26 June 2022

Generation Action

It’s depressing. The pandemic that won’t end, the war that Russia has started against Ukraine and that could drag on for years, gas shortages, heat, drought, water shortages, an economic crisis looming, the toxic relationship with authoritarian populism that has reached a new low in the U.S. and that we can expect it to get even worse. All this does not only cloud the present, but also make the foreseeable future look bleak. But it exists, the beam of light, and it comes in the form of people whose energy inspires the hope that things can get better. It was such people with whom I could spend the day in Groningen on Friday.

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Zwei Volljurist*innen für Justitiariat der Bundestagsfraktion Bündnis 90/Die Grünen gesucht

Das Justitiariat unterstützt und berät die Bundestagsfraktion Bündnis 90/Die Grünen in Rechtsfragen. Zur Verstärkung unseres Teams suchen wir schnellstmöglich zwei Jurist*innen (m/w/d) für folgende Stellen: eine Stelle für die rechtliche Beratung von Abgeordneten in Untersuchungsausschüssen, die zweite Stelle für die rechtliche Prüfung und Erarbeitung parlamentarischer Vorlagen.

Hier geht es zur Stellenausschreibung.

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John Morijn gave his inaugural lecture at the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen on Friday. That alone is cause for celebration. It was a truly special event in the venerable auditorium, with strict ceremonial rules, men and women in gowns, dignified silence and the audience listening with rapt attention. John Morijn spoke about the Law and Politics of Protecting Liberal Democracy, what else, for years he has been tirelessly working for that very cause. And his enthusiasm spilled over. Four of his students took this occasion as an opportunity to celebrate something else: the rule of law and the people who stand up for it. Four young women who are only in the second year of their studies and who are already working for the rule of law with a great deal of energy and creativity. Our Rule of Law. Last fall they already organized a Rule of Law Festival and now they managed to get almost 200 of their fellow students to engage at least the afternoon with the fight for the rule of law and against illiberalism. Some of the most prominent and courageous fighters against the decline of liberal democracy in Poland, Hungary and Europe were present and told the students about their work and experiences. One of the panels I was able to watch was entitled Passing the Torch to the Next Generation: Rule of Law for Boomers, Millenials and Gen Z. Students could to hear from Kim Lane Scheppele, Akudo McGee, Adam Bodnar and Tomasz Posłuszny about what it means to them to stand up against illiberal developments and have their questions answered on what they can do themselves.

By now pretty much everyone agrees that the boomers blew it. One could perhaps forgive them because the world they grew up in was a different one, as Kim Lane Scheppele pointed out. From the Wirtschaftswunder cake, they could pick the juiciest pieces and take seconds until there were no more belt holes left to get full relief. But the fact that they ruthlessly defend their old ideas of the good life in this new world, and do so with the attitude of the heir to a large fortune who with a straight face recounts how hard he worked to make it to CEO in the family business, has made a meme out of the boomers.

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Wissenschaftler/in (d/m/w) für das Projekt »Geostrategische Konkurrenz EU im westlichen Balkan« gesucht

Die SWP ist eine unabhängige wissenschaftliche Einrichtung, die auf der Grundlage eigener Forschung Bundestag und Bundesregierung in Fragen der Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik berät. Wir suchen frühestens zum 1. September 2022 eine/n Wissenschaftler/in (d/m/w) für das Projekt »Geostrategische Konkurrenz EU im westlichen Balkan« in der Forschungsgruppe EU/Europa. Die Stelle hat einem Umfang von 100% und ist – vorbehaltlich der Mittelbewilligung – befristet bis zum 31.12.2023zu besetzen.

Weitere Information über Aufgaben, Profil und Vergütung erhalten Sie hier.

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However, the following generations have also rather covered themselves with cream rather than glory. With Generation X, the not giving a damn punk attitude became an attitude of simply not giving a damn. There wasn’t quite as much of the cake left, but still enough to be able to carelessly occupy oneself and one’s yuppie and raver life. Political slogans became a means of getting rid of tiresome duties and dancing down Ku’Damm without having a care in the world. But, as Tomasz Posłuszny said, others will decide for those who are indifferent. And then came my generation, Generation Y, a clever pun, since this generation is always asking about the why. Why should I work my ass off? Why should I get involved in party politics when I can’t identify with so many of their positions? Why should I commit myself – to a partner, a job, a (civil society) group – when nothing is permanent or secure anyway? But what answers has my generation found to these questions? Retreat. Securing as much as possible with as little as necessary. We know that we are almost out of cake. Since the late nineties, one crisis has followed another but we haven’t really felt the effects yet. So we quickly take what we can, buy a house if possible, or at least find us a Schrebergarten with some friends. There we sit, baking sourdough bread, fish out our great-grandmother’s canning jars, rediscover what the modern housewife and her children have lost with Maggi and Dr. Oetker easily available, and hope that there will at least be left enough for our lifetime and that we won’t bear the full brunt.

Akudo McGee said that she has met many people from the older generations spearheading organizations in Poland. They are the ones who can detect threats to freedom earlier than the young because they recognize patterns. Those who are starting to study law in Poland today, Adam Bodnar tells us, don’t even know what an independent judiciary looks like and what its features are, because they were only 14 or 15 years old when the PiS party started dismantling it. But just warning and informing them is not enough. Generation Z will probably be the first to stand before the empty cake cover and feel the brunt of the new world with great force. Be it climate change or dwindling civil liberties, they will have to live with all this for a long time. Young people are begging us to do something, to listen to them, to take them seriously and help them. They cannot do it alone. We have to use our resources and make them available to them when they come to us with their concerns and ask for help. Just like John Morijn does for his students. It is the old generations that have entered into the toxic relationship with authoritarian populism and that have settled into it or given up exhausted. But we cannot bury our heads and hope that things won’t be so bad for us, and even less can we shift responsibility to the young and expect them to fix it. We all share the responsibility for what the world of tomorrow looks like, and we must all take on that responsibility. Whether we will succeed in making tomorrow’s world a better one that works for everyone, I don’t know, but not to try would be insufferable.

The week on Verfassungsblog

… summarized by PAULINE SPATZ:

As expected, the Bundestag has abolished the criminal offence of advertising abortion. What is interesting from a legal point of view now is what will happen to the law of abortion after the deletion of § 219a StGB. ANNA LEISNER-EGENSPERGER  gives an overview of the legal-political implications of the law of abortion.

In Poland and beyond, a media storm broke out at the beginning of June because of the so-called “pregnancy registry”. At face value, the arguments of the Polish Ministry of Health in favour of the “pregnancy registry” appear reasonable. KAROLINA KOCEMBA contrasts these arguments with precedent and previous experiences with surveillance.

On June 1, the three months fuel rebate, intended by the German government to relieve the population of high energy costs, came into effect. This prompted German Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck to propose a tightening of antitrust law. But even those who sympathize with unbundling oil multinationals and skimming off excess profits through antitrust law should view Robert Habeck’s antitrust proposal skeptically, says THOMAS ACKERMANN. JÜRGEN KÜHLING thinks that the non-abuse unbundling instrument – if it is well prepared – can make sense as ultima ratio.

In its decision of June 15, 2022 the Federal Constitutional Court decided on Angela Merkel’s criticism of the Minister-President election in Thuringia 2020. MATHIAS HONG thinks the “Merkel ruling” is a missed opportunity to strengthen the will for the constitution: The court should have clarified that the duty of neutrality must leave the defense of the constitution unharmed.

With its decision of July 22, 2021, the Federal Constitutional Court ruled on a so-called non-recognition complaint by the Zentrumspartei. The reasoning has now been published just under a year later. It is noteworthy that the court is of the opinion that in these proceedings – in principle – the constitutionality of the disputed norms is not to be decided. MARTIN MORLOK on a rare decision in election and party law – and a hidden admonition to legislators.

Russia and its strongmen are supposed to literally pay for the war damage in Ukraine. The European Commission proposes to strengthen the enforcement of sanctions with uniform threats of punishment throughout the Union and in this way to elegantly create a legal basis for the confiscation of involved assets. FRANK MEYER raises sanctions, Union & criminal law concerns about the Commission’s proposal.

Symbols that convey support for or condoning of Russia’s war such as the “Z”, “V”, and St. George’s ribbon have emerged in the public sphere. This has put militant democracy provisions existing in many European legal orders into the spotlight, but also propelled lawmakers in some states to adopt new provisions prohibiting the use of such symbols. DOVILĖ SAGATIENĖ, ANNA WÓJCIK & PAULA RHEIN-FISCHER compare the legal mechanisms in Lithuania, Poland and Germany.

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Hybrid Conference: Access to Vaccines and Medical Care during Pandemics

TU Dresden and Stellenbosch University invite you to join us either in Dresden or online on the 11th of July to reflect on the Covid19 pandemic. We will examine, from the perspective of both the Global North and the Global South, whether existing legal concepts and frameworks, including their implicit ethical values, have proven successful in combating the pandemic. The focus will be intellectual property law, international law and constitutional law.

Please click here for further information.

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Following the parliamentary elections and the national referendum in Hungary in April 2022, the OSCE found that the legal framework was inadequate for the conduct of a democratic plebiscite. The observers noted several shortcomings of the legal regulation and documented many serious anomalies of the electoral system. VIKTOR Z. KAZAI discusses the role of referenda under Orban’s regime.

Once upon a time, when still a candidate for President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen solemnly declared: “There can be no compromise when it comes to respecting the Rule of Law. There never will be.” To LAURENT PECH it is now clear, this was just Orwellian doublespeak. He takes aim at Ursula von der Leyen’s rule of law appeasement towards Poland.

On 21 June 2022, the Court of Justice of the European Union rendered its decision in the preliminary ruling procedure on the fate of the Directive on the use of passenger name records. The CJEU has altered the Directive beyond recognition, while upholding an instrument of indiscriminate surveillance. CHRISTIAN THÖNNES  on an enigmatic compromise creating a whole host of new questions.

TIMO ZANDSTRA & EVELIEN BROUWER discuss the European Travel Information and Authorisation System, ETIAS, and argue that the system as it is currently set up violates the right to data protection laid down in Article 8 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, especially in light of the CJEU’s PNR judgment earlier this week.

The Conference on the Future of Europe – a year-long pan-European discussion on the future of the European Union, including both citizen deliberation and an inter-institutional debate on recommendations in its Plenary – came to an end on 9 May, with the presentation of a final report of 49 recommendations and 329 specific measures to the presidents of the three EU institutions. PAUL BLOKKER takes a critical look at the Conference and its outcome.

On 21 June, Meta & the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development settled a lawsuit that will restrict some of Meta’s core ad-targeting products, due to discriminatory exclusions. RACHEL GRIFFIN shows that this lawsuit should be a wake up call for EU regulators, who are falling behind in tackling discrimination in targeted advertising.

India is witnessing a spate of housing demolition used as a tool to inflict extrajudicial punishment for dissent. Tempting as it is, to think of the recent demolitions as a shocking new development, the bulldozer has in fact always been a significant determinant of the contours of space in India. ANINDITA MUKHERJEE on the spate of housing demolition as extrajudicial punishment in India.

The Philippines has had three constitutions. The second one of 1973 provided the fourteen-year authoritarian regime of President Ferdinand Marcos, Sr with a coat of legitimacy. Ever since this historic experience, the Philippines has been very cautious with constitutional reform. MICHAEL HENRY YUSINGCO has some ideas on how the new President Ferdinand Marcos Jr could overcome this deep mistrust of constitutional reform.

The Brazilian Superior Court of Justice recently allowed the use of cannabis sativa for medical ends – against the policies of Bolsonaro. An important judgment, but no case of judicial activism, say EMILIO PELUSO NEDER MEYER, THOMAS BUSTAMANTE & DAVI TANGERINO.

If one follows the discourse on legal policy lately, reads laws and judgments and receives legal posts and podcasts, articles and monographs, one can observe a turning of legal science towards psychology. Does legal scholarship currently receive primarily psychological terms and social therapeutic concepts? And if so, why? And where should this lead? JENS KERSTEN investigates these questions.

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All best,

Evin Dalkilic