This paper analyses the use of the rule-of-law principle in the jurisprudence of the constitutional courts of the new Member States of the European Union. The purpose is to discover whether past or recent decisions could clarify the use of the principle in these countries. An example is the legalistic concept of the rule of law as expressed by the Hungarian and Polish constitutional courts in examining the constitutionality of lustration laws. On the other hand, some constitutional courts (such as the Czech one) have used a wider and more sophisticated application of the rule of law. Considering the severe rule-of-law crisis which has been taking place in Hungary and Poland in recent years, this recognition is particularly important in order to avoid cumulative judgments that could devalue the former communist countries in general, trivializing the harsh path of democratic conditionality with its strengths and weaknesses.
Angela Di Gregorio
This article discusses the need, preconditions and possibilities for modifying the constitutionally consolidated regulation whereby the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania gives conclusions on the issues specified in the Constitution while, on the basis of its conclusions, the Seimas takes a final decision; in addition, the discussion looks at other issues that have emerged in the course of the lately adjudicated cases of the type in question and necessitate the modification of the consolidated legal regulation. These issues are examined in the context of powers conferred on constitutional justice institutions in other Central and Eastern European states, with a view to comparing the scope of powers vested with constitutional justice institutions in Lithuania and other states of this region in the area under discussion.
This article examines the proposed amendment to the Third Gas Directive, which extends the applicability of the core principles of EU energy legislation to import pipelines from third countries within EU territory. The article describes the potential impacts of this amendment, in particular regarding the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, and why this amendment can be considered a “Lex Nord Stream 2”. Furthermore, the article gives an overview of the applicable primary and secondary legislation and core principles of EU energy law.
The political discourse on regulation of extreme speech in Central Europe has shifted in favor of militant democracy, an approach which supports enhanced criminal law restrictions on speech. Developing the conceptual framework of the consequences of militant democracy and applying legal and parliamentary discourse analysis, this article shows whether and how the legal restrictions on extreme speech adopted in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary fulfilled the purpose for which they were adopted. The juxtaposition of justifications for restrictions and their application by judiciaries uncovers how extreme speech became normalized and appeared in more sophisticated forms due to the failure of legal militant democratic measures. Thus, it highlights how without reflecting the contextual specifics in the respective countries, restrictive legal regulation may not achieve the very purpose it was adopted for.
Seeing that a bilateral agreement between the EU and Russia on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project is highly unlikely to be concluded due to political considerations, this paper enquires which existing legal regime is applicable to the governing of this pipeline, especially in order to guarantee solidarity and security within the EU energy market through third-party access and unbundling requirements. The question is whether EU law in general (which the Council denies) or international law applies, and if the latter, which specific regime(s): the Energy Charter Treaty, wto law, the law of the sea, or a combination of regimes? Lastly, this paper also investigates whether and to what extent these international law regimes might guarantee the same solidarity and energy security standards as EU law.
Danita Catherine Burke
The Arctic Council is frequently called a unique forum but, as this article argues, clubs are common in international politics and in many respects the Arctic Council is a club. This article explores the questions: Why are the Arctic states acting like a club in Arctic politics, and how do internal hierarchies influence how clubs make decisions? As the article illustrates, clubs are the stage for club diplomacy and, in club diplomacy, hierarchies play an important role. Using the Arctic Council as an illustrative case study, this article argues that clubs have internal hierarchies that inform their decision-making processes and their responses to challenges to their status. When clubs try to deal with subjects that extend beyond the boundaries of the sovereignty of club members and the parameters of club membership, club members may suffer from a lack of status and legitimacy to unilaterally deal with the subject.
How Rising Authoritarianism Limits Democratic Control over International Institutions
Eugenia C. Heldt and Henning Schmidtke
Over the past decade, rising authoritarian regimes have begun to challenge the liberal international order. This challenge is particularly pronounced in the field of multilateral development finance, where China and its coalition partners from Brazil, Russia, India, and South Africa have created two new multilateral development banks. This article argues that China and its partners have used the New Development Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to increase their power and to restrict democratic control mechanisms. By comparing formal mechanisms of democratic control in both organizations to the World Bank, this article shows that civil society access, transparency, and accountability are lower at the AIIB and NDB than they are at the World Bank.
Synergies between the Watercourses Convention and the World Bank Policies and Practice
Salman M. A. Salman
Notification of co-riparian states of planned measures on shared watercourses has been widely accepted as an established principle of international water law, and is codified and elaborated in the United Nations Watercourses Convention. However, despite this wide acceptance, issues have arisen in operationalizing notification, and in dealing with the different types of responses that may ensue following notification. The World Bank has been financing projects on international watercourses since its inception in the late 1940s, and has built an extensive wealth of policies and experience in this field. This monograph discusses the historical and legal foundations of notification under international law, analyses the policies and implementation experience of the World Bank thereon, and identifies comparators and synergies between the provisions of the Watercourses Convention and the Bank policies and practice.