03 October 2015

Who Owns the World’s Land? 

A global baseline of formally recognized indigenous & community land rights

In recent years, there has been growing attention and effort towards securing the formal, legal recognition of land rights for Indigenous Peoples and local communities. Communities and Indigenous Peoples are estimated to hold as much as 65 percent of the world’s land area under customary systems, yet many governments formally recognize their rights to only a fraction of those lands. This gap—between what is held by communities and what is recognized by governments—is a major driver of conflict, disrupted investments, environmental degradation, climate change, and cultural extinction. While community land rights are garnering greater attention in national and international circles, the actual status and extent of legal recognition has not been well understood. This report seeks to contribute to this field as the first analysis to quantify the amount of land formally recognized by national governments as owned or controlled by Indigenous Peoples and local communities around the world. The study includes data from 64 countries comprising 82 percent of global land area. It builds on the ongoing work of the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) to track ownership and control of the world’s forests, and expands that research to identify lands that are owned and controlled by local communities across all terrestrial ecosystems in the countries studied, including such diverse lands as grasslands in China, taiga in northern Canada, and rainforests in Brazil.

THE RIGHTS AND RESOURCES INITIATIVE RRI is a global coalition of 13 Partners and over 150 international, regional, and community organizations advancing forest tenure, policy, and market reforms. RRI leverages the strategic collaboration and investment of its Partners and Collaborators around the world by working together on research, advocacy, and convening strategic actors to catalyze change on the ground. RRI is coordinated by the Rights and Resources Group, a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit www.rightsandresources.org.

01 October 2015

Western Legal Traditions by Martin Vranken

Western Legal Traditions

A Comparison of Civil Law and Common Law

By Martin Vranken

Federation Press – 2015 – 208 pages
The rule of law constitutes the hallmark of contemporary Western society. However, public perceptions and attitudes to the law can vary in space and time. This book explores legal solutions to selected problem scenarios in their broader historical, economic, political and societal context. The focus is on the legal traditions of civil law and common law.
The book is premised on the assumption - indeed, the conviction - that use of the comparative method both facilitates and promotes a deeper understanding of the society in which we live and the rules by which it is shaped. Major 'threads' that run through the book are the relationship between law and morality, the role of the state in regulating human interaction, as well as the relationship between the state and the individual.
As a practical matter, the text is divided into 3 Parts. A first Part provides various building blocks for a discussion of 'the law in action' in the second and main Part of the book. A final Part addresses the issue of regional globalisation and its impact on the traditional divide between civil law and common law. An Appendix contains the full text of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.
Martin Vranken is a Reader in the Faculty of Law at the University of Melbourne.

24 September 2015

The International Organization for Judicial Training

About the International Organization for Judicial Training 
The International Organization for Judicial Training (IOJT) was established in 2002 in order to promote the rule of law by supporting the work of judicial education institutions around the world. The mission of the IOJT is realized through international and regional conferences and other exchanges that provide opportunities for judges and judicial educators to discuss strategies for establishing and developing training centers, designing effective curricula, developing faculty capacity, and improving teaching methodology.

Journal of the International Organization for Judicial Training

The journal Judicial Education and Training publishes topical articles on the education and training of judges and justice sector professionals around the world. This journal aims to stimulate a community of learning in judicial education by showcasing selected papers presented to the biennial conferences of the International Organization for Judicial Training (IOJT). Additionally, it solicits original research, practical experience, and critical analysis on issues and trends in judicial education. It also provides a medium for informed discussion, the exchange of professional experience, and the development of knowledge in judicial education for a global readership. Contributions are invited from chief justices and senior judges, judicial educators and academic researchers with an interest in this field. Earlier issues of this online journal may be found at: http://www.iojt.org/journal/page~journal.html.

7th IOJT Conference to be Held in Recife, Brazil

November 8-12, 2015

14 September 2015

NEW in Juris Diversitas Series: The Diffusion of Law

The Diffusion of Law

The Movement of Laws and Norms Around the World

  • Edited by Sue Farran, Northumbria Law School, UK, James Gallen, Dublin City University, Ireland, Jennifer Hendry, University of Leeds, UK and Christa Rautenbach, North-West University, South Africa
  • In considering diffusion from a global perspective, this book provides timely new insights into its application in a variety of fields and at many levels of both legal and non-legal orderings. This collection contributes to the wider theoretical debate concerning the movement of law and legal norms by engaging with concrete examples of legal diffusion, in jurisdictions as diverse as Albania, the Czech Republic, Poland and Kuwait. These examples, taken together, provide a comprehensive illustration of the theoretical debates concerning the diffusion of laws and norms in terms of both process and form.

    This international, multi-disciplinary and multi-methodological volume brings together scholars from law and social science with experience in mixed and hybrid jurisdictions, and advances the conversation about legal and normative diffusion across the academy. It represents a robust challenge to many preconceived ideas about legal movement and, as such, will be of interest to academics and students working in the fields of Law, Sociology, Anthropology, Political Science, Legal Education and comparative method.
  • More information on the book

Call for Papers, Human Rights in Translation, St. Louis, March 31--April 1, 2016

"Human Rights in Translation: Intercultural Pathways" conference at Saint Louis University's Center for Intercultural Studies, St. Louis, March 31--April 1, 2016. 
When defining human rights, we often invoke certain beliefs--deemed to be universal--on which such rights are based: dignity inherent to every person, common humanity, and natural state of liberty. However, the norms and values of many cultures are incommensurable, or even incompatible, with these "universal" principles.
One way out of this quandary, rooted in the concept of organic wholeness of humanity, has been to call for a convergence of world cultures around the universal idea of human rights, presumed to be shared by all people at a "deeper" level. The problem with this view is that homogenizing world cultures implies eradicating their diversity, in itself a denial of the right to uphold one's culture. Another solution has been to acknowledge the cultural differences in interpreting human rights, and to treat them as mere variations of the basic, universal set of standards. This approach necessitates drawing a line beyond which the universal would be invalidated by the local, a problematic undertaking at best. Both methods tend to assume timeless universality, and thus run the risk of ahistoricism.
The goal of this conference is to encourage reflection on the intercultural translation of human rights. Instead of using such rights as yardsticks to measure diverse cultures on compliance with them, we welcome papers that translate the differences between cultures through the prism of human rights, illuminating different cognitive contexts that produce different meanings of rights, identifying spaces of intercultural crossing where differences can coexist, and offering usable narratives and metaphors that could serve as interfaces between distinct cultures. Ideally, these translations should view human rights not as an integral and finite goal but as a dynamic process of trying to achieve them.

Proposals should include: a one-page abstract of the paper, with a title and name of the author; the author's brief curriculum vitae; postal address; email address; and phone number.  Complete proposals should be emailed as attachments in MS Word to: Mary Bokern at bokernmp@slu.edu with a subject line "Human Rights in Translation"." The deadline for submissions is December 1, 2015.

08 September 2015

Deciphering a Civil Code, Alain Levasseur

Deciphering a Civil Code

Sources of Law and Methods of Interpretation

The primary purpose of this book is to dispel some misunderstandings —  or even erroneous views — on what a “code” is and, more specifically, how one can work with a “civil code.” The text explains that in a civil law system, codification is the product of the combination of three sources of law: legislation, jurisprudence or court cases, and doctrine or legal scholarship. It then analyzes the many different methods of reasoning and interpretation that can be used under a civil code and illustrates these methods as applied to code articles and to three decisions of the Louisiana Supreme Court. Thus, the book explains and justifies the “long lasting life” of civil codes, particularly the French Civil Code of 1804 (also referred to as the Code Napoléon) and the Louisiana Civil Code of 1825. 

04 September 2015

Dean Search at Louisiana State University

LSU Law Center

From its founding in 1906, the Law Center has offered its students a legal education recognized for its high standards of academic excellence, an outstanding teaching and research facility, and integrated programs in Louisiana civil law and Anglo-American common law. All LSU Law graduates receive a Juris Doctor, and students may also earn the optional Graduate Diploma in Comparative Law in recognition of extensive, optional coursework in the civil law. Learn more about the LSU Law Center here


01 September 2015

Opinio Juris in Comparatione

Opinio Juris in Comparatione Vol. I, n.1, 2015 is online

We are pleased to announce the publication of new Issue of Opinio Juris in Comparatione Vol. I, n. 1, 2015 
Opinio Juris in Comparatione is an electronic full Open Access Journal devoted to “Studies in Comparative and National Law”. It aims at enhancing the dialogue among all legal traditions in a broad sense. The intent of diffusing contributions on national law, as well and not only to focus on comparative issues, is to expand access to foreign legal materials and ideas to those who do not already have access to the traditional avenues (such as journals in the language of the explored legal system).
For more information, please visit our website www.opiniojurisincomparatione.org.

Table of Contents


Alessandra Pera, Marina Nicolosi

Federico Della Negra

Lezioni Pisane di Diritto Civile

Gert Brüggemeier

Selected Conference Proceedings

Célia Zolynski, Romain Perray

Gianclaudio Malgieri

Francesco Lazzeri

News and book reviews

Master of Arts in International Relations- Curriculum International Trade - Università degli Studi di Palermo
Editorial Team Opinio Juris in Comparatione

The Impact of Corruption on International Commercial Contracts

The Impact of Corruption on International Commercial Contracts

Editors: Bonell, Michael Joachim, Meyer, Olaf (Eds.)

Book Series: Ius Comparatum - Global Studies in Comparative Law, Vol. 11

Springer Alert

This volume presents national reports describing the legal instruments that are available to prevent the payment of bribes for acquiring contracts. Anti-corruption is one of the preeminent issues in the modern global commercial order and is tackled with the help of criminal law and contract law in different ways in different countries. The reports included in this volume, from very diverse parts of the world, represent a unique and rich compilation of court decisions, doctrinal discussions and a pool of suggested solutions. The central theme is the enforceability of three problematic types of contracts: the bribe agreement, whereby a bribe payer promises the agent of his business partner a personal benefit in exchange for favourable contract terms; the agreement between a bribe payer and an intermediary (a “bribe merchant”), where the latter offers his expertise to help funnel bribes to agents of the business partner; and finally, the contract between the bribe payer and his business partner which was obtained by means of bribery. The analysis is tailored toward commercial contracts, which can also include contracts with state-owned enterprises. The examination and comparison of international and national initiatives included in this volume advance the discussion on the most appropriate remedies in corruption cases, and show how to get past the boundaries of criminal, private and contract law.

Disgorgement of Profits

Disgorgement of Profits

Gain-Based Remedies throughout the World

Editors: Hondius, Ewoud, Janssen, Andre (Eds.)

Book Series: Ius Comparatum - Global Studies in Comparative Law, Vol. 8
Springer Alert

Disgorgement of profits is not exactly a household word in private law. Particularly in civil law jurisdictions – as opposed to those of the common law – the notion is not well known. What does it stand for? It is best illustrated by examples. One of the best known being the British case of Blake v Attorney General, [2001] 1 AC 268. In which a double spy had been imprisoned by the UK government before escaping and settling in the former Soviet Union. While there wrote a book on his experiences, upon which the UK government claimed the proceeds of the book. The House of Lords, as it then was, allowed the claim on the basis of Blake’s breach of his employment contract. Other examples are the infringement of intellectual property rights, where the damages of the owner are limited, but the profits of the wrongdoer immense. In such cases, the question arises whether the infringing party should be disgorged of his profits.
This volume aims at establishing the notion of disgorgement of profits as a keyword in the discourse of private law. It does not purport to answer the question whether or not such damages should or should not be awarded. It does however aim to contribute to the discussion, the arguments in favour and against, and the organisation of the various actions.

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