Adapting Legal Cultures
Looking at the theory and practice of legal borrowing and adaptation in different areas of the world, this volume discusses legal transplants, the role of the state in producing socio-legal change and the effects of globalization.
The Impact of European Rights on National Legal Cultures
This book contributes to the debate about the impact of European Community Law on the national constitutional orders and cultures of the respective Member States. The author examines the doctrine of sovereignty as a mechanism within which this impact may be best assessed and in particular how it underwrites the tension between European Union rights and the rights provided by the respective legal orders of the Member States. In particular the book focuses on political,social and civil rights, drawing from T.H. Marshall's typology. In endorsing an appropriate analytical framework, the book challenges both existing law and secondary literature in order to argue that the terminology, the concepts and the tools which are used to assess the impact of the EC law on the national constitutional orders are to be selected with great care. This is particularly apposite given the complexity of constitutional diversity, in terms of national constitutions and their reception of EC law. It is also important because of the variety of approaches involved in the constitutional adjustment of the acquis of the Union within the context of the increasing drive to constitutionalisation of the Union on the one hand and enlargement on the other.
Risk Regulation and Administrative Constitutionalism
Over the last decade the regulatory evaluation of environmental and public health risks has been one of the most legally controversial areas of contemporary government activity. Much of that debate has been understood as a conflict between those promoting 'scientific' approaches to risk evaluation and those promoting 'democratic' approaches. This characterization of disputes has ignored the central roles of public administration and law in technological risk evaluation. This is problematic because, as shown in this book, legal disputes over risk evaluation are disputes over administrative constitutionalism in that they are disputes over what role law should play in constituting and limiting the power of administrative risk regulators. This is shown by five case studies taken from five different legal cultures: an analysis of the bifurcated role of the Southwood Working Party in the UK BSE crisis; the development of doctrines in relation to judicial review of risk evaluation in the US in the 1970s; the interpretation of the precautionary principle by environmental courts and generalist tribunals carrying out merits review in Australia; the interpretation of the WTO Sanitary and Phytosanitary Agreement as part of the WTO dispute settlement process; and the interpretation of the precautionary principle in the EU context. A strong argument is thus made for re-orienting the focus of scholarship in this area.
The Foundations of International Investment Law
International investment law is one of the fastest growing areas of international law. It has led to the signing of thousands of agreements, mostly in the form of investment contracts and bilateral investment treaties. Also, in the last two decades, there has been an exponential growth in the number of disputes being resolved by investment arbitration tribunals. Yet the legal principles at the basis of international investment law and arbitration remain in a state of flux. Perhaps the best illustration of this phenomenon is the wide disagreement among investment tribunals on some of the core concepts underpinning the regime, such as investment, property, regulatory powers, scope of jurisdiction, applicable law, or the interactions with other areas of international law. The purpose of this book is to revisit these conceptual foundations in order to shed light on the practice of international investment law. It is an attempt to bridge the growing gap between the theory and the practice of this thriving area of international law. The first part of the book focuses on the 'infrastructure' of the investment regime or, more specifically, on the structural arrangements that have been developed to manage foreign investment transactions and the potential disputes arising from them. The second part of the book identifies the common conceptual bases of an array of seemingly unconnected practical problems in order to clarify the main stakes and offer balanced solutions. The third part addresses the main sources of 'regime stress' as well as the main legal mechanisms available to manage such challenges to the operation of the regime. Overall, the book offers a thorough investigation of the conflicting theoretical positions underlying international investment law, testing their worth by reference to concrete issues that have arisen in the jurisprudence. It demonstrates that many of the most important practical questions arising in practice can be addressed by a carefully dosed resort to theory.
Epistemology and Methodology of Comparative Law
Whereas many modern works on comparative law focus on various aspects of legal doctrine the aim of this book is of a more theoretical kind - to reflect on comparative law as a scholarly discipline, in particular at its epistemology and methodology. Thus, among its contents the reader will find: a lively discussion of the kind of 'knowledge' that is, or could be, derived from comparative law; an analysis of 'legal families' which asks whether we need to distinguish different 'legal families' according to areas of law; essays which ask what is the appropriate level for research to be conducted - the technical 'surface level', a 'deep level' of ideology and legal practice, or an 'intermediate level' of other elements of legal culture, such as the socio-economic and historical background of law. One part of the book is devoted to questioning the identification and demarcation of a 'legal system' (and the clash between 'legal monism' and 'legal pluralism') and the definition of the European legal orders, sub-State legal orders, and what is left of traditional sovereign State legal systems; while a final part explores the desirability and possibility of developing a basic common legal language, with common legal principles and legal concepts and/or a legal meta-language, which would be developed and used within emerging European legal doctrine. All the papers in this collection share the common goal of seeking answers to fundamental, scientific problems of comparative research that are too often neglected in comparative scholarship.
Examining Practice Interrogating Theory
Legal transplantation and reform in the name of globalisation is central to the transformation of Asian legal systems. The contributions to "Examining Practice, Interrogating Theory: Comparative Legal Studies in Asia" analyse particular legal changes in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, and Vietnam. The contributions also concurrently critically analyse the utility of scholarly developments in comparative legal studies, particularly discourse analysis; regulatory theory; legal pluralism; and socio-legal approaches, in the study of Asian legal systems. While these approaches are regularly invoked in the study of transforming European legal systems, the debate of their relevance and explanatory capacity beyond the European context is recent. By bringing together these diverse analytical tools and enabling a comparison of their insights through Asian empirical case studies, this book makes an invaluable contribution to the debates concerning legal change and the methods by which it is analysed globally, and within Asia.
The Financial Crisis in Constitutional Perspective
This volume presents the first thorough sociologically-informed legal analysis of the financial crisis which unfolded in 2008. It combines a multitude of theoretically informed analyses of the causes, dynamics and reactions to the crisis and contextualises these within the general structural transformations characterising contemporary society. It furthermore explores the constitutional implications of the crisis and suggests concrete changes to the constitutional set-up of contemporary society. Although the question of individual responsibility is of crucial importance, the central idea animating the volume is that the crisis cannot be reduced to a mere failure of risk perception and management for which individual and collective actors within and outside of financial organisations are responsible. The 2008 crisis should rather be understood as a symptom of far deeper structural transformations. For example contemporary society is characterised by massive accelerations in the speed with which societal processes are reproduced as well as radical expansions in the level of globalisation. These transformations have, however, been asymmetrical in nature insofar as the economic system has outpaced its legal and political counterparts. The future capability of legal and political systems to influence economic reproduction processes is therefore conditioned by equally radical transformations of their respective operational forms and self-understanding. Potentially the 2008 crisis, therefore, has far-reaching constitutional implications.
Mistakes in Contract Law
It is a matter of some difficulty for the English lawyer to predict the effect of a misapprehension upon the formation of a contract. The common law doctrine of mistake is a confused one, with contradictory theoretical underpinnings and seemingly irreconcilable cases. This book explains the common law doctrine through an examination of the historical development of the doctrine in English law. Beginning with an overview of contractual mistakes in Roman law, the book examines how theories of mistake were received at various points into English contract law from Roman and civil law sources. These transplants, made for pragmatic rather than principled reasons, combined in an uneasy manner with the pre-existing English contract law. The book also examines the substantive changes brought about in contractual mistake by the Judicature Act 1873 and the fusion of law and equity. Through its historical examination of mistake in contract law, the book provides not only insights into the nature of innovation and continuity within the common law but also the fate of legal transplants.