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Are Pain and Suffering Awards (Un-)Predictable? Evidence from Germany

Abstract

This paper assesses the widely held belief that damages for pain and suffering are random or arbitrary. In detail, we investigate whether damages for pain and suffering are systematically affected by individual-, injury- and procedural-specific characteristics and how important these factors are relative to each other. To uncover the predictability of these awards, we rely on a sample of German damages for pain and suffering awards including 2.244 verdicts. By estimating a standard regression model we observe that final awards are systematically influenced by the injury’s conditions, by the court level the case is brought in and by the engagement of a lawyer. Our findings let us conclude that damages for pain and suffering and the respective assessment process within the German judicial system are largely reasonable and transparent rather than random.

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The Centre of Government as the Coordination Point for the Implementation of General Legal Rules

Abstract

This paper aims to establish a degree of existence of Hayek’s idea of governmental assembly in the Centre of Government (CoG), which is not only the technical, administrative support for the Prime Minister but has also a regulatory-coordinative, policy role. This paper’s focus is on CoG that is along with the classical tasks of the Prime Minister’s cabinet dedicated to systemic performance. Having this in mind a request was sent by the National Council of the Republic of Slovenia to other parliaments of the EU member states and Switzerland through the ECPRD net to gain information on the effectiveness of national CoGs and/or Prime Minister’s cabinets vis-à-vis their systemic arrangement. Results show the presence of effectiveness, efficiency, economy, and ethics of legislation in countries, but they are not systemic in the eyes of system theory. Countries need to strengthen the inter-agency collaboration, systemic assessment of the effectiveness of general decisions in the real-time dimension, they need to check the relevancy of agency’s reasons for a draft bill, there could be some performance indicators and possibilities to measure citizen satisfaction.

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Damages for Personal Injuries – in Labour and Service Law

Abstract

The contribution will be devoted to the comparison of damages for non-proprietary loss in public and private sphere. The regulation of service relationship will be analysed in public area, in private area the legal regulation of health injuries in labour law. The aim of the contribution will be a critical analysis of the current state of legal regulation and the proposal de lege ferenda (approximation with labour law). The addressed question is of a fundamental importance for the area of public finances, the functioning of the public area and the enforcement of the rule of law. The historical-comparative method will be used. Particular attention will be paid to the transfer of damages for personal injury to the heir – while in service relationship, such claims terminate (not transferred to the heir), which was taken from the 1960s legislation. They do not terminate after the death in current private law, if recognized or at least claimed in court. Originally, the regulation of damages in public and private law was comparable; however, after the modernization of the private law (2012/14), the protection of persons in service and their relatives becomes weaker, even though it has traditionally been contrary to it in most institutes. Different legal regulations in labour and service law are baseless in the case of damages. The authors propose to modernize the relevant laws, to bring them closer to the Labour Code, both in the possibility of a reasonable increase in damages and in the transfer of damages for pain and diminished social function to the heir.

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Intelligence Information within Criminal Proceedings

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to study the possibility of using intelligence in criminal proceedings in the Slovak Republic. The author examines the current legislation related to the examined issue in the context of criminal procedural law. The aim of the study is to analyze and justify the possibility of using intelligence in criminal proceedings, especially in the taking of evidence. In the context of the current security challenges, this is a serious issue which is currently relatively little developed in theory. The author concluded that the use of intelligence information is possible and applied in criminal proceedings in the Slovak Republic. This is justified by the specific provisions of the legislation in force and by the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights. In this context, it can be expected that the importance of intelligence in criminal proceedings will increase.

Open access
Transparency in Public Procurement – the Case of Slovenia

Abstract

Public procurement is one of the key points of contact between public administration and the economy, while the amount of public resources is a possible source of conflict of interest and corruption. The article aims to contribute to improvements in public procurement legislation and practice. The article examines the practice of supervisory bodies and assesses the frequency of violations of the principle of transparency. The main findings of the article are that over the years of application of the Public Procurement Act in versions ZJN-2 and ZJN-3, the number of violations of the basic principle of transparency increased – the most frequent violations concerning discriminatory criteria set by the contracting authorities and their implementation in the selection phase – and that local municipal bodies violated the principle of transparency more often than state bodies.

Open access
Agricultural Soil and Agricultural Land – Problems and Challenges from the View of Legal Regulation

Abstract

At present, the issue of agricultural land protection resonates in a wide range of scientific disciplines. Individual approaches to the subject are in line with the relevant field, but the basis should always be grounded in the current legislation. The paper is a technical description focused on identification of the basic terms, relations, problems, goals and challenges and possible legal or legislative solutions of the physical protection of the agricultural soil and the legal protection of the agricultural land as an object of legal relations in the Slovak Republic. Achievement the goals and their legal realisation is possible only if certain legal obstacles are resolved on the national level and level of European Union. This paper represents a basic analysis, which can possibly serve as a support for an attempt to resolve the defined problems by the legislative means.

Open access
Farmland as a “Common”? Two Case Studies Regarding Sustainable Farming in Northern Italy

Abstract

Eco-sustainable and ethical farming initiatives arising from civil society have had an increasing popularity all over the world in recent decades, and Italy is no exception to this trend. This contribution is aimed at presenting two significant case studies from this country concerning sustainable and ethical farming, one of which is a uniquely Italian experience. What I argue is that it is possible to see the main features of the theory of the so-called “environmental commons” as the ethical-legal basis in the background of these initiatives. Through a sort of inductive approach of research, the examination of the two case studies offers the possibility to propose a more general inquiry, i.e. to question whether and how these experiences can be expressive of a new conception of farmland, which can be labeled as “farmland as a common”.

Open access
The Notion of the European Union Trademark

Abstract

The EU trademark law has recorded the important changes in the last years. The Community trademark in the past and the EU trademark at the present have become very popular legal measures not only in the EU Member States but also in the third countries. Its preferences are increasing year to year. The EU trademark may consist of a sign that fulfils two main attributes. Firstly, there is a distinctive character. Secondly, there is a capability of being represented on the Register of the EU trademarks. The second attribute is new and replaced the previous attribute - capability of being represented graphically. The interpretation of the above mentioned attributes is not possible without the judgements of the Court of Justice of the European Union. It is necessary to take into account the kind of trademark, list of the goods and services, which should be signed by the trademark, and its perception by the public. The paper includes the main judgements of the Court of Justice of the European Union related to the interpretation of the sign that may be registered as the EU trademark. They are very helpful in the application practice of the European Union Intellectual Property Office and the national offices of the intellectual property as well.

Open access
Obstacles in Implementation of the Right to Water

Abstract

The paper discusses the right to water as an integral part of a third generation rights in terms of its feasibility. The author tries to point out the need of participation of the private sector in solutions for effective elimination of indisputable humanitarian crisis in the world caused by scarcity of the clean water and most importantly by inadequate access to clean water sources. A long time struggle towards fighting poverty and ensuring basic need for life only by means of official authorities proves that despite indisputable political and normative progress, states consistently fail in meeting demands of implementation. Therefore the author emphasizes the necessity of cooperative action of a private sector and public sector stemming into a participative solution.

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Rural Landscape Development Policy in Poland – Some Aspects of Sustainability

Abstract

In the recent years, when it comes to topics concerning rural areas and agriculture, sustainability has become a key term resonating in the political, economical, social and environmental discussions. These issues are discussed across the globe and Poland is not an exception. There are many features that have impact on sustainability. Among others it is situation in agricultural production, employment in agriculture, access to the land and situation at the land market, aspects of the environmental protection or the administrative structure of the country. Therefore, the main objective of the presented paper is to a comprehensive summary of different aspects influencing rural development in Poland with an emphasis on sustainability. Based on the conducted analysis it can be stated that even though many positive changes have been implemented in the Polish reality, there are still many issues with need to be urgently addressed.

Open access