Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Law & Justice

A normative defence of a foreign policy in line with human rights

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This article was originally published in Dialogue, issue 6, winter 2013. In the last two decades, norms and beliefs have put on weight in scholarly research in international relations. Traditional (neo)realists would still insist that international relations are only about one predetermined goal, that is, survival. Nonetheless, among those willing to accept that there is […]

The free movement of people – it works both ways

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The free movement of people is a cornerstone principle of the European Union.  Why change it?  But that’s exactly what the British government has announced today that it wants to do. EU membership works both ways.  Other EU citizens can come here; we can go there. Britain has benefited greatly from other EU citizens coming to Britain to fill […]

Latvia: From Soviet Union to European Union

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In 1999, I visited the Baltic State of Latvia in the north-east part of Europe. It was eight years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, which Latvia was forced to join in the 1940’s. And it was five years before Latvia chose to join the European Union.  My visit was a snapshot of a country […]

Mapping human rights or how to sieve governments’ words into the bowl of facts

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I will be honest with you: I tend to dislike the idea of categorising human rights violations with numbers. If human rights are indivisible and interdependent, how can we say that the violation of this right deserves a “4” while the violation of that one will do with a “2”. Does that mean that two […]

Sense and Prejudice, or When is old news ‘news’? EU law, the European Court of Human Rights and the Parliamentary Sovereignty

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While reading through the Guardian website last night, I stumbled across an article published on 9 October this year by its legal correspondent, Joshua Rozenberg. This piece, Never mind human rights law, EU law is much more powerful, related the findings of a UK court in the case of an unfair dismissal and discrimination claim brought by two […]

The anonymous eurosceptics

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Anonymous eurosceptics seem to be everywhere, posting en masse in the readers columns of our national newspapers. And whenever I post a pro-EU comment – always under my real name – they’re there at the ready, trying hard to discredit me and calling me ‘dishonest’. Of course, they mostly never seem brave enough to post […]

Mr. Hague, considering Western Sahara, Morocco is not a strong example of peaceful reform and progress

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A few days ago the British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, met the Prime Minister of Morocco, Abdelilah Benkirane. In a short press note, the Foreign Office said that “Morocco stands as a strong example of peaceful reform and progress in North Africa, and the UK will continue to support the government’s reform process”. Perhaps the […]

The dangers of obfuscation on ‘Europe’

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Yesterday saw the UK’s Supreme Court hand down its ruling on R v. Secretary of State for Justice and McGeoch v. Lord President of the Council. These cases related to two prisoners on life sentences for murder challenging the denial of their right to vote.  Unlike the Hirst case of 2005, which first established that the UK’s blanket ban on prisoner voting […]

The role of Human Rights in foreign policy making in Europe: 4 questions and 2 observations

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This post was first published in RIGHTS IN CONTEXT on the 2013 Blog Action Day (16 October). This blog post is a collection of open questions rather than the statement of an opinion. I hereby want to share with you the 4 questions and 2 observations that are inspiring the doctoral project that I have […]

Should UK leave EU to stop ‘Roma beggars’?

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Yes, Britain should end its EU membership to solve the problem of ‘Roma beggars’, according to prominent Tory Eurosceptic MP, Douglas Carswell, reported The Telegraph this weekend. The newspaper complained that, ‘more than 20 Roma beggars living rough in London’ were given tickets home funded by the taxpayer, but they ‘have already returned.’ Yes, six of […]

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