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The World Court of Human Rights Feasibility Study

Abstract

The idea of the World Court of Human Rights was first envisioned in 1947 along with other institutions designed to create a system capable of the worldwide protection of individual human rights. The focus of the present study is to determine key issues of the prospective establishment of the World Court by an examination of its theoretical position among the United Nations bodies, regional and another inter-governmental human rights organisation. Analysis of the function and mechanisms of the current international human rights protection system would lead to deliberation on the prospective substantial and procedural competences of the World Court, the enforcement mechanism, jurisdiction and related benefits. The objective of the final part is to discuss challenges regarding its political and legal feasibility. Without the visionaries of the past, there would be no substantial system of human rights today. The World Court of Human Rights is a vision for the future.

Open access
The Danube Dynamics of the Real Estate Transfer Tax

Abstract

The real estate transfer tax was introduced by the Habsburgs in the 19th century and has remained an integral part of the tax system of almost all countries historically belonging to their Danube monarchy. One century after the monarchy’s collapse, their common roots as well as national particularities can be observed. The goal of this paper is to confirm or reject the proposed hypothesis that the real estate transfer tax and its rate in post-Danube monarchy countries reflects more general public policies and preferences than neutral fiscal needs as suggested by GDP, GDP/capita, government debt/GDP, tax revenue/GDP, etc. The critical, genesis reflecting and comparative meta-analysis of the information about the dynamics of the evaluating regimes of the real estate transfer tax leads to the conclusion in the form of the confirmation of the proposed hypothesis, especially regarding the Czech Republic, making real estate transfer tax conceptually more a political than a fiscal instrument and posing a set of Socratic style questions inviting further research.

Open access
Deactivation of Pacemaker: Ethical Approach or Managerial Failure?

Abstract

The decision about the deactivation of a pacemaker must be the result of a multicriteria decision-making process where the legal, ethical and effectiveness aspects must be taken into account and delicately balanced, while also considering the risk of managerial failure. Academic as well as professional discussion is necessary because there is a whole range of question marks on this topic and all the aspects mentioned above. The aim of this paper is to contribute to the debate by presenting the views of Czech physicians about the possibility of deactivation of the pacemaker in patients in terminal states. Based on the results of our research, the following steps are recommended to enable the deactivation of pacemakers in the Czech environment. Before the patient’s own indication of pacemaker therapy, treatment should be discussed with the patient in detail, including complications and deactivation options. Czech ethical consultant services should be set up in Czech hospitals. And last but not least, they should take an opinion on this issue as well as the professional society.

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Removal of Administrative Barriers Through the Recent Procedural Simplifications in Slovenia and Croatia

Abstract

The removal of administrative barriers (RAB) is a constant policy at both European Union (EU) and national levels. Initially, RAB has been seen as a part of economically-driven Regulatory Impact Analysis, while lately a more interdisciplinary approach dominates, through Smart Regulation and Public Administration Reforms programs. Slovenia and Croatia, as »new« EU members, address the respective goals of streamlining mostly by amendments in sector-specific laws. Additionally, there is an open question regarding the implementation of these amendments. The aim of the article is to address the legally set procedural dimensions of red tape reduction in comparative and competitive settings. Hence, this article tackles the topic with analyses of the most recent procedural changes in recent years in selected Slovene and Croatian laws covering key administrative areas relevant for entrepreneurs, based on the World Bank’s Doing Business rank, i.e. the registration of entrepreneurs, tax procedures and the issuing of construction permits. The results reveal that RAB in Slovenia and Croatia still highly lacks a systematic approach, and is mainly focused only normatively and in piecemeal manner. Consequently, we face an implementation gap. This study shows that the Slovene and Croatian examples can also serve as an illustration for other countries on how to improve their RAB policies, among others by introducing the modernisation of the Administrative Procedure Act as a leading administrative simplification measure.

Open access
Substitute Child Care As a Current Problem of Social Care in the Czech Republic

Abstract

In the event of the breakdown of the original family, institutional care has for many decades been the preferred alternative to family substitute care or aid to the original family. The origins of this practice can be traced to the 1950s, when foster families were cancelled by the communist regime and the ideology of collective upbringing triumphed. The objective of this essay is to determine how substitute child care in the Czech Republic has changed in the last ten years. The unfortunate practice of giving preference to institutional care in the event of the breakdown of the original family is changing: between the years 2005-2016 the number of children in institutional facilities for the youngest children (up to three years of age) has decreased by 30%; a similar trend may be observed in older children assigned to institutional or protective care. In contrast, the number of children in foster care has increased by 2.5 times since 2004. In 2016 40% more children lived in all forms of formal family substitute care compared to 2009. The problem remains the fragmented nature of legislation among the various ministries and the inadequate support of families in danger of social exclusion. A disproportionate number of children continue to be placed in substitute care due to non-existent public housing and inadequate networks of outpatient, field, and support services.

Open access
Application of Window Malmquist Index for Examination of Efficiency Change of Czech Commercial Banks

Abstract

The aim of the paper is to apply the Window Malmquist index approach to examine the efficiency change of Czech commercial banks within the period 2004-2013. We used the Data Envelopment Analysis and theWindow Malmquist index approaches to estimate the efficiency change of Czech commercial banks. The average efficiency computed under the assumption of constant returns to scale was 73% and under the assumption of variable returns to scale the value was 83%. We estimated the average positive efficiency growth of Czech commercial banks during the period 2004-2013. We found that average scale efficiency was 88%, which means that Czech commercial banks were of an inappropriate size, especially the largest banks.

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Gaar As Tax Treaty Override – Slovak Perspective

Abstract

The article summarises the views on the interrelation of GAARs and tax treaties, abstracts defining criteria for the feasibility of GAAR as an anti-abuse instrument in tax treaty situations and applies these to the situation (legislation and case law) in the Slovak Republic. The aim of the article is to provide insight on the potential interrelation of GAAR rules with existing tax treaties and formulate policy advice that should be optimal given the facts at hand. It shows that GAAR in its current form would in general have limited effectiveness in tackling tax treaty abuse situations without it resulting in treaty override. This particularly applies to the Slovak Republic and likely to other states applying a monistic approach to international treaties, where the renegotiation of the treaty seems the only viable option. However, as in Slovakia the monist approach applies only to treaties ratified after July 2001, a different approach might be taken with respect to those that are still subject to a dualist approach.

Open access
Transparency in Economic and Political Decision-Making: The Identification of Sunshine Rules for Transparent Lobbying

Abstract

Lobbying transparency seems to have been a challenging topic for nearly a decade. For the purposes of the article, the authors focus on a contextual analysis of rules and measures that offers both a broad as well as comprehensive view of the required transparency of lobbying activities and the environment in which decisions are made. In this regard, focusing on the sunshine principles/sunshine rules (not purely limited to laws) provides a grasp of the whole issue in a broader context. From a methodological point of view, the exploratory approach was chosen and the coding procedure is mostly dichotomous. As a result, seven key areas with 70 indicators have been identified in terms of transparency of lobbying and decision-making.

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Understanding the Different Dimensions of Human Dignity: Analysis of the Decision of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Slovenia on the »Tito Street« Case

Abstract

In 2011, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Slovenia made a historical decision on the ‘Tito street’ case, thereby placing human dignity at the centre of the constitutional order. A few years later, some related doubts not resolved by the Constitutional Court remain. For instance, the Court argues that an exhaustive a priori definition of human dignity is impossible since the notion depends on the development of its historical and ethical substance over time. The question thus arises of why legislation states that human dignity is universal even though it can be perceived as being a product of time and place. In this paper, we strive to answer this question by arguing that human dignity has two dimensions, initial dignity and realised dignity, and interpret the Court’s decision from a new angle. Thereby, the aim of this paper is to build a conceptual framework of human dignity and discuss it from a fresh perspective as well as to prove its applicability by presenting Slovenian constitutional case law. The paper offers significant insights into the discussion and may therefore help to improve future interpretations of human dignity in the field of constitutional case law.

Open access
Okun’s Law in Austria

Abstract

We estimate the classic and the dynamic variant of Okun’s law for the Austrian labor market. We find that, for recent periods, the growth rate necessary to stabilize the unemployment rate equals 2.8 percent. Moreover, we find that the rate has been growing in recent quarters due to the increasing labor force size and the effects of the crisis. The latest prediction of the employment threshold lies above 3 percent, much above forecasted GDP growth up to 2017.

Open access