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Laws, Volume 8, Issue 1 (March 2019)

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Open AccessArticle
Beyond the Paris Agreement: Intellectual Property, Innovation Policy, and Climate Justice
Received: 11 December 2018 / Revised: 23 January 2019 / Accepted: 6 February 2019 / Published: 18 February 2019
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Abstract
The multidisciplinary field of climate law and justice needs to address the topic of intellectual property, climate finance, and technology transfer to ensure effective global action on climate change. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 1992 (UNFCCC) established a foundation for [...] Read more.
The multidisciplinary field of climate law and justice needs to address the topic of intellectual property, climate finance, and technology transfer to ensure effective global action on climate change. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 1992 (UNFCCC) established a foundation for the development, application and diffusion of low-carbon technologies. Against this background, it is useful to analyse how the Paris Agreement 2015 deals with the subject of intellectual property, technology transfer, and climate change. While there was discussion of a number of options for intellectual property and climate change, the final Paris Agreement 2015 contains no text on intellectual property. There is text, though, on technology transfer. The Paris Agreement 2015 relies upon technology networks and alliances in order to promote the diffusion and dissemination of green technologies. In order to achieve technology transfer, there has been an effort to rely on a number of formal technology networks, alliances, and public–private partnerships—including the UNFCCC Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN); the World Intellectual Property Organization’s WIPO GREEN; Mission Innovation; the Breakthrough Energy Coalition; and the International Solar Alliance. There have been grand hopes and ambitions in respect of these collaborative and co-operative ventures. However, there have also been significant challenges in terms of funding, support, and operation. In a case of innovation policy pluralism, there also seems to be a significant level of overlap and duplication between the diverse international initiatives. There have been concerns about whether such technology networks are effective, efficient, adaptable, and accountable. There is a need to better align intellectual property, innovation policy, and technology transfer in order to achieve access to clean energy and climate justice under the framework of the Paris Agreement 2015. At a conceptual level, philosophical discussions about climate justice should be grounded in pragmatic considerations about intellectual property and technology transfer. An intellectual property mechanism is necessary to provide for research, development, and deployment of clean technologies. There is a need to ensure that the technology mechanism of the Paris Agreement 2015 can enable the research, development, and diffusion of clean technologies at a scale to address the global challenges of climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intellectual Property Rights, Technology Transfer and Climate Change)
Open AccessArticle
Law’s Autonomy and Moral Reason
Received: 10 October 2018 / Revised: 18 January 2019 / Accepted: 4 February 2019 / Published: 15 February 2019
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Abstract
This paper intends to set out an argument to Legal Idealism and a thesis that holds law and morality as necessarily connected. My focus is on deconstructing the Positivist argument to the Autonomy Thesis and beginning to reconstruct it through the application of [...] Read more.
This paper intends to set out an argument to Legal Idealism and a thesis that holds law and morality as necessarily connected. My focus is on deconstructing the Positivist argument to the Autonomy Thesis and beginning to reconstruct it through the application of morality to law’s autonomous authority. My aim, ultimately, is to demonstrate how, through the concept of law, practical reason might explain the related (and overlapping) notions of legitimacy, authority, and the obligation to obey through the necessary connection of law and morality. That is, I intend to demonstrate that morality both survives and remains identifiable (transparently) following the process of metamorphosis into institutionalised practical reasoning. If this is so, the authority of and obligation to law is simultaneously a form of morally rational obligation. In the response to the Positivist argument that moral values are incommensurate, I will show that this commensurability can be determined ‘artificially’ by a system of institutionalised reasoning (i.e., the law); this is to say, if I can show that the Legal Positivist argument is left incomplete without some explanation of moral values underpinning it, I need not to show that a specific, defensible moral truth or principle is required, but that an artificial weighting of abstract moral principles is sufficient Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Evolving Common Law Jurisprudence Combatting the Threat of Terrorism in the United Kingdom, United States, and Canada
Received: 13 October 2018 / Revised: 24 December 2018 / Accepted: 1 February 2019 / Published: 14 February 2019
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Abstract
Terrorism is a concept that defies a simple and straightforward legal definition. Therefore, it is not surprising to find that there is no Comprehensive Convention on Terrorism with a universally accepted definition of what constitutes “terrorism.” Consequently, States have devised their own definitions [...] Read more.
Terrorism is a concept that defies a simple and straightforward legal definition. Therefore, it is not surprising to find that there is no Comprehensive Convention on Terrorism with a universally accepted definition of what constitutes “terrorism.” Consequently, States have devised their own definitions of what constitutes terrorism that are typically found in their criminal law. This raises the fundamental question of whether there is a convergence or divergence in jurisprudential trends on what constitutes terrorism among States? Presumably, a convergence in jurisprudential trends is more likely to contribute to combatting the threat of terrorism at the international and national levels. Accordingly, this article comparatively analyzes the definition of terrorism in three common law jurisdictions: the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada. It finds that although there are a number of similarities in the definition of terrorism in these three States, they have significantly different definitions of what constitutes terrorism. The UK definition, ostensibly, has the broadest definition of terrorism of the three States. The US has, undoubtedly, the most unique, with separate definitions for “international terrorism” and “domestic terrorism.” Additionally, Canada has the most international definition of terrorism, drawing on 13 functional terrorism Conventions to define offenses such as hijacking, hostage taking, and bombing, etc. The second part of the article comparatively analyzes seven of the leading Supreme Court cases on terrorism in these three States. From the ratio or rationes decidendi in each of these cases, it draws out the twelve legal principles that underlie these judgements and finds that they are similar and overall consistent. The conclusion reached is that there is, at least in these three common law jurisdictions, an apparent convergence in jurisprudential trends in the law of terrorism. This augurs well for the development and emergence of a common definition of what constitutes terrorism at the international and transnational levels, as well as more rigorous and effective counter-terrorism laws and policies within and across States. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Legal Capacity and Supported Decision-Making: Lessons from Some Recent Legal Reforms
Received: 11 October 2018 / Revised: 28 January 2019 / Accepted: 29 January 2019 / Published: 1 February 2019
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Abstract
Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities calls for a thorough review of State laws to recognise the right of persons with disabilities to enjoy legal capacity on an equal basis with others, thereby abolishing substitute decision-making regimes, [...] Read more.
Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities calls for a thorough review of State laws to recognise the right of persons with disabilities to enjoy legal capacity on an equal basis with others, thereby abolishing substitute decision-making regimes, and to receive the support they need for its exercise. With the aim of providing useful guidelines for legislative changes yet to be made, the present study examines and assesses, in the light of the Convention, some of the most recent and innovative legislative reforms in the area of legal capacity. The analysis shows that, although they appropriately reflect a change of perspective, shifting from the paradigm of the “best interests” of the person to the respect of their will and preferences, some of these reforms are not fully satisfactory, particularly because they still allow partial or total deprivation of legal capacity for persons with disabilities, and maintain institutions which perpetuate substitute decision-making. However, the recent modification of the Peruvian Civil Code and Civil Procedure Code deserves a highly positive evaluation as the first regulation of legal capacity and supported decision-making substantially compliant with the Convention. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Disability Human Rights Law) Printed Edition available
Open AccessArticle
Judging Values and Participation in Mental Capacity Law
Received: 19 November 2018 / Revised: 23 January 2019 / Accepted: 24 January 2019 / Published: 1 February 2019
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Abstract
Judges face a challenging task in determining the weight that ought to be accorded to the person (P)’s values and testimony in judicial deliberation about her capacity and best interests under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA). With little consensus emerging in judicial [...] Read more.
Judges face a challenging task in determining the weight that ought to be accorded to the person (P)’s values and testimony in judicial deliberation about her capacity and best interests under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA). With little consensus emerging in judicial practice, incommensurable values drawn from divergent sources often collide in such cases. This paper outlines strict and flexible interpretations of the MCA’s values-based approach to making decisions about capacity and best interests, highlighting the problematic implications for the normative status of P’s values and the participatory role of P in judicial deliberations. The strict interpretation draws a false separation between ascertaining P’s values and the intrinsic value of enabling P’s participation in court proceedings; meanwhile, the flexible interpretation permits judicial discretion to draw on values which may legitimately override the expressed values of P. Whether in the ambiguous form of internal and/or extra-legal judicial values, these value sources demand further scrutiny, particularly regarding their intersection with the values held by P. We offer provisional normative guidelines, which set constraints on the appeal to extra-legal values in judicial deliberation and outline further research pathways to improve the justification around judicial decisions regarding P’s participation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concerns, Contradictions and Reality of Mental Health Law)
Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Laws in 2018
Published: 9 January 2019
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Abstract
Rigorous peer-review is the corner-stone of high-quality academic publishing [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Legal Profession in the Era of Digital Capitalism: Disruption or New Dawn?
Received: 3 December 2018 / Revised: 24 December 2018 / Accepted: 28 December 2018 / Published: 4 January 2019
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Abstract
This article investigates the impact of what we label “digital capitalism” on the structure and organization of the legal profession. We explore whether the rise of digital capitalism is transforming the dynamics of the legal field by the introduction of new actors and [...] Read more.
This article investigates the impact of what we label “digital capitalism” on the structure and organization of the legal profession. We explore whether the rise of digital capitalism is transforming the dynamics of the legal field by the introduction of new actors and ways of practicing law, which might challenge the traditional control (and monopoly) of jurists on the production of law. We find that not only have new service providers already entered the legal market, but also new on-line tools for solving legal disputes or producing legal documents are gaining a foothold. Similarly, we also find that new intelligent search systems are challenging the role of junior lawyers and paralegals with regard to reviewing large sets of documents. However, big data techniques deployed to predict future courts’ decisions are not yet advanced enough to pose a challenge. Overall, we argue that these developments will not only change legal practices, but are also likely to influence the internal structure and organization of the legal field. In particular, we argue that the processes of change associated with digitalization is further accelerating the economization and commodification of the practice of law, whereby lawyers are decreasingly disinterested brokers in society and defenders of the public good, and increasingly service firms at the cutting edge of the capitalist economy. These developments are also triggering new forms of stratification of the legal field. While some legal actors will likely benefit from digitalization and expand their business, either by integrating new technologies to reach more clients or by developing new niche areas of practices, the more routinized forms of legal practice are facing serious challenges and will most likely be replaced by technology and associated service firms. Full article
Laws EISSN 2075-471X Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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