Thursday, August 28, 2008

Presentation: The Prosecution of Crimes Against Humanity committed in Slovenia after the Second World War

On Tuesday 02 September the Legal Research Society will host what is sure to be a fascinating paper by another of our co-founders, Jernej Letnar Cernic:


Tuesday 02 September, 3pm, Taylor C16
Jernej Letnar Cernic, 'The Prosecution of Crimes Against Humanity committed in Slovenia after the Second World War - The Prosecutor v. Mitja Ribičič case before the Slovenian Courts'


Abstract :

This presentation examines the recent decision by the Slovenian Courts in the case of Prosecutor v. Mitja Ribičič concerning alleged commission of crimes against humanity in the Slovenian territory in the months following the end of the Second World War. As many as one hundred thirty thousands person are estimated to have been extra-judicially killed in the months following the end of the Second World War by Secret Police controlled by Yugoslav Communist Party. Mass grave sites numbering between four and five hundred have been so far found on the Slovenian territory. In August 2006, the Slovenian courts refused to open an investigation and start criminal proceedings against Mitja Ribičič on charges of crimes against humanity. This presentation presents the decision of the Slovenian courts and attempts to analyse its reasoning. A commentary of Prosecutor v. Ribičič constitutes the centrepiece of this article.

Based on these findings this presentation argues that there are strong legal and moral grounds for prosecuting crimes against humanity committed in Slovenia after the Second World War. The presentation analyses these issues with reference to the decision in Ribičič v. Prosecutor. It argues that there are several obstacles against domestic prosecution in Slovenia relating to factors beyond formal and substantive dimension of concept of law. In other words, the presentation argues that the problem in Slovenia is not that it does not have constitutionally (formally) independent judiciary and normative safe-guards protecting right to a fair trail. The real and far deeper, structural problem is that it does not have people and individuals who could avail themselves normative safeguards rights and ideals mainly due continuing influence of invisible forces of former totalitarian regime.


The presentation is in preparation for Jernej's paper at the Biennial Conference of the European Society of International Law, which will be held in Heidelberg. The Conference programme can be found here.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Seinfeld and the Law


I have a lot of respect for the Maryland Court of Appeals and its recent decision in Thomas L. Clancy, Jr. v. W and T. King. The case has to do with whether the author Tom Clancy violated his fiduciary duties by withdrawing from a book series. That, however, is not the reason for why the Maryland Court deserves respect. In the case, the judges cite, as an example of bad faith in contract, Jerry Seinfeld and his conduct in the episode the Wig Master. The judges refer to the dispute Jerry has with a store clerk when he tries to return an expensive jacket because of “spite” and refer to Jerry’s reason as an example of breach of the duty to act in good faith toward the other party to a contract. This is a brilliant example of sound legal reasoning made available to non-lawyers.

The Wall Street Journal’s Law blog has the story and you can read the decision here.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Presentation Announcement

Although term start is still a few weeks away, the Legal Research Society kick starts this academic year with a presentation by founding member Justin Borg Barthet titled How Corporate Europe was Built in Kirchberg: An overview of AG Maduro's Opinion in Cartesio". The presentation will take place on Monday August 25 (sorry for the short notice) at 14.00 in Taylor Building room C16.

Here is the abstract:

This presentation addresses the opinion of Advocate General Maduro (ECJ) in Case C‑210/06 Cartesio Oktató és Szolgáltató bt. The case concerns the refusal of the Hungarian courts to allow a Hungarian limited partnership to transfer its operational headquarters to Italy while remaining incorporated under Hungarian law. In keeping with the flow of liberalisation that began with the ECJ's judgment in Centros, AG Maduro finds that the Hungarian law at issue constitutes an unjustified restriction on freedom of establishment as provided in Articles 43 and 48 of the EC Treaty.

It will be argued that the AG's opinion is commendable to the extent that it signals the way for a more coherent body of law. However, in the final analysis the opinion is open to criticism on the grounds that the AG's findings are symptomatic of an activist court that disregards positive law and the residual socio-economic sovereignty of the Member States.

For a brief introduction to the AG's opinion please click here.

All are welcome.