This special issue develops a contextual analysis of EU inter-parliamentary cooperation in the post Lisbon Treaty framework. Indeed, it is possible to claim that there are several sources and causes for renewed EU inter-parliamentary cooperation: first, a voluntary one, i.e. the connection with the Lisbon Treaty’s intent to facilitate a wider democratisation objective; second, this time more a reaction than an initiative, the need to counterbalance the institutional outcomes of the economic and financial crisis that shook the world but particularly the eurozone; and, third, the call for an improvement in existing rules and mechanisms to develop even further democratic (read: parliamentary) input in common policies.
The special issue analyses whether current inter-parliamentary mechanisms are suited to react to these challenges. It specifically assesses the practical impact of interparliamentary cooperation on the numerous democratic gaps that still exist in the EU's multi-layered decision-making process. Its objective is to show, beyond the mere sharing of information and the comparison of best practices at a supranational and transnational level, whether existing inter-parliamentary practices contribute to joint parliamentary scrutiny by involving both the EP and the national parliaments of EU member states.
. Available at: http://www.politis-news.com/cgibin/hweb?-A=315626&-V=articles .
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Lupo Nicola, 2017
Since it was passed, the Clarity Act has been at the core of any secessionist debate in Canada and abroad. Although contested at home, the Clarity Act has earned worldwide prestige as the democratic standard that must be observed when a secessionist debate arises. In the last fifteen years Spain has experienced successive debates about the need to establish a mechanism of popular consultation to address secessionist claims in the Basque Country and Catalonia. Most political actors in favour of such consultations have expressed their will to import the Canadian Clarity Act as a tool to settle disputes on how to conduct a referendum. However, this deification of the Canadian example is, for the most part, based on a misreading of the Secession Reference, only taking into account certain passages while ignoring others. The emphasis tends to be made on the quantitative clear majority test, disregarding other factors. Hence, the aim of this paper is to study the causes of this deification of the Clarity Act in Spain, and its influence on the treatment of secessionist claims that the country is currently experiencing.
In constitutional theory, the referendum is an instrument that allows for the expression of the popular will in government decisions and through which people are asked to vote directly on an issue or policy. Over the last decades, the referendum has been the instrument used by minority groups to claim their independence supported by popular will. This paper examines trends in constitutional jurisprudence on the issue of independence referendums. The birth of this constitutional trend can be found in the 1998 decision by the Supreme Court of Canada in the Reference Re Secession of Quebec. The principles developed therein have been further explored in two recent cases, issued by the Italian Constitutional), and by the Spanish Constitutional Tribunal in the latest decision of the Catalonia saga (Judgment no. 114/2017).
This paper will deal with EU competence over patent law, especially in the context of the TRIPS Agreement with reference to the ruling of CJEU in the Daiichi Sankyo case (CJEU case C-414/11 Daiichi Sankyo v DEMO Anonimos). The first part will explain the process of claiming patents at the national as well as the European level in order to understand the complexity of patent law, the second part will deal with the implications of jurisdiction and developments in EU patent regulations, the third part will deal with the effects of EU competence over the TRIPS patent provisions and the forth part will deal with the interpretation of substantive patent law in the light of the Daiichi Sankyo case.
This paper presents the Swiss Ständerat as a model of perfect bicameralism. It looks at the constitutional design of the second Chamber, examines the evolution of the Ständerat and critically assesses its current functioning. The author claims that the Swiss Federal Assembly is still based on almost perfect bicameralism but that the second Chamber only very imperfectly represents the regions. Having highlighted the current role and justification of the second Chamber, the paper will raise the question whether the Ständerat fulfils other useful functions justifying its existence. Does the sheer fact of having two differently composed Chambers prevent capricious and precipitous decision-making? The paper then turns to alternative mechanisms of representing regions at the federal level, briefly looks at other mechanisms available to Cantons to make their voices heard in the capital and presents the House of the Cantons as an evolving third Chamber complementing the Ständerat.
European Union, and criminal, laws had been interacting in many ways even before explicit competence in criminal matters was acquired by the Union in the Treaty of Maastricht. Such intersections between supranational and national provisions have frequently been handled by the CJEU. In the main, the intervention of the Court is triggered by Member States’ recourse to penal sanctions in situations covered by EU law. In such cases, the CJEU is called upon to strike a complicated balance: it has to deal with Member States’ claims of competence in criminal law, whilst ensuring that that power is used consistently with EU law. By making reference to selected cases, this paper highlights the impact that principles established in the context of the fundamental freedoms can have on EU criminal law.