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Access to legal remedies for victims of corporate human rights abuses in third countries

01-02-2019

European-based multinational corporations can cause or be complicit in human rights abuses in third countries. Victims of corporate human rights abuses frequently face many hurdles when attempting to hold corporations to account in their own country. Against this backdrop, judicial mechanisms have increasingly been relied on to bring legal proceedings in the home States of the corporations. This study attempts to map out all relevant cases (35 in total) filed in Member States of the European Union ...

European-based multinational corporations can cause or be complicit in human rights abuses in third countries. Victims of corporate human rights abuses frequently face many hurdles when attempting to hold corporations to account in their own country. Against this backdrop, judicial mechanisms have increasingly been relied on to bring legal proceedings in the home States of the corporations. This study attempts to map out all relevant cases (35 in total) filed in Member States of the European Union on the basis of alleged corporate human rights abuses in third countries. It also provides an in-depth analysis of 12 cases and identifies various obstacles (legal, procedural and practical) faced by claimants in accessing legal remedy. On the basis of these findings, it makes a number of recommendations to the EU institutions in order to improve access to legal remedies in the EU for victims of human rights abuses by European based companies in third countries.

Externe Autor

Dr. Axel Marx, Dr. Claire Bright, Prof. Dr. Jan Wouters, Ms. Nina Pineau, Mr. Brecht Lein, Mr. Torbjörn Schiebe, Ms. Johanna Wagner, Ms. Evelien Wauter

Action for damages against the EU

07-12-2018

Most legal systems, both of states and of international organisations, provide for the liability of public administrations for damage done to individuals. This area of the law, known as 'public tort law', varies considerably from country to country, even within the European Union (EU). The EU Treaties have, from the outset, provided for liability of the EU for public torts (wrongs), in the form of action for damages against the EU, now codified in the second and third paragraphs of Article 340 of ...

Most legal systems, both of states and of international organisations, provide for the liability of public administrations for damage done to individuals. This area of the law, known as 'public tort law', varies considerably from country to country, even within the European Union (EU). The EU Treaties have, from the outset, provided for liability of the EU for public torts (wrongs), in the form of action for damages against the EU, now codified in the second and third paragraphs of Article 340 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). However, these rules are notoriously vague and brief, and refer to the 'general principles common to the laws of the Member States' as the source for the rules of EU public tort law. Since the laws of the Member States on public torts differ significantly, the reference has been treated by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) as empowerment to develop EU public tort law in its own case law. The rules developed by the CJEU have been criticised by some academics as being very complex, non-transparent and unpredictable. Experts have also pointed out that the threshold of liability is set so high that actions for damages prove successful in very few cases only. According to the data available, from the establishment of the EU until 2014, the Court only actually granted compensation to applicants in 39 cases. As a result, some scholars have even pointed out that the principle of EU liability for public torts is 'illusory' and that action for damages is not an effective means of protecting fundamental rights. Other academics add that the question of establishing the principles of EU public tort law is not merely a technical issue, but a political one, as it touches upon fundamental questions of distributive justice and the form of government in the Union, and therefore should be the subject of democratic debate. This Briefing is one in a series aimed at explaining the activities of the CJEU.

The Future Relationship between the UK and the EU following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU in the field of family law

23-10-2018

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the Committee on Legal Affairs, explores the possible legal scenarios of judicial cooperation between the EU and the UK at both the stage of the withdrawal and of the future relationship in the area of family law, covering the developments up until 5 October 2018. More specifically, it assesses the advantages and disadvantages of the various options for what should ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the Committee on Legal Affairs, explores the possible legal scenarios of judicial cooperation between the EU and the UK at both the stage of the withdrawal and of the future relationship in the area of family law, covering the developments up until 5 October 2018. More specifically, it assesses the advantages and disadvantages of the various options for what should happen to family law cooperation after Brexit in terms of legal certainty, effectiveness and coherence. It also reflects on the possible impact of the departure of the UK from the EU on the further development of EU family law. Finally, it offers some policy recommendations on the topics under examination.

Externe Autor

Marta REQUEJO ISIDRO, Senior Research Fellow, Max Planck Institute Luxembourg/Altair Asesores, Tim AMOS, Barrister, Collaborative Lawyer and Resolution Mediator/Altair Asesores, United Kingdom Pedro Alberto DE MIGUEL ASENSIO, Professor, Complutense University of Madrid/Altair Asesores, Spain Anatol DUTTA, Professor, Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich/Altair Asesores Mark HARPER, Partner at Hughes Fowler Carruthers, Academy Court, United Kingdom/Altair Asesores

Neufassung der Brüssel-IIa-Verordnung

10-01-2018

Am 21. November 2017 nahm der Rechtsausschuss des Parlaments seinen Bericht über den Vorschlag der Kommission für eine Neufassung der Brüssel-IIa-Verordnung betreffend den „freien Verkehr“ von Entscheidungen in Familienangelegenheiten, die keine Ehesachen sind, an. Da ein besonderes Gesetzgebungsverfahren befolgt wird, wird das Europäische Parlament lediglich konsultiert. Es soll bei seiner Plenartagung im Januar darüber abstimmen.

Am 21. November 2017 nahm der Rechtsausschuss des Parlaments seinen Bericht über den Vorschlag der Kommission für eine Neufassung der Brüssel-IIa-Verordnung betreffend den „freien Verkehr“ von Entscheidungen in Familienangelegenheiten, die keine Ehesachen sind, an. Da ein besonderes Gesetzgebungsverfahren befolgt wird, wird das Europäische Parlament lediglich konsultiert. Es soll bei seiner Plenartagung im Januar darüber abstimmen.

The state of implementation of the EU Succession Regulation’s provisions on public policy’s exception, universal application and renvoi, the European Certificate of Succession and access to registers

20-11-2017

This briefing, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs, provides an assessment of the state of implementation of the EU Regulation on cross-border succession with a view to determining whether it is fulfilling its goal of ensuring legal certainty, predictability and simplification for citizens. It focusses, in particular, on the provisions on public policy’s exception, universal application, renvoi and on the European Certificate ...

This briefing, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs, provides an assessment of the state of implementation of the EU Regulation on cross-border succession with a view to determining whether it is fulfilling its goal of ensuring legal certainty, predictability and simplification for citizens. It focusses, in particular, on the provisions on public policy’s exception, universal application, renvoi and on the European Certificate of Succession.

Externe Autor

Isidoro Antonio Calvo Vidal, Civil Law Notary, Doctor in Law

The state of implementation of the EU Succession Regulation’s provisions on its scope, applicable law, freedom of choice, and parallelism between the law and the courts

20-11-2017

This briefing, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs, provides an assessment of the state of implementation of the EU Regulation on cross-border succession with a view to determining whether it is fulfilling its goal of ensuring legal certainty, predictability and simplification for citizens. It focusses, in particular, on the provisions on the scope, applicable law, party autonomy and parallelism between forum and jus.

This briefing, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs, provides an assessment of the state of implementation of the EU Regulation on cross-border succession with a view to determining whether it is fulfilling its goal of ensuring legal certainty, predictability and simplification for citizens. It focusses, in particular, on the provisions on the scope, applicable law, party autonomy and parallelism between forum and jus.

Externe Autor

François Trémosa, notary in Toulouse, France

Legal Proceedings available to Individuals before the Highest Courts: A Comparative Law Perspective - Canada

06-10-2017

This study is part of a wider project seeking to investigate, from a comparative law perspective, judicial proceedings available to individuals before the highest courts of different states, and before certain international courts. The aim of this study is to examine the various judicial proceedings available to individuals in Canadian law, and in particular before the Supreme Court of Canada. To this end, the text is divided into five parts. The introduction provides an overview of Canadian constitutional ...

This study is part of a wider project seeking to investigate, from a comparative law perspective, judicial proceedings available to individuals before the highest courts of different states, and before certain international courts. The aim of this study is to examine the various judicial proceedings available to individuals in Canadian law, and in particular before the Supreme Court of Canada. To this end, the text is divided into five parts. The introduction provides an overview of Canadian constitutional history, which explains the coexistence of rights derived from several legal traditions. It then introduces the federal system, the origins of constitutional review, as well as the court structure (I). As Canada practises a ‘diffuse’ (or ‘decentralized’) constitutional review process, the second part deals with the different types of proceedings available to individuals in matters of constitutional justice before both administrative and judicial courts, while highlighting proceedings available before the Supreme Court of Canada (II). This is followed by an examination of the constitutional and legal sources of individual — and in some cases collective — rights (III), as well as the means developed by the judiciary, the legislative, and the executive branches to ensure the effective judicial protection of rights (IV). The conclusion assesses the effectiveness of proceedings available to individuals in matters of ‘constitutional justice’. Essentially, while Canadian citizens benefit from a wide range of rights and proceedings, access to the country’s Supreme Court is restricted due to the limited number of cases the Court chooses to hear every year. More generally, access to justice continues to pose real challenges in Canada. This is not due to judicial failings or a lack of sources of rights per se, but rather to lengthy judicial delays and the often enormous costs of proceedings.

Externe Autor

EPRS, Comparative Law

Errichtung der Europäischen Staatsanwaltschaft

28-09-2017

Voraussichtlich wird das Europäische Parlament im Verlauf seiner ersten Plenartagung im Oktober darüber abstimmen, ob es seine Zustimmung zu der vorgeschlagenen Verordnung über die Europäische Staatsanwaltschaft (EUStA) erteilt, auf die sich 20 Mitgliedstaaten im Juni 2017 im Rahmen der Verstärkten Zusammenarbeit verständigt haben.

Voraussichtlich wird das Europäische Parlament im Verlauf seiner ersten Plenartagung im Oktober darüber abstimmen, ob es seine Zustimmung zu der vorgeschlagenen Verordnung über die Europäische Staatsanwaltschaft (EUStA) erteilt, auf die sich 20 Mitgliedstaaten im Juni 2017 im Rahmen der Verstärkten Zusammenarbeit verständigt haben.

Gemeinsame Mindeststandards von Zivilverfahren

27-06-2017

Seit 2015 müssen die Mitgliedstaaten die meisten Zivilurteile aus anderen EU-Ländern ohne eine Überprüfung des jeweiligen Inhalts akzeptieren (Abschaffung der Exequatur). Daher kamen Bedenken auf, ob sichergestellt werden muss, dass Zivilverfahren EU-weit gemeinsamen Mindeststandards entsprechen. Das Europäische Parlament soll im Juli über einen Bericht abstimmen, in dem die Kommission aufgefordert wird, einen Vorschlag für eine Richtlinie über solche Standards vorzulegen, die ein erster Schritt ...

Seit 2015 müssen die Mitgliedstaaten die meisten Zivilurteile aus anderen EU-Ländern ohne eine Überprüfung des jeweiligen Inhalts akzeptieren (Abschaffung der Exequatur). Daher kamen Bedenken auf, ob sichergestellt werden muss, dass Zivilverfahren EU-weit gemeinsamen Mindeststandards entsprechen. Das Europäische Parlament soll im Juli über einen Bericht abstimmen, in dem die Kommission aufgefordert wird, einen Vorschlag für eine Richtlinie über solche Standards vorzulegen, die ein erster Schritt auf dem Weg zu einer Europäischen Zivilprozessordnung sein könnte.

International Criminal Court at 15: International justice and the crisis of multilateralism

10-05-2017

The establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on 1 July 2002 was heralded at the time as a major breakthrough for ending impunity for most serious crimes of international concern, namely genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Fifteen years later, the record of the Court is mixed and criticism from both supporters and opponents has abounded. The challenges and the criticism it is currently facing are typical of many other multilateral institutions today. The Court has conducted ...

The establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on 1 July 2002 was heralded at the time as a major breakthrough for ending impunity for most serious crimes of international concern, namely genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Fifteen years later, the record of the Court is mixed and criticism from both supporters and opponents has abounded. The challenges and the criticism it is currently facing are typical of many other multilateral institutions today. The Court has conducted investigations and trials on some of the world's most brutal conflicts, but it has faced criticism that it was politicised and biased against the African continent. The atrocities committed by groups such as ISIL/Da'esh have unveiled the ICC's limitations, since it is unable to investigate in Syria and Iraq, which are not parties to the Rome Statute, without UN Security Council authorisation. As a multilateral institution with universal ambitions, the Court is also limited in its effectiveness by the refusal of major powers such as the US, China and Russia to join it. Lack of cooperation by some states parties has also severely constrained its effectiveness. Yet the Court has had positive effects on the capacity of some states to deal themselves with crimes under their jurisdiction. The Court has taken its role seriously, not shying away from indicting persons of the highest rank, such as heads of state, and proving that it is committed to the principle of universal responsibility. Shortcomings in the prosecutorial investigations, for example in relation to witness interference and protection, have been addressed in a transparent and firm way.

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