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Nikolina Katić, Matea Bašić and Morana Briški

Abstract

Right of access to a court, enshrined in Article 6 § 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms forms one of the basis for reinforcement of the principle of rule of law. However, the right of access to a court may be limited by provisions of national legislation regulating the functioning of the judicial system and rules of judicial procedure. The higher the hierarchy of the court, the more limits may be placed on the right of access to it. The aim of this article is to examine the different modalities of organisation of supreme judiciaries in European countries (members of the Council of Europe) and mechanisms established in national legislation for filtering applications to those jurisdictions in civil cases, in light of the principles set forth in that regard by the ever evolving case-law of the European Court of Human Rights, and the effects of its judgments and decisions on national legal systems.

Open access

Tanel Kerikmäe, Thomas Hoffmann and Archil Chochia

Abstract

The business model of many law firms, as legal professions on the whole, will be facing a considerable paradigm change since the work provided by law firms in the form of billable hours, in fact, largely consists of services which do not require superior legal education but involve mere data procession. It is only a question of time that the consequence – to have all outsourceable services be performed by means of legal technology – will become public knowledge in the branch, as the costs saved by the usage of legal technology are considerable. Legal technology, or Legal Tech, in this context represents a broad range of solutions that affect both lawyers and clients on various levels. However, the discourse on automatisation of law has been scant and sporadic. This paper aims to shed some light on the current operating technical solutions for innovation with the primary aim of explicating the different aims and levels of development of different legal technologies.

Open access

Gazmend Qorraj and Gezim Jusufi

Abstract

The role of the European Union (EU) trade liberalisation with the four Western Balkan countres — namely Kosovo, Montenegro, Albania, and Macedonia — is overestimated, as major benefits could be expected mainly from institutional reforms rather than trade creation and economic perspective due to low economic development and a lack of comparative advantages in these countries1. The core issue to be addressed in this article is whether these firms can exploit the opportunities arising from the EU integration process. The aim of this article is to confirm the hypothesis that the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) and trade agreements in the Western Balkans are not sufficient pre-conditions for successful performance and increase of exports by local firms; the main focus should be on the internal performance of firms. The paper analyses and compares the data collected by surveys conducted with local firms in Kosovo in order to measure the impact of the SAA. Finally, the article suggests that in the short and medium run the SAA could support and improve the quality of products, technical standards, and firm competitiveness as a pre-condition for better access to the EU market in the long run.

Open access

Stefan Andonovski

Abstract

In regions troubled by ethnic based conflict violence often erupts abruptly and severely. Peacemakers, then, follow unconditional paths to prevent conflict escalation. The article analyzes the ways in which post-conflict constitutional designs shape the state structure through constitutional amendments. Peace agreements as bases for constitutional reform, the article claims, have reformatory but also obstructive implications. Seeing the Ohrid Framework Agreement as a case study, the paper analyzes its implications on the development of the political system in Macedonia. On one side OFA serves as a criterion for the Macedonian Euro-Atlantic integration and a driving force for the creation of a functioning multicultural society. On the other side, the procedural and substantive flaws of the agreement undermine its absorbability in the society. In procedural sense, OFA hindered its own implementation through the used terminology and the drafting process. In substantial sense, agreement’s goals and provisions reached beyond the purpose of peace agreements and underestimated the complexity of the conflicting issues at stake.

Open access

Sead Turčalo and Ado Kulović

Abstract

This research is premised on two theoretical constructs: that maps do not objectively depict space and that traditional cartography produces a geopolitical narrative. The research aim is to investigate geopolitical influence in modern, digital representations of space, and vice versa. This paper is divided into three parts: In the first, the digital representation of space is introduced and explained, and two widely acknowledged digital cartographic services are established as the empirical foundation of the research – Google (Google Maps and Google Earth), designed by cartographic and geo-data professionals, and OpenStreetMap, built through crowdsourcing. In the second part, the geopolitical features of traditional cartography are discussed in the context of digital mapping, including ethnocentricity and hierarchical representations of space, similarities to geopolitische karte, and “minor geopolitics.” The final part asks and answers a key question about geopolitical subjectivity: “Who benefits from the geopolitical narratives in digital representations of space?”

Open access

Talknice Saungweme and Nicholas M. Odhiambo

Abstract

The main goal of this paper is to discuss the dynamics of public debt servicing – both domestic and foreign – in Zambia, tracing the trends, reforms and challenges over the period from 1964 to 2015. The paper shows that the exceptional rise in public debt servicing obligations in Zambia over the period under review has been principally due to high domestic and foreign interest rates, frequent debt rescheduling at commercial rates, and capitalisation of non-liquidated service obligations at commercial rates. Also revealed in the paper is the fact that prior to 2005, Zambia experienced severe public debt servicing problems which eased after 2006 owing to debt relief initiatives and an economic rebound. Among the government debt service reforms discussed in the paper are structural adjustments in foreign exchange management, fiscal and monetary reforms, and aggressive engagement of traditional creditors. Primary among the identified challenges of public debt servicing in Zambia was the insistent economic crises that dogged the country during the study period. Notwithstanding the current public debt service sustainability and remarkable economic performance that characterise the country today, the paper found that the recent contraction of nonconcessional loans by the state poses a threat to debt service sustainability in future. Hence, the paper recommends, among other things, for aligning of public sector infrastructure spending with revenues to ensure budget sustainability, and to continue diversifying the economy to minimise the impact of external commodity price shocks on the economy.

Open access

Federica Mogherini

Open access

Paolo Ponzano

Open access

Michel Theys