Measuring the Rule of Law and Identifying Its Determinants

Prof. Dr. Stefan Voigt, Director Institute of Law & Economics, University of Hamburg

There is an almost universal consensus that the rule of law is desirable. Given this enthusiasm, it is remarkable how little is known about the factors conducive to it. A precondition for improving our knowledge of the rule of law is the ability to measure it. In a paper recently posted on the internet, together with Jerg Gutmann I set out to do just that. Based on very extensive data from a survey carried out in 99 countries, we propose a new indicator for the rule of law. It is the first such indicator that explicitly takes the quality of legal norms into account. If the rule of law means that legislation is general and applies to all individuals in a like fashion, taking the characteristics of the law explicitly into account seems crucial.

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Recent developments in Scotland’s and Catalonia’s struggle for independence

See Dutch version below

Vicky Vanhoutte, Kris Merckx, Laurent De Clercq and Hannes Speeckaert (Master students Advanced Study Constitutional Law, UGent), Pieter Cannoot (assistant, UGent) and Juan Benjumea Moreno (assistant, UGent)

Several member states of the European Union have been confronted with increasing demands for subnational regionalisation in the past few years. The origin of these independence movements is closely related to the political and economic context of a region. Therefore, the constitutional road towards independence is complex. The differences between Scotland and Catalonia in their process to potential independence exemplify this perfectly. In the wake of the historic year 2014, this post provides an overview of the recent developments in the Scottish and Catalan independence movements.

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Recente ontwikkelingen in het onafhankelijkheidsstreven van Schotland en Catalonië

Vicky Vanhoutte, Kris Merckx, Laurent De Clercq en Hannes Speeckaert (masterstudenten Grondige Studie Grondwettelijk Recht, UGent), Pieter Cannoot (assistent, UGent) en Juan Benjumea Moreno (assistent, UGent)

Verschillende lidstaten van de Europese Unie worden de laatste jaren geconfronteerd met een steeds toenemende vraag naar sub-statelijke regionalisering. Steeds meer regio's streven immers naar meer autonomie, of zelfs onafhankelijkheid. De oorsprong van dit onafhankelijkheidsstreven hangt nauw samen met de  politieke, historische en economische context van een regio. De grondwettelijke weg naar onafhankelijkheid is dan ook geen eenduidig gegeven. De verschillen tussen Schotland en Catalonië in hun proces naar een mogelijke onafhankelijkheid vormen hiervan het perfecte bewijs. Na het historische jaar 2014, biedt dit bericht een overzicht van de recente ontwikkelingen in het Schotse en Catalaanse onafhankelijkheidsstreven.

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Monthly Overview – October 2015

BelConLawBlog publishes a selected reading list of (I) new scholarship on Belgian constitutional law in journals and books, (II) decisions of the Belgian Constitutional Court in which a violation of the Constitution has been found, (III) upcoming conferences, and (IV) calls for papers. In order to submit relevant developments for our monthly overview, please contact us.

This overview was composed by Ruth Delbaere (Research Assistant, UGent).

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