News & Blog

GLaw-Net Seminar Series

Discover the Speakers for the GLaw-Net seminar series organised by the Globalization and Law network at Maastricht University. Running from February to June 2022.

For further information, please visit their website and/or follow them on Twitter.

SGEL Seminar Series

Discover the speakers for the SGEL Seminar Series…

Including Michelle Meagher, Prabha Kotiswaran, Hyo Yoon Kang, Sanja Bogojevic and Ioannis Kampourakis. Please see the attachment for more information and you can register on our website to join.

www.sgel.uva.nl

Compliance, Liability and Sanctioning

A report from the panel, ”Compliance, Liability and Sanctioning” that took place as part of the TEGL conference, 16/17 September 2021

Written by Sjors Polm

The COVID-19 pandemic poses great challenges, and humanity’s track record in addressing these challenges has not been particularly impressive so far. The panel on compliance, liability and sanctioning discussed different sorts of responses to the failures that have led us to where we are.

First, Benjamin van Rooij and Chris Reinders Folmer presented their empirical findings on why people do (not) adhere to COVID containment measures, such as social distancing. Soon after the pandemic began and measures were first widely imposed, a team led by van Rooij started sending out surveys to find out what explains compliance. This is an important inquiry, because containment measure only work if they are kept to, and just what makes people comply with measures is not all that intuitive. Their findings show that -as the compliance literature has shown many times before- deterrence does little to no work. Instead, other factors such as people’s capacity to comply and intrinsic motivations proved to be key. Interestingly, what explains compliance has also changed over time. Importantly, however, the study also showed that many of these factors, such as threat perceptions, have declined since the start of the pandemic, which helps to explain why compliance has declined. By identifying such levers for compliance, the findings of van Rooij and Reinders Folmer have important policy implications, which they have been able to share with Dutch policymakers.

In response to the worst failures of the historical episode that is the pandemic, there are not only questions concerning explanation and prevention, but there is also the question of blame. Criminal liability in relation to the pandemic was the topic of both Marc Tiernan and subsequently Göran Sluiter.

Marc Tiernan asked whether persons spreading disinformation relating to the pandemic may face criminal liability. Disinformation underlies and exacerbates so many of the world’s problems, and the pandemic is no exception. After discussing multiple examples of how disinformation relating to the pandemic has been used to sow hatred and division, Tiernan presented two ways in which the criminal law could respond. First, there is the possibility of directly criminalizing the spreading of disinformation relating to the pandemic, a path that for instance South Africa has already gone down. But direct criminalization may not be desirable, or even necessary. It may not be desirable since it can be disputed whether the spreading of disinformation is a sufficiently serious wrong to justify direct criminalization. More pragmatically, Tiernan argued that it may not be necessary to introduce new laws, because existing rules of secondary criminal liability can be used to prosecute people who spread disinformation that contributes to criminality.

Finally, Göran Sluiter returned to what may have been the beginning of the pandemic: The lab leak hypothesis. This hypothesis holds that the SARS-CoV-2 virus entered the world by escaping from a laboratory in Wuhan. Experts agree that there is no evidence yet decisively supporting or undermining this hypothesis, and it may well be that evidence of neither kind will ever come to the fore. Göran Sluiter invited the audience to consider the hypothetical that the virus did escape from a lab, to ask: Would this be ground for international criminal responsibility? According to Sluiter, the answer may well be ‘yes’. Specifically, the requirements for individual criminal responsibility for Crimes Against Humanity would possibly be met. The biggest obstacle for reaching this conclusion would likely be the mens rea requirement. Other elements would be fulfilled more easily. Jurisdiction to prosecute the Crimes Against Humanity would rest with every state home to persons who fell seriously ill or died as a result of the virus, that is, every state in the world. In case of strong evidence of individual criminal responsibility, the International Criminal Court could also have jurisdiction. There would be symbolic value in having those most responsible for the pandemic be held to account for the havoc the pandemic has wrecked.

Call for Applications

Dec. 17, 2021, 10-12pm and 3-4:30pm.

Towards a Sustainable Global Economic Law? Shifts, Ruptures and Social Justice

What should a ‘sustainable global economic law’ (SGEL) look like, in a context of looming ecological catastrophe, wild levels of inequality and wealth concentration, continuous technological disruption, and strong demands for social, racial, gender and environmental justice? 

On Dec. 17, within the Sustainable Global Economic Law project’s two-day conference, we are organizing a workshop during which each scholar will have the opportunity to present and get feedback on their research. 

A wonderful group of scholars agreed to act as discussants: Anna Beckers (Maastricht), Isabel Feichtner (Würzburg), Julia Dehm (La Trobe) Hans Lindahl (Tilburg) and Usha Natarajan (Columbia University).

The goal of the workshop is to interrogate the role of global economic law–the myriad of intertwining international, EU, public, private, domestic, transnational, ‘soft’ rules, codes of conduct–in enabling and reproducing accelerating environmental and social crises in the present global neoliberal context, and to reflect on what a ‘sustainable’ global economic law may look like within current global unequal contexts. 

Some of the broad questions that we are interested in are the following: 

  • How does global law construct notions such as “economic” and “sustainability”? What are their relationships with equality and social justice? How do the different meanings distribute wealth, power and privileges? How should they be understood in light of pressing demands for social and environmental justice in a global neoliberal contexts?
  • What is/are the legal framework(s) that help account for global economic law’s simultaneous (re)production of environmental crises, social, racial, gender and other forms of inequalities? 
  • What might a “sustainable global economic law” look like in terms of institutions, rules, actors, and modes of governance to address accelerating ecological and social crises?  What are the new (legal) vocabularies of a “sustainable global economic law”? 

We invite contributions from scholars (PhD researchers, early career, as well as more senior colleagues) working on these and other issues broadly related to the above questions, and in particular those that use insights from postcolonial, gender, critical race theories and adopt a cross-disciplinary approach. If you are interested in participating, please send your 15-page draft by Dec. 4th to i.isailovic@uva.nl and 500-word text about you and your work. 

About the format of the workshop: participants will have 5 minutes to present their main argument(s) and the questions that they are struggling with. We will then have 25-30 min for feedback and quick responses from the author. All the participants in the workshop will be expected to read and comment on selected drafts. 

The hybrid in person/online conference is hosted by Ivana Isailović (UvA) & Phillip Paiement (Tilburg).

For more information, you can reach out to Ivana (i.isailovic@uva.nl) or Phillip (P.M.Paiement@tilburguniversity.edu).

Scholars United for a Sustainable Amsterdam

Transformative Effects of Globalisation is to an extent a glocal entreprise – tackling global challenges while acknowledging our institutional and societal situatedness. For this reason, the Sustainable Global Economic Law group is particularly proud of an initiative which is currently being spearheaded by some of our group members – SUSA (Scholars United for a Sustainable Amsterdam). The group will be organising its inaugural conference on 1 December, with Kate Raworth (author of Donut Economy) as keynote speaker and has already succeeded in establishing contacts with the City of Amsterdam Donut Coalitie as well as in embarking several enthusiastic students as research assistants. Curious what they are up to? Here is their first update.

Effective judicial protection in the EU: reality or illusion?

Workshop report “Article 47 of the EU Charter and effective judicial protection: The Court of Justice’s perspective”, 15 – 16 April 2021.

On 15 and 16 April 2021, the GLaw Research Network held the online workshop ‘Article 47 of the EU Charter and effective judicial protection: The Court of Justice’s perspective’. The two-day workshop has brought together the authors of the first of two volumes edited by Mariolina Eliantonio, Matteo Bonelli and Giulia Gentile, all members of the MCEL, on the interpretation and application of Article 47 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. The two volumes are forthcoming with Hart Publishing in 2022.

The book project aims to fill the gaps in the literature concerning the principle of effective judicial protection, one of the cornerstones of the EU legal order, as reaffirmed in Article 47 of the Charter. It does so by exploring the constitutional role of Article 47 Charter, by offering a novel and comprehensive comparative study on the interpretation of this norm in selected EU policy areas, as well as the first ever study of the application of this provision in selected jurisdictions.

On the first day of the workshop, the presentations have covered constitutional aspects of the EU case law on Article 47 of the Charter. Giulia Gentile and Serena Menzione have opened the proceedings with a presentation on the Justice Title of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, and the interplay between Article 47 and the rest of the Justice provisions. They have highlighted the role of the Charter as an instrument to enhance justice in the EU. Michal Krajewski’s intervention has critically discussed the role of Article 47 in the context of the protection of judicial independence, by questioning the role that pluralism should have in the EU case law. Anna Wallerman Ghavanini and Clara Rauchegger reflected on whether Article 47 could constitute the legal basis for the transformation of the preliminary ruling procedure into an individual right to requests the interpretation of EU law from the Court of Justice.

The chapter of Matteo Bonelli has moved on to synergies between Article 47 Charter and national procedural autonomy. Building on existing literature, he submitted that Article 47 works as an acceleration tool to facilitate the intervention of the Court of Justice with regards to national procedural rules. Mariolina Eliantonio and Olivier Dubos have presented another facet of the impact of Article 47 Charter in the Member States, being its absent role in the field of the res judicata. The silence of Article 47 in this area cannot pass unobserved and raises questions on judicial narratives and the value of Article 47 beyond the existing principles. Finally, the chapter of Allison Östlund has highlighted the uncertain influence of Article 47 Charter in the field of ex officio application of EU law. She argued that there is something new added by Article 47 in this area, but the impact of this provision is not tangible yet. The authors have benefitted from the comments and discussion of Rob Widdershoven.

On the second day of the workshop, the speakers have discussed the application of Article 47 of the Charter in selected EU policy areas. Andriani Kalintiri has started the proceedings by discussing the role of Article 47 in the competition field as an instrument of fairness and of constraint for the power of action of the Commission. Subsequently, Roberto Caranta has highlighted the limited impact of Article 47 in the public procurement field, in which EU secondary legislation appears to dominate and limits the influence of the Charter. Marcelle Reneman has illustrated the application of Article 47 in the field of migration, by pointing out its positive influence and underexplored potential in this policy area. The presentation by Kathleen Gutman has followed. She has offered a comprehensive overview of the role of Article 47 in the non-discrimination case law and has described the synergies between the principles of effective judicial protection and of non-discrimination. Ludwig Krämer has then discussed the case law on Article 47 in the environmental field and debated the controversial limitations to standing before the EU courts in the light of the EU principle of effective judicial protection. Finally, Aikaterini Pantazatou has presented the EU case law on Article 47 in the field of VAT, where tensions between the effective collection of VAT and the protection of fundamental rights often emerge.

The workshop has welcomed almost 100 guests from all over Europe and has prompted lively debate. The edited volume based on the proceedings of the workshop will be published in late 2022, followed by the second volume on the application of Article 47 of the EU Charter in selected Member States.

This post was originally published by Globalisation & Law Network (GLaw-Net) on maastrichtuniversity.nl.

Lex-Atlas: Covid-19 A global academic project mapping legal responses to Covid-19

Researchers from the Open University (Tom Herrenberg, Ronald Janse and Mirjam van Schaik) work together with researchers from Tilburg University (Maurice Adams) and the University of Amsterdam (Samantha Daniels) in order to map legal responses to the Covid-19 pandemic in the Netherlands. The researchers write the country report for the international project ‘Lex-Atlas: Covid-19 A global academic project mapping legal responses to Covid-19′. This project is jointly led by University College London, King’s College London and the Max Planck Institute of Comparative Public Law and International Law. Discussing a broad range of topics, including access to justice, civil liberties, and social and public health measures, the report provides for a comprehensive overview of legal responses to the Covid-19 pandemic in the Netherlands. The results are useful for cross-national comparisons by academics, policy makers, and the general public. The Database is available at https://test.lexatlas-c19.org/. The project results in a Compendium published by Oxford University Press.

10th Annual Cambridge International Law Conference

Henrique Marcos, Antonia Waltermann, and Jaap Hage are presenting their research at the 10th Annual Cambridge International Law Conference taking place on 18 – 20 March 2021.

In their paper ‘From Sovereignty to International Cooperation: Lessons from Legal Logic and Social Ontology‘, the authors connect state sovereignty to fragmentation and the potential for inconsistencies and conflicts and investigate whether exercises of sovereignty necessarily lead to inconsistencies that would hinder international cooperation. They advocate for a framework of (meta)rules, logic for rules, and information about the relations between rules (such as more or less specific) that turns the unsupervised set of international rules into a consistent and workable set.

See the conference progamme and registration details here.

Call for panels: Transformative effects of Covid-19 on Law and Globalisation

Conference

Transformative effects of Covid-19 on Globalisation & Law

16-17 September 2021

It is hard to name an area of life that the Coronavirus pandemic has not affected – from travelling to doing groceries and from grieving to global politics. Yet, as we brace to enter the second year with Covid-19, we can see that some of the effects are more transient, others are here to stay: the pandemic will have had transformative effects in a number of domains. What about law?

With a virus travelling fast across the globe in the early days of the pandemic and a number of global actors involved in all sort of interventions, globalisation as we knew it had come under strain. International organizations like the World Health Organizations have both acquired unprecedented visibility and suffered from an extraordinary crisis of legitimacy. Rules blocking air travel from high-risk countries were widely condemned at first, only to become mainstream as the infection figures rose. Recommendations in one country were hard rules in the next country and courts had to review measures ranging from state of emergency declarations to face mask mandates.

Global value chains were the subject of disruption, reconversion, contestation while governments quarrelled over face masks and vaccines. When economic activities more or less selectively went or were put on a halt, safety nets were introduced and new accommodations were sought. Change may be illusory or rather superficial: while scores of headlines announced that “the workplace” will never be the same again, car traffic (and pollution) levels have, in most cases, quickly gone back to pre-pandemic levels. The United States have re-joined the WHO and the EU concentrates much of its hopes for a quick recovery on a new business-as-usual trade deal with China. But there are reasons to think that many of the important discussions we have had during the past year will have a lasting impact: from access to healthcare to competition rules, the pandemic has brought a renewed interest in strong public institutions. 

Within the research theme Transformative effects of Globalisation in Law, we want to look at the possible transformative effects of the pandemic through three main lenses: boundaries and international cooperationtransformative effects on markets and transformation of institutions. The conference will close with a roundtable reflecting on the implications of the ongoing transformations – (how) can law help in reconstructing “better”, in light of the further crises we are all facing?

As possible themes to be explored, think of the following:

  • Coordination and multi-level pandemic governance
  • Vaccines, TRIPs exceptions and IP caution
  • Evidence-based law and policy in the pandemic
  • Will free movement ever be the same again?
  • Covid-19 and global trade
  • Love and care at the time of Covid: reproductive labour
  • The contestation of expertise and/or
  • Independent agencies and regulatory institutions – a new role for central banks and competition authorities? 
  • Covid-19 and courts: how to test government intervention in the midst of a global emergency?
  • Covid-19 and the Anthropocene

We invite scholars from within and outside the Transformative effects of globalisation in law theme to convene a panel on one of these themes or a related theme investigating by preference the transformative effects of the pandemic on the legal configuration of international cooperation and boundaries, institutions and markets. Interested colleagues should provide an abstract for their panel, including a tentative list of speakers, by 1 April

Panels can take different formats in accordance with the organizers’ wishes, but they should last no longer than ninety minutes (a double panel is an option). We hope to have contributions put down in the form of a blog post, but no full papers are required unless a panel expressly chooses to opt for a more committal format. While the conference will be an online event, we will provide support for producing clips of the various panels and seek ways to provide visibility to conference papers/presentations/blogposts. If you have questions in preparation for your submission, feel free to get in touch! Please address your proposals, or any other queries, to c.leone@uva.nl

Making sense of the Indian farmer protests

Lys Kulamandayil’s post featured in Völkerrechtsblog

Many of us have followed at a distance the somewhat dystopic news from India – including the arrest of a local organiser after some of her actions had been made viral by Swedish activist Greta Thurnberg. Our colleague Lys Kulamandayil, in a piece for Völkerrechtsblog, goes further in dissecting the context and motives characterising the protests: see her article here.