 pages, 228 KiB  
Article
Parent-Child Relationship in the Civil Code of China
by Wenting You
Laws 2023, 12(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws12010001 - 22 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3582
Abstract
The purpose of this article is to familiarize readers with the Chinese Civil Code, which entered into force in early 2021, and to draw their attention to the changes brought about by the Marriage and Family Book, which is now included in Volume [...] Read more.
The purpose of this article is to familiarize readers with the Chinese Civil Code, which entered into force in early 2021, and to draw their attention to the changes brought about by the Marriage and Family Book, which is now included in Volume V of the new code. The paternity system best reflects the changes in the Chinese Marriage and Family Book, especially Article 1073. A complete paternity system includes presumption, claim, and denial of the parent-child relationship. However, Article 1073 of the Civil Code, which regulates the parent-child relationship, is a guiding provision with a lack of operational rules. It is necessary to make general rules for operation and enforcement by adding supporting rules, including the presumption of legitimate children, the claim of children born out of wedlock, the denial of legitimate children, and other operational rules, to resolve paternity disputes. The Civil Code also makes changes to the adoption system in the Marriage and Family Book, mainly by further restricting the conditions for adopters with the aim of protecting the interests of the adoptee children. Although the Chinese Civil Code retains the concepts of legitimate and illegitimate children, in essence, there is no difference in their rights and legal status, including the right to inheritance. In conclusion, the legislative norms of paternity determination improve the Chinese paternity system, but lack operability, and it is important to accumulate experience through practice and draw on custom and jurisprudence to develop specific operational rules that complement the legislative provisions. This is exactly what this paper will address and the knowledge gap it will fill. Full article
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