Category Archives: Year

Decriminalizing “Mere” Walkaway Prison Escapes Is a Mistake

By Dr. T. Markus Funk*

(2023) Oxford U Comparative L Forum 2 at ouclf.law.ox.ac.uk | How to cite this article

Image link.

On the last day of August 2023, video captured 34-year-old convicted killer Danelo Cavalcante escaping his Pennsylvania maximum security prison by crab-walking up two walls separated by a five-foot hallway.[1] Cavalcante was serving a life sentence for his brutal April 2021 stabbing murder of ex-girlfriend Deborah Brandao, an attack that took place in front of her two small children.[2] He additionally is wanted in his native Brazil for felling a friend in a hail of bullets. (Only his 2018 decision to illegally enter the United States has thus far allowed him to avoid facing those charges.)

Cavalcante was and is a dangerous, hardened criminal—which explains why his escape made international news during the two weeks he was able to evade recapture despite the ongoing “intense manhunt.”[3]

The United States is a country grappling with criminal justice reform efforts, many of which are sensible, morally compelled, and overdue. But it would be a mistake to accept the invitation to follow the examples of countries like Germany, Switzerland, Mexico, The Netherlands, and Austria which do not outlaw non-violent prisoner escapes such as Cavalcante’s.[4]
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Busting the Durable Myth That U.S. Self-Defense Law Uniquely Fails to Protect Human Life

by T. Markus Funk*

(2023) Oxford U Comparative L Forum 1 at ouclf.law.ox.ac.uk | How to cite this article

Self-defense, the “first civil right,” continues to be among criminal law’s most controversial, enduring , and intuitively understood topics.[1] The February 2020 murder of Ahmaud Arbery,[2] the November 2021 Wisconsin trial of Kyle Rittenhouse,[3] the January 2023 shooting of a masked robber in a Houston taqueria,[4] and the February 2023 second-degree murder charges lodged against 73-year-old Arizona rancher George Alan Kelly for killing an allegedly trespassing migrant near the US-Mexico border[5] all have helped bring to full boil the long-simmering national debate about where the state’s monopoly on force should end and the individual’s right to rely on self-preferential force should begin.

After each of these incidents, members of the legal commentariat followed the familiar practice of swiftly offering their takes on all aspects of these flashpoint cases. Much of what they said about these cases, for good reason, sparked spirited discussion.

There is, however, one disrupting note in the constant drumbeat of lawyers, legislators, academics, reporters, and other legal observers that is routinely and frustratingly out of sync: the claim that U.S. self-defense law[6] is exceptionally severe by international standards and comparatively underappreciative of the value of human life and the need to prevent violence.

The problem with this narrative is that it fails to recognize that U.S. self-defense law is, in fact, very much within the international mainstream and, in many respects, is significantly more protective of attackers and more carefully calibrated to reduce overall societal violence than the self-defense laws of many other nations. In terms of impact, such erroneous claims seriously distract from the much-needed debate over U.S. self-defense law’s deeper public policy and moral grounding.

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Extending Social Protection for Migrants under the European Union’s Temporary Protection Directive: Lessons from the War in Ukraine

by Julia Motte-Baumvol*, Tarin Cristino Frota Mont’Alverne**, and Gabriel Braga Guimarães***

(2022) Oxford U Comparative L Forum 2 at ouclf.law.ox.ac.uk | How to cite this article

The war in Ukraine has brought about an unprecedented change in the way the European Union addresses migration-related issues. Following the invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces in late February 2022, the Council of the European Union adopted an Implementing Decision establishing the existence of a mass influx of displaced persons from Ukraine within the meaning of Article 5 of Council Directive 2001/55/EC, for the first time activating its temporary protection mechanism. While the Directive’s provisions reflect the founding principles of the European Union, the specific vulnerabilities of international migrants require suitable social provisions to afford them a standard of living as required to ensure their health and well-being for the duration of the protection provided by the Directive. The purpose of this article is to discuss the nature of the challenges arising from this first application of the ‘Temporary Protection Directive’, as well as the impact of these challenges on the Directive’s efficacy and on the scope of the protection for the displaced persons covered by it. It argues, first, that the joint interpretation of the Directive and the Council Decision significantly limits the personal scope of the protection, leaving certain categories of migrants behind. The paper then goes on to examine the Directive’s substance and suggests that a broad interpretation of its social protection provisions reveals new difficulties regarding the financing and sustainability of this protection and its sustainability.

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One set of principles to rule them all? Parliamentary practices in France and the United Kingdom

by Marie-Elisabeth Boggio*

(2022) Oxford U Comparative L Forum 1 at ouclf.law.ox.ac.uk | How to cite this article

This paper is a short overview of my research on parliamentary practices and the comparison I make between practices in the French Parliament and in the UK Parliament. We know that both are governed by written rules. On the one hand, the UK Houses of Parliament are run according to Standing Orders and certain Parliament Acts. On the other hand, the French Chambres are governed by Internal Rules and several organic laws which are enforced by the Conseil constitutionnel(Constitutional Council). But these written rules are not enough to describe precisely and comprehensively the running of Parliaments: more rules are needed to govern the respective Houses/Chambres. These rules are unwritten and we call them “parliamentary practices”. This paper will describe the concept of “parliamentary practices”, a category on which little research has been carried out, at least in France. It will also explain the reason why a comparison between France and the United Kingdom might be of interest on this topic. Finally, there will be a comparative study of some practices to demonstrate their significance for parliamentary proceedings in both countries.

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The Case for Market for Corporate Control in Korea

by Hwa-Jin Kim*

This article is published simultaneously in 8 Journal of Korean Law (2009) 227-276.

(2009) Oxford U Comparative L Forum 2 at ouclf.law.ox.ac.uk | How to cite this article

Abstract

This Article offers an assessment of the preliminary evidence that the market for corporate control functions as a disciplinary mechanism for poor corporate governance in Korea. It analyzes SK Corporation’s fight against Sovereign Asset Management, contest for control over the Hyundai Group, KT&G’s fight against Carl Icahn, and LG Group and Carlyle’s proxy contest against Hanaro Telecom, together with relevant laws and regulations. These high-profile cases dramatically exemplified the role of takeovers in the improvement of the corporate governance of Korean companies, and brought about active policy discussions in respect of the market for corporate control and takeover defenses. This Article will also provide a quick overview over the provisions in draft new Korean Commercial Code related to the market for corporate control and takeover defenses, including squeeze-out, poison pills, and dual-class commons. This Article argues that as the increasing exposure of control to the market could eliminate the inefficient controlling shareholder system in Korea, the new Korean Commercial Code should strike a balance between the active market for corporate control and effective takeover defensive tactics for the benefit of all shareholders and the value of the company.

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‘But We’ve Spent the Money’: Defending Overpaid Tax Claims under English and German Law

by Sabrina Nanchahal*

(2020) Oxford U Comparative L Forum 3 at ouclf.law.ox.ac.uk | How to cite this article

Despite extensive litigation concerning restitution claims against the tax authority in the English courts, the role and parameters of the change of position defence have not been satisfactorily established in this context. German law provides a clear example of how these issues can be addressed within a public law restitution framework. This article explores the conceptual basis for the German position before turning to the current English framework. An analysis of the application of the defence according to unjust enrichment principles emphasises the practical and conceptual difficulties the English courts have faced in such claims. In light of these issues, two alternative potential developments of the defence are examined with the aim of achieving a conceptually cohesive common law restitution framework.

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Conflicts in 13th Century Maritime Law: A Comparison between five European Ports

by Albrecht Cordes*

(2020) Oxford U Comparative L Forum 2 at ouclf.law.ox.ac.uk | How to cite this article

Almost simultaneously, at the end of the 13th century, maritime laws were being written down all around Europe. This invites a synchronic comparative study. This paper compares three areas of maritime law of varying levels of abstraction: jettison, seamen’s labour law, and common decision-making before and during the voyage. The outcome, as in any comparison, is differences and similarities – differences in the degree of the lord’s (king’s, duke’s) influence, who, for instance, ordered the presence of a ship notary on Mediterranean seafaring. The maritime laws less influenced by the heavy hand of the state abound in casuistic details, evidently being the product of the process of negotiations – negotiations which included the seamen, an influential and forthright group indeed. Despite all the natural differences within the vast space between Norway and the Mediterranean, the challenges posed by the characteristics of seafaring in general are quite similar. The solutions, however, differ greatly and bristle with creativity and variety. The maritime law of the 13th century looks like a gigantic legal laboratory in which experiments were conducted continuously. Tendencies towards a stronger unification and implementation of specific solutions only cropped up in the following century.

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Coronavirus measures in private law: Comparison of moratoria in the United Kingdom and Germany

by Johannes Ungerer*

(2020) Oxford U Comparative L Forum 1 at ouclf.law.ox.ac.uk | How to cite this article

The Coronavirus pandemic poses unprecedented challenges to private legal relations. These challenges demand that States provide measures that go beyond traditional private law responses such as force majeure, material adverse change or frustration. Enacting moratoria is among the steps which have been undertaken by the United Kingdom and Germany to provide necessary ‘breathing space’,[1] and is the subject of this comparative paper.
The paper will begin by looking at the general modifications in private law that have been made in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. This will be followed by an analysis of tenancies, which have been given special protection by legislators. Finally, the consequences for borrowers are addressed. The purpose of this paper is to inform about the recent legislative actions taken. This might not only be instructive for their evaluation and future amendment, but also for questions arising in cross-border settings.

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Keynesian Federalism

by Michael Ilg*

(2019) Oxford U Comparative L Forum 4 at ouclf.law.ox.ac.uk | How to cite this article

This Article proposes a Keynesian inspired approach for the judicial interpretation of economic federalism. Keynesian federalism is premised upon two essential features of Keynesian economics: reactivity and counterbalancing. Federal governments may require increased powers to meet modern challenges, but the judicial rationales and methods of interpretation that permit for this expansion cannot simply be replicated case after case in a way that steadily hollows out regional powers. When a federal government is able to capture increased powers of economic regulation in a federalism dispute, a presumption should arise that in the next major economic federalism dispute a decentralization favouring constitutional interpretation will be privileged. 

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Optimising Your Holiday: A Proposal for the Optimal System for Timesharing from a Comparative Perspective

by Dhurgham Fadhil Hussein Al-Ali,* John Gwilym Owen** and Marie Parker***

(2019) Oxford U Comparative L Forum 3 at ouclf.law.ox.ac.uk | How to cite this article

Timesharing causes profound issues for consumers, yet there is a dearth of academic commentary about this topic, and little is known about how other jurisdictions regulate this area. This article will assess the issues faced by consumers when purchasing, owning and terminating timeshare. As a result of this assessment, the optimal features required to tackle these difficult issues are suggested. These optimal features are applied to selected jurisdictions in order to undertake a functional analysis. The article identifies the strengths and weaknesses in each system under consideration, and makes specific proposals for England and Wales.[1]

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