Catholic University of Leuven

Posts by authors affiliated with Catholic University of Leuven

25 April 2024
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India’s New Constitutional Climate Right

The Supreme Court of India delivered a historic judgement on climate change and human rights in M.K. Ranjitsinh and Others v. Union of India and Others (hereinafter “M.K. Ranjitsinh”) on March 21, 2024. A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice, D.Y. Chandrachud, formulated a new constitutional right to be free from the adverse effects of climate change by drawing upon Article 21 (the fundamental right to life and personal liberty) and Article 14 (the fundamental right to equality) of the Indian Constitution. The final judgement is a remarkable development for the evolution of constitutional climate litigation in India

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17 January 2024
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Rule of Law Abnegated

This year is the second winter that thousands of asylum seekers will spend on the cold streets of Brussels. More than 2700 of them are still without any material assistance and shelter. 869 of them have a domestic court order recognising their right to reception, yet the Belgian government has consistently refused to implement them. This deliberate refusal to secure the human rights of migrants, especially where these are single males, is not only creating a humanitarian disaster in Belgium’s streets but also undermines the raison d’être of Belgian democracy. While the government’s actions have been condemned by human rights experts and courts alike, we argue it is arguably reflective of a worrying wider trend in the EU of the impotence of the law to secure human rights for migrants.

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19 July 2023

More than Formal Recognition?

The Commission’s proposal for a Platform Work Directive contains a number of provisions recognising collective labour rights for platform workers, mostly revolving around information and consultation rights for workers’ representatives. This suggests that, at least in principle, extending workplace representation and industrial relation practices to the platform economy is part of the Commission’s policy agenda. However, this blogpost argues that even if certain collective labour rights are formally recognised, the proposed directive does not offer adequate basis for their effective exercise. Trade union organising, collective bargaining and workplace democracy do not find sufficient support in the directive, thus limiting their development within the platform economy.

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24 February 2023

A Unique Identification Number for Every European Citizen

On 3 June 2021, the European Commission issued a proposal for a European Digital Identity Regulation, which seems to not have raised much discussion among legal scholars, even though digital identity raises several fundamental rights implications. The introduction of a unique and persistent identifier may be understandable from a practical point of view, but cannot be accepted due to its risks and the fact that it potentially infringes the German prohibition on general unique identifiers.

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21 December 2022

Санкційна дилема ЄС: як бути з союзником Росії – Білоруссю

Драматичні події, що відбуваються в Україні, та зростання загроз безпеці самого ЄС призвели до міні-революції в санкційній політиці ЄС. Тепер набір санкцій ЄС включає деякі нові заходи, такі як заборона трансляції, які раніше були на розсуд національних органів влади. Ці зміни поставили ЄС перед дилемою щодо його політики санкцій щодо Білорусі.

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The EU sanctions dilemma of how to deal with the Russian ally Belarus

The dramatic events taking place in Ukraine and growing security threats to the EU itself led to a mini-revolution in the EU sanctions policy. Now the EU sanctions toolbox includes some novel measures, such as broadcast bans, which were previously under the discretion of national authorities. These changes put the EU in a dilemma with respect to its sanctions policy towards Belarus.

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20 October 2022

Silenced, Chilled, and Jailed

As Turkey is in the process of getting ready for the general and presidential elections of June 2023, a recent legal reform has created much concern regarding freedom of expression and increased threat of online censorship in the country. Citizens have called the amendment a ‘censorship law’, while some prominent civil society organizations have voiced their concern about the law creating avenues for a dystopian crackdown when the elections are just around the corner.

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28 July 2022
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Accessing Information about Abortion

The U.S. Supreme Court decision of 24 June 2022 overruled a half century of precedent supporting a constitutional right to abortion across the U.S. established in 1973 in Roe v. Wade. Essentially, Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization left the decision on abortion to individual states. The ruling, although astonishing, was not necessarily a surprise, after its draft had leaked a few weeks earlier. But to the surprise of many, almost immediately, Facebook and Instagram started removing posts informing about access to abortion pills, the Associated Press and Vice first reported.

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08 April 2022

Hungary’s Lesson for Europe

There seems to be a disturbing discordance in the European Commission’s response to the Hungarian elections. On the one hand, the Commission triggers the rule of law mechanism. On the other, it refuses to comment on the fairness of the Hungarian elections. This contradicts the fact that, just like the rule of law, democracy is also part of  Europe’s constitutional identity. But what does democracy require from Member States? Hungary’s elections make clear that the value of democracy, as given expression in Article 10 TEU, should be justiciable.

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05 October 2021

FRAND Terms for Pandemic-essential Intellectual Property Rights

Our international norms are arguably ill adapted to emergencies such as pandemics. In this contribution I discuss a potential remedy for one related challenge, namely a cooperation amongst competitors for the accelerated development of vaccines. A way to foster cooperation could be the use of fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (‘FRAND’) terms to the licensing of pandemic-essential intellectual property rights (IPR).

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02 September 2021

General Prosecutor, the Supreme Leader of the Slovak Republic?

On 31 August 2021, General Prosecutor of the Slovak Republic annulled charges against former director of the Slovak Secret Service and four other high-profile individuals held in custody due to corruption allegations. Many Slovak politicians have clearly become accustomed to the GP/SP serving as a crucial line of defence against undesired effects of the justice system. The 7-year term conferred on the GP in a secret vote by MPs is meant to enhance his or her independence. In practice, the length of the term and near irremovability has more often than not protected the GP from accountability for their actions.

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