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Juha Raitio Professor of European Law 16 November 2017 PowerPoint Presentation
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Juha Raitio Professor of European Law 16 November 2017

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Juha Raitio Professor of European Law 16 November 2017

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Juha Raitio Professor of European Law 16 November 2017

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  1. Conference: The Future of Europe: Political and Legal Integration Beyond Brexit / SNELSSubtopic: Rule of Law in contemporary Finland – Is it just a “rhetorical balloon” and what are the national challenges? Juha Raitio Professor of European Law 16 November 2017

  2. Why is it important to discuss about the rule of law? Or democracy? Or the role of the Parliament? Osaston tai henkilön nimi, esityksen nimi

  3. Rule of law as a ”Rhetorical balloon” – what? • In Sweden, Frändberg has described the concept of rule of law as a “rhetorical balloon” that one can, in a way, fill up, including in it everything possible that is felt to be positive (See Frändberg, Åke: Begreppet rättsstat, in Sterzel, Fredrik (ed.): Rättsstaten – rätt, politik, moral, Göteborg, 1996, pp. 21-41, more closely pp. 22-23). • The concept of rule of law addresses the manner in which the law is promulgated, its clarity and temporal dimension. Employing the rule of law in this way implies that no assessment is made about the content of law. • In Finland in turn, Tuori has utilized this Frändberg’s term “rhetorical balloon” in different contexts and warned about a conceptual idyll, in which the concept of rule of law contains mutually conflicting principles. (e.g, Tuori, Ratio and voluntas, Ashgate, Farnham, 2011, p. 211). Osaston tai henkilön nimi, esityksen nimi

  4. Rule of law as a ”Rhetorical balloon” – what? • Carl Schmitt: Legalität und Legitimität: Berlin, 1932, p. 19: • ”Das Wort ’Rechtsstaat’ kann soviel Verschiedenes be- deuten wie das Wort „Recht” selbst und außerdem noch soviel Verschiedenes wie die mit dem Worte „Staat angedeuteten Organisationen” Es gibt einen feudalen, einen ständischen, einen bürgerlichen, einen nationalen, einen sozialen, ferner einen naturrechtlichen, vernunftrechtlichen, historisch-rechtlichen Rechtsstaat. Es ist begreiflich, daß Propagandisten und Advokaten aller Art das Wort gern für sich in Anspruch nehmen, um den Gegner als Feind des Rechtsstaates zu diffamieren. Ihrem Rechtsstaat und ihrem Rechtsbegriff gilt der Spruch: „Recht aber soll vorzüglich heißen, was ich und meine Gevattern preisen” Osaston tai henkilön nimi, esityksen nimi

  5. Rule of law as a ”Rhetorical balloon” – what? • Question: How to define rule of law – or is it just waste of time? • Is rule of law merely a formal concept? Or can there be material content as well? • My argument: • No, it is not waste of time. It is important for the sake of our common values in Nordic or European societies. • Rule of law (oikeusvaltio, rättstat, Rechtstaat) do contain material elements. • I think that one of the challenges is the definition of rule of law in Finland, but also in other European countries for various reasons. Osaston tai henkilön nimi, esityksen nimi

  6. How to define rule of law? (Reguirements by Joseph Raz) • All laws must be prospective, open and clear • Laws should be relatively stable • Law making of particular laws should be guided by open, stable, clear and general rules • The independence of the judiciary must be quaranteed • The principles of natural justice must be quaranteed • The courts should have review powers over the implementation of the other principles • The courts should be easily accessible • The discretion of the crime-preventing agencies should not be allowed to pervert the law • (Raz,The Authority of Law, Oxford, 1979, p. 212) Osaston tai henkilön nimi, esityksen nimi

  7. Rule of law, oikeusvaltio, in Finland (Reguirements by Antero Jyränki) • Public (executive) power must be based on law. • State and it’s legal system is organised by a Constitution • Acts of the Parliament are the basis for defining the rights and duties of a citizen. • Law must be interpreted and applied by an independent judiciary and there must be access to justice for everyone. • Fundamental rights protect the individual from maladministration ( material aspect of rule of law). • (Antero Jyränki, Oikeusvaltio ja demokratia, in Oikeusvaltio, Helsinki, 2002, pp. 23-24) • Conclusion: Rule of Law requires a certain kind of conception of democracy, in which the Government is subordinate to Parliament. Additionally, one has to distinguish the interests of the state and the interests of a majority from one another. Osaston tai henkilön nimi, esityksen nimi

  8. Rule of law in the EU • Article 2 TEU: "The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. These values are common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail.” • The Rule of Law is linked in the same context than democracy and human rights. The substance of human rights has become the part of the very foundations of EU legal order. Osaston tai henkilön nimi, esityksen nimi

  9. Rule of law in the EU • Article 2 TEU is partly based on Article 6(1) TEU: • ”The Union recognises the rights, freedoms and principles set out in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union of 7 December 2000, as adapted at Strasbourg, on 12 December 2007, which shall have the same legal value as the Treaties.” • The Charter precedes the European Convention of Human Rights in EU Law: (C-386/10 Chalkor, 8.12.2011, para. 51) • See C-402/05 P and C-415/05 P, Kadi, paras. 303 and 304: ”Those provisions cannot, however, be understood to authorise any derogation from the principles of liberty, democracy and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms enshrined in Article 6(1) EU as a foundation of the Union.” Osaston tai henkilön nimi, esityksen nimi

  10. What about the material content for the rule of law? – a thick concept of rule of law • EU publications tend to illustrate a ”substantive/thick” rather than ”formal/thin” understanding of the rule of law. (Pech, Promoting rule of law abroad, in Kochenov – Amtembrink (eds.): EU’s Shaping of the International Legal Order, Cambridge, 2013, p. 118) • McCorquodale, Robert: Defining the International Rule of Law: Defying Gravity?, International & Comparative Law Quarterly, part 2, 2016, pp. 277-304, at pp. 284-285: • ”Thus the approach taken in this article is to define the international rule of law in terms of the objectives of a rule of law, and thereby provide a definition appropriate to the distinctive nature of the international system. The definition offered in this article of the international rule of law is a ”thick” one and includes the following elements or objectives: legal order and stability; equality of application of the law; protection of human rights; and the settlement of disputes before an independent legal body” Osaston tai henkilön nimi, esityksen nimi

  11. What about the material content for the rule of law? – a thick concept of rule of law • Von Bogdandy, Armin – Antpöhler, Carlino – Ioannidis, Michael: Protecting EU values, Reverse Solange and the Rule of Law Framework, in Jacab, András – Kochenov, Dimitri (eds): The Enforcement of EU law and Values, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2017, pp. 218-233, at p. 226: • ”This general orientation towards a ”thick” concept of Rule of Law is in principle reaffirmed in the decision to submit Poland to the Framework, which notes that the Rule of Law is a constitutional principle with both formal and substantive components. Nevertheless, when it comes to the actual reprimands against Polish reforms, priority is accorded to the formal dimension”. Osaston tai henkilön nimi, esityksen nimi

  12. Why is it important to defend the European way of understanding rule of law? • Article 2 TEU illustrates the shared values of the European societies. • The risk of ”rule by law”, which is different from ”rule of law”: In China for example, the law is rather a way to use power (”rule by law”) than a principle limiting the exercise of power and a basis for the legitimacy of power. This concept of rule by law is in clear conflict with the European concept of rule of law. • It currently seems like especially Poland and Hungary have partially returned to the old authoritarian administrative culture, rule by law. During the communist administration, courts were not independent of political exercise of power in the way required by the current European concept of rule of law. Osaston tai henkilön nimi, esityksen nimi

  13. Then what are the challenges in Finland as regards the thick conception of rule of law? • I think the challenge is to apply the EU values triangle Rule of law - Democracy - Human rights (Article 2 TEU) Osaston tai henkilön nimi, esityksen nimi

  14. ”We have a triangle, not a balloon” • Rule of law and human rights • Independent judiciary? – many judges are currently merely temporary so that they don’t have permanent positions. • Have we taken the human rights seriously? • 1. e.g. The Finnish law requires transsexuals who would like to correct their legal status as man or woman to be infertile, which is against ECHR (Lag om fastställande av transsexuella personers könstillhörighet, 1§, 563/2002 v. ECtHR: Garcon et Nicot v. France, 6.4.2017, 79885/12). • material aspect of rule of law linked to human rights. • Our current government don’t seem to be willing to change this due to the government program! • 2. e.g. Sometimes the court cases seem to last too long, so prolonged legal proceedings are problematic breaches of ECHR. Osaston tai henkilön nimi, esityksen nimi

  15. ”We have a triangle, not a balloon” • Rule of law and democracy • Is it so that sometimes our government does not seem to take EU law seriously enough? • 1. e.g. Only one ministry has drafted the proposal for the legislation in a situation, which should have been under the competence of various ministries. • Law concerning importation of alcohol – relates to health, trade and taxes and has strong connections to internal market law. (See Government’s bill 100/2017 or the case C-198/14 Visnapuu, 12.11.2015, ECLI:EU:C:2015:751.) Osaston tai henkilön nimi, esityksen nimi

  16. ”We have a triangle, not a balloon” • Constitutional law committee and the experts – do they have to much power to influence to the decision-making? • the dimension of weight (Dworkin) of fundamental rights? • Various fundamental rights have in principle the same dimension of weight (they are equal in that sense), Pöyhönen (Karhu): Uusi varallisuusoikeus, Helsinki, 2000, p. 77-78). • No, there is at least a weak systemic priority order between various fundamental rights. (Siltala, Oikeudellinen tulkintateoria, Jyväskylä, 2004, p.598 and Raitio, Oikeusvaltion ääriviivat, Helsinki 2017, p. 127) • E.g. Mutilation of girls in islamic culture: freedom of religion/ privacy, health, life Osaston tai henkilön nimi, esityksen nimi

  17. Questions and conclusion • Question 1: Is the European Human Rights and EU Law applied properly? • Question 2: What are the methods of weighing and balancing principles and human rights? • Question 3: Does the rule of law have any useful meaning in court cases or administrative practice? • Point: Rule of law must be understood in the context of human rights and democracy (Article 2 TEU). There is a wide consensus that rule of law essentially aims at delimiting the abuse of power. Osaston tai henkilön nimi, esityksen nimi

  18. Comparison to legal certainty: Judgment by flipping a coin? • An American judge decided the guilt or innocence of traffic violators by the flip of a coin when he could not decide the case on the basis of the testimony. • Can such a behaviour be accepted? • What about legal certainty? The probability of acquittal is 1:2, 50 %. So does legal certainty refer to predictability only? Is this an example of abuse of power as well? • (See Bix, Brian: Language and Legal Determinacy, Oxford, 1995, p. 106.) Osaston tai henkilön nimi, esityksen nimi