Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Law & Justice

An official ban on sexist jokes?: The Council of Europe’s Recommendation on preventing and combating sexism

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The 27 March 2019 marks a historic moment in the history of human rights of women. The Council of Europe has adopted the first ever international document defining sexism. What does it mean for everyday realities of women? The far-right parties are leading countries across the continent (and beyond). Sexual and reproductive rights are under […]

80 years ago: The start of World War Two

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It was 80 years ago – on 1 September 1939 – that the Second World War started, when the German Nazi army launched a ferocious and unprovoked invasion of Poland. In the face of this unjustified aggression by Germany’s ‘Third Reich’, the United Kingdom and France could only resolve to declare war on Germany three […]

Which version of Brexit did Britain vote for?

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Before the referendum campaign, the Tory government flagged up three different versions of Brexit. If you’re a Leave voter, which one did you vote for? The fact is that Leave voters didn’t opt for any specific version of Brexit. Each option wasn’t even properly discussed during the campaign, let alone put on the ballot paper. […]

Yes, Britain can stop Brexit

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Late last year the European Court of Justice turned upside down claims by Tory ministers that it was too late to stop Brexit. The Court’s judgement was that the UK can unilaterally revoke its Article 50 notice and remain in the EU on exactly the same membership terms as now. The ruling means that the UK can do a […]

Parliament cannot bind a future Parliament

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Brexiters often say that the referendum result is a done deal and cannot be changed. But that’s not how our democracy works. Yes, the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 became law in June last year. The then International Trade Minister, Liam Fox, said at the time: “Lest anyone is in any doubt, the chances of […]

Boris Johnson: The dictator

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We thought that Prime Minister, Theresa May, was dictatorial. But her replacement, Boris Johnson, has taken the word to new depths. Mrs May tried her best – but failed – to pass Brexit by bypassing Parliament. But Mr Johnson is determined to ride roughshod over Parliament, if he must, to ensure Brexit happens on 31 […]

Critics Claim That Europe’s Courts Are Unaccountable. Recent Cases Suggest Otherwise.

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Brexit supporters have claimed that European courts are out of touch and impose their will on an unwilling British public. Michael F. Harsch, Vladislav Maksimov, and Chris Wheeler argue that European courts are more accountable than these critics contend: when these courts defy the wishes of governments, judgements tend to align with public opinion.  One […]

After Brexit, the Tories want to scrap our Human Rights Act

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The Tories are planning a bonfire of our rights after Brexit, with the top priority being to scrap our Human Rights Act and replace it with a watered down ‘Bill of Rights’. That’s been the long-term goal of the Tories, but they can’t do it whilst we are in the European Union. That’s because, although […]

2019 in Political Science (2) – Secrecy in Europe and Academic Trajectories

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I have promised to blog more frequently this year and to share how life and work as a political scientist looks like from my end. For this week’s post, I use the occasion of Vigjilenca Abazi‘s announcement that her monograph “Secrecy and Oversight in the EU” is soon to be published with Oxford University Press (Buy it! Read […]

Illegal political funding across Europe. Part I

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The following report contains words and quotations that have been translated from German into English by Jolyon Gumbrell. Secret political donations have allowed external actors to interfere with elections and referendums in EU member states, which is damaging the democratic process across Europe. Often the source of a political donation can be traced to a […]

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