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Laws, Volume 8, Issue 3 (September 2019)

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Open AccessArticle
Cultural Expertise in Sweden: A History of Its Use
Laws 2019, 8(3), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws8030022 - 17 Sep 2019
Viewed by 238
Abstract
This paper is a case study of the use of cultural experts, broadly defined as including mediators and academicians with a variety of backgrounds, in Sweden. It draws on data collected through qualitative interviews with cultural experts, by following court cases through legal [...] Read more.
This paper is a case study of the use of cultural experts, broadly defined as including mediators and academicians with a variety of backgrounds, in Sweden. It draws on data collected through qualitative interviews with cultural experts, by following court cases through legal documents, mass media and other printed material, and by my own experience as a cultural expert. The paper provides a context to the potential application of the concept of cultural expertise regarding the appointment of such experts by lawyers, prosecutors and courts. It analyzes cases concerning the Sami, the Roma and recent immigrants from Africa and Asia. The Sami cases revolve around conflicts with the Swedish state over rights and ownership. The Roma cases revolve around questions of ethnic discrimination. Cases of immigrants from outside Europe consist of individual criminal cases and asylum. I argue that Swedish ideas—and ideals—of sameness and equality have had an impact on the legal cases that I discuss in this paper. While the legal issues in each of these cases differ, the paper argues that they demonstrate a similarity in how Swedish-majority society manages and even creates cultural differences. I conclude by showing the ways culture, rights, and obligations are understood in courts reflect mainstream trends of Swedish society and suggest the need for cultural expertise in the form of interdisciplinary collaboration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cultural Expertise: An Emergent Concept and Evolving Practices)
Open AccessArticle
Digital Market, Bloggers, and Trendsetters: The New World of Advertising Law
Laws 2019, 8(3), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws8030021 - 03 Sep 2019
Viewed by 351
Abstract
The importance of digital marketing is continuously growing, at least in the present economic phase. Within this sector, fashion bloggers play a crucial role, which reflects the relevance of fashion on an economic and a social level, as already highlighted in Georg Simmel’s [...] Read more.
The importance of digital marketing is continuously growing, at least in the present economic phase. Within this sector, fashion bloggers play a crucial role, which reflects the relevance of fashion on an economic and a social level, as already highlighted in Georg Simmel’s pioneering study. New communication opportunities made available by the development of digital technologies shed more light on this phenomenon. One of the main concerns is the need to guarantee the transparency and the correctness of commercial communications shared through social media in order to ensure the consumers’ full freedom of choice. However, can traditional rules on advertising be considered sufficient, or is there a need for ad hoc rules? Can consumers’ protection be reconciled with other values such as the creative freedom of advertisers and, more generally, the freedom of expression? Thus far, interventions by self-regulatory bodies and independent authorities, both at national and international levels, have proven to be effective, even if more “classic” regulatory interventions may occur in the future. After a short reference to the literature concerning fashion as a social phenomenon, the contribution focuses on the main solutions adopted in Italy and in Europe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The New Frontiers of Fashion Law)
Open AccessArticle
The Rights of Refugee Children and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
Laws 2019, 8(3), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws8030020 - 31 Aug 2019
Viewed by 353
Abstract
Refugee children are identified as rights-bearers by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), but their rights are not uniformly honored in the policies and practices of contemporary states. How the CRC’s safeguards for refugee children’s rights are honored [...] Read more.
Refugee children are identified as rights-bearers by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), but their rights are not uniformly honored in the policies and practices of contemporary states. How the CRC’s safeguards for refugee children’s rights are honored depends partly on what it means to be ‘a refugee child’ and partly on how the claims of refugee children’s rights are recognized, respected, and implemented in international and national legal and bureaucratic systems. We examine the CRC’s affirmation of the rights of the child and analyze the CRC’s articles in relation to the rights related to the life circumstances of refugee children and state responsibilities. Following an analysis of resistance to the CRC’s mandates by contemporary states, we relate refugee children’s rights to their refugee and developmental experiences and argue for repositioning refugee children into the center of protection dialogue and practice, internationally and nationally. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Refugees and International Law: The Challenge of Protection)
Open AccessConcept Paper
End Coercion in Mental Health Services—Toward a System Based on Support Only
Laws 2019, 8(3), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws8030019 - 24 Aug 2019
Viewed by 892
Abstract
Based on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), several UN bodies, among them the High Commissioner for Human Rights, have argued for a complete ban of all coercive interventions in mental health care. The authors conceptualize a system [...] Read more.
Based on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), several UN bodies, among them the High Commissioner for Human Rights, have argued for a complete ban of all coercive interventions in mental health care. The authors conceptualize a system for mental health care based on support only. Psychiatry loses its function as an agent of social control and follows the will and preferences of those who require support. The authors draw up scenarios for dealing with risk, inpatient care, police custody, and mental illness in prison. With such a shift, mental health services could earn the trust of service users and thereby improve treatment outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Disability Human Rights Law) Printed Edition available
Open AccessArticle
Questioning Segregation of People Living with Dementia in Australia: An International Human Rights Approach to Care Homes
Laws 2019, 8(3), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws8030018 - 15 Aug 2019
Viewed by 681
Abstract
This article explores how care homes—and, specifically, their common features such as dementia care units and locked doors and gates—impact on the human rights of people living with dementia. We suggest that congregation, separation and confinement of people living with dementia by the [...] Read more.
This article explores how care homes—and, specifically, their common features such as dementia care units and locked doors and gates—impact on the human rights of people living with dementia. We suggest that congregation, separation and confinement of people living with dementia by the care home built environment constitute ‘segregation’. In the specific context of residential aged care facilities in Australia, we draw on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (‘CRPD’) to frame this segregation as an injustice. We focus on the rights to non-discrimination (Article 5), liberty and security of the person (Article 14), equality before the law (Article 12), accessibility (Article 9), and independent living and community inclusion (Article 19). Our analysis shows that addressing segregation must involve structural and resource reforms that are transformative in bringing about new ways of living and relating to each other. Such reforms are directed towards providing meaningful alternatives and appropriate supports to make choices from a range of alternative residency and support options, and building communities that are free from ableism, ageism and other systems of oppression that contribute to confinement and segregation. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Disability Human Rights Law) Printed Edition available
Open AccessArticle
The Bondo Society as a Political Tool: Examining Cultural Expertise in Sierra Leone from 1961 to 2018
Laws 2019, 8(3), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws8030017 - 12 Aug 2019
Viewed by 390
Abstract
This paper focuses on the politics of the Bondo—the competition among social groups for an exclusive influence on the National strategy for the reduction of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C). In the first part, this paper shows how the Bondo—a women’s only secret society—has [...] Read more.
This paper focuses on the politics of the Bondo—the competition among social groups for an exclusive influence on the National strategy for the reduction of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C). In the first part, this paper shows how the Bondo—a women’s only secret society—has become a site of contestation for not only pro- and anti-FGM/C advocates, but also elite male politicians who have, since independence in 1961, continued to use the Bondo space for political gains. The use of the Bondo for political leverage and influence pre-dates independence and is as old as the society itself. The second part of this paper discusses the legitimacy of expertise as central to this debate, in which each group competes to become the leading expert. Thus, even though human rights/choice discourse currently dominates the FGM/C debate, traditional expertise remains valid in the formulation of community by-laws as well as state policies and laws. This can be seen in the recent attempt by the state to develop a National Policy for the Reduction of FGM/C in which the expertise of all three groups was sought. Using data from existing literature and personal interviews, this paper interrogates this contention by describing how the role of cultural experts—especially the Soweis—has been politicized in the stalemate over the enactment of the National Policy for the Reduction of FGC. This paper concludes with considerations about the complexity of Bondo expertise, in which opposing parties use similar arguments to evoke the human rights discourses on women’s rights and bodily integrity/autonomy. It argues that a better knowledge of these dynamics as they develop in Sierra Leone and other African countries would be useful to the European jurisdiction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cultural Expertise: An Emergent Concept and Evolving Practices)
Open AccessArticle
Activities and Operations with Cryptocurrencies and Their Taxation Implications: The Spanish Case
Laws 2019, 8(3), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws8030016 - 05 Aug 2019
Viewed by 399
Abstract
The purpose of this article was to attempt to shed light on the taxation of activities or actions related to cryptocurrencies. For this purpose, a small analysis was carried out on the nature, operation, and characteristics of cryptocurrencies. Subsequently, from the point of [...] Read more.
The purpose of this article was to attempt to shed light on the taxation of activities or actions related to cryptocurrencies. For this purpose, a small analysis was carried out on the nature, operation, and characteristics of cryptocurrencies. Subsequently, from the point of view of the Spanish tax system, the tax implications of the use, actions, and operations carried out with this virtual medium were discussed. The most recent information derived from the binding inquiries issued by the general directorate of taxes in Spain, an institution under the Ministry of Finance, was reviewed. This article analyzed whether the activities related to Bitcoin should be declared for the purposes of personal income tax, property tax, inheritance tax and finally, in the tax on transmissions of assets and documented legal acts. Finally, special mention was made of activities, such as the mining of Bitcoins in “Bitcoin farms” and the exploitation of websites for buying and selling cryptocurrencies and vending machines. Other collateral situations were also analyzed, such as the system to be used. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The “Cultural Test” as Cultural Expertise: Evolution of a Legal–Anthropological Tool for Judges
Laws 2019, 8(3), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws8030015 - 02 Aug 2019
Viewed by 435
Abstract
This paper analyzes the state of cultural expertise in Italy and then focuses on how it can be improved through a kind of cultural expertise that Italian academics, judges, and lawyers are currently debating: the so-called “cultural test”. This is a legal test [...] Read more.
This paper analyzes the state of cultural expertise in Italy and then focuses on how it can be improved through a kind of cultural expertise that Italian academics, judges, and lawyers are currently debating: the so-called “cultural test”. This is a legal test for dealing with culture, which originally emerged as judicial tool in Northern American courts: It consists of a set of pre-established questions that a judge has to answer in order to decide whether or not to accept a cultural claim made by a migrant or by a person that belongs to minority communities. Whereas some questions of the cultural test refer to typical legal balancing between rights, other questions incorporate anthropological knowledge within the trial, requiring the judge to analyze the cultural practice at issue, its historical origin, the importance it has within the community, and other information about which the judge would not be sufficiently knowledgeable without resorting to anthropology. In this sense, the “cultural test” is a form of standardized cultural expertise that helps both the judge and the cultural expert in their tasks. The paper reveals both the arguments against and those in favor of the adoption of the “cultural test” and how they are currently unfolding in the Italian debate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cultural Expertise: An Emergent Concept and Evolving Practices)
Open AccessArticle
‘Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others’: The Hierarchy of Citizenship in Austria
Laws 2019, 8(3), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws8030014 - 16 Jul 2019
Viewed by 724
Abstract
While this article aims to explore the connections between citizenship and ‘race’, it is the first study to use fictional tools as a sociological resource in exemplifying the deviation between citizenship in principle and practice in an Austrian context. The study involves interviews [...] Read more.
While this article aims to explore the connections between citizenship and ‘race’, it is the first study to use fictional tools as a sociological resource in exemplifying the deviation between citizenship in principle and practice in an Austrian context. The study involves interviews with 73 Austrians from three ethnic/racial groups, which were subjected to a directed approach to qualitative content analysis and coded based on sentences from George Orwell’s fictional book, ‘Animal Farm’. By using fiction as a conceptual and analytical device, this article goes beyond the orthodox particulars of citizenship to expose the compressed entitlements of some racial/ethnic minorities. In particular, data analysis revealed two related and intertwined central themes: (a) “all animals are not equal or comrades”; and (b) “some animals are more equal than others”. All ‘animals’ may be equal in principle, whereas, in practice, their ‘race’ serves as a critical source of social (dis)advantage in the ‘animal kingdom’. Thus, since citizenship is a precondition for possessing certain rights that non-citizens are not granted, I argue that citizenship cannot only be judged by whom it, in theory, excludes (i.e., non-citizens), but also by how it treats the included (i.e., citizens) on the basis of their ‘race’. I conclude that skin colour is a specific aspect of the hierarchy of citizenship in Austria, which reinforces that ‘some animals are more equal than others’. Full article
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