The article analyses the peculiarities of the regulation of Class Action institution in the civil proceedings of Lithuania and Poland. Due to its limited scope, this article investigates the civil proceedings in the first instance courts only. The authors draw a special focus on the comparative analysis and the analysis of the effectiveness of the procedure in the current regulation by investigating both the doctrine and the available limited case law. The subject of considerations are problems relating both to the admissibility of filing a class action, as well as the course of court proceedings in cases concerning group proceedings, with particular emphasis on their differences from other procedural structures in Poland and Lithuania.
Serbia (as well as other countries of the Western Balkan region) recently adopted the new General Administrative Procedure Act (gapa). The drafting and adoption process was strongly influenced by the European Union and its experts from the sigma organization. The paper first analyzes the novelties introduced and improvements made under European influence. The authors then go on to analyze deficiencies of European influence in the drafting process. Two main shortcomings thereof were the false deregulation and debureaucratization of gapa and the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach applied in all the countries of the Western Balkan region, in spite of inherent differences in their legal systems. The purpose of the criticism given in the paper is to avoid the same issues in the future, during the process of harmonization of Serbian law with the acquis communautaire.
There is a great deal of legislation that has been adopted by the European Union which, in one way or another, aims at ensuring equal opportunities and a good work–life balance. One specific issue in this area relates to childcare leave. In practice, providing for equal opportunities has meant enabling women to integrate into the labor market, to advance their careers, and to have more guarantees and rights at work. In reality, thus far these measures have not been effective enough. The new Directive (EU) 2019/1158 on work–life balance for parents and carers, adopted on 20 June 2019, seeks to increase the take-up of family-related leave and flexible working arrangements by men (fathers). The purpose of this article is to assess what effects this new EU directive will have upon Lithuanian law in this area.
Little is known about the motives of lawyers who provide free legal assistance in countries that lack both a developed professional community and developed institutions related to the rule of law. Based on a survey of 3,317 criminal defense lawyers (advokaty) in 35 regions of Russia, we analyze the provision of two types of free legal services: participation in legal proceedings “on appointment” (po naznacheniyu) and the provision of pro bono legal assistance. We show that work on appointment usually involves lawyers with low social capital and a lack of regular clients. In contrast, pro bono legal assistance is encouraged by lawyers’ organizations. It is typically provided by professionals with a high level of social capital and with values aimed at maintaining an excellent professional reputation. We conclude that the provision of free legal services might best be stimulated within the professional community rather than by the government.
This paper addresses the boundaries on restrictions of human rights imposed by the proportionality principle, examines the elements of the structure of this principle, and attempts to present the meaning of its elements consistently in terms of the potential for the protection of fundamental rights that are subject to restrictions. The main criticisms of some proportionality tests are considered, as well as ways to minimize the risks associated with the use of proportionality. These theoretical considerations are placed in the context of the jurisprudence of the Russian Constitutional Court, to demonstrate that the Court, instead of consistently applying proportionality tests, often draws generalized conclusions regarding the proportionality (or disproportionality) of restrictions and therefore tends to heighten some of the risks of applying the principle. One can observe some positive changes in the application of the principle, and in further requests for this. Conclusions are formulated concerning the improvement of the Court’s activities in terms of a more consistent and structured implementation of the principle of proportionality.
This paper discusses the Hungarian constitutionalism and the emergency model which can be called an ‘autocratic’ emergency model in which the government’s main aim is to create an emergency regime without real threat. That was the case in Hungary before 2020, but as the new coronavirus flourished the Hungarian constitutionalism and the rule of law withered. As the article asserts the declaration of the state of danger was unconstitutional because human epidemic is not involved in the listing of the constitution. The constitutional concerns have become even more complicated after the acceptance of the “Enabling Act” which gave unconstrained power for the Government. The spirit of Carl Schmitt’s theory is again emerged. As the coronavirus and its immediate effect necessitated extra-legal measures, the threshold between the rule of law and exceptionalism was fading swiftly and legal constitutionalism became a pleasant memory.
The precise form of internalization of the provisions of the Council of Europe’s Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities in domestic law is crucial in ensuring its long-term effectiveness. Experiences in the Western Balkans raise important questions about the role of minority (or community) rights legislation in deeply divided societies. This article uses the case-studies of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and the Republic of North Macedonia to highlight key themes and limitations that have emerged. Comparative analysis reveals a surprising divergence of approaches to internalization in the region. The article further demonstrates that the ‘nation-cum-state paradigm’ remains prevalent, despite the premise of universality. It argues that such legislation can play an important symbolic and practical role, but that legal internalization needs to be seen as an ongoing process. It concludes that attention needs to be given to ensuring the continued particularization and adaptation of such legislation in light of both the limitations and changing circumstances, providing a key lesson also for other divided societies.