EUROPEAN REVIEW OF PUBLIC LAW - Vol. 23, no 4 (82), Winter 2011 - EDITORIAL


In this ERPL issue, the reader will find four articles on very topical public law issues. The first article deals with the intense budgetary crisis that Greek economy has been facing and examines the issue of the conformity with the national Constitution of the austerity measures taken and the structural reforms made by the Greek Government. Another article gives an overview of the long legal story of the establishment of the Public Auditor Institution in Turkey while the third article published in this issue is examining a highly controversial public policy issue in Europe, that of software protection. Finally, another article is critically commenting on the augmenting policy of public surveillance thourgh the 'Public Camera Surveillance' system in Greece and in other countries such as the UK, USA, Canada and Australia, presenting the arguments in favour and against such policies.

In the chronicles section of Constitutional Law, first are presented in detail several important decisions of the German Federal Constitutional Court in 2011, e.g. on the freedom of assembly, on the right to liberty of the detainees, on the measures in connection with the Euro rescue package etc.

Another chronicle reviews Law 4023/2011, the primary law for the determination of the constitutional provision on referenda in Greece, passed by Parliament just a few days before the referendum announcement by the (then) Greek Prime Minister in late October 2011.

The analysis of the mechanism for the pre-term dissolution of the Saeima (the Parliament) in Latvia is at the centre stage of another chornicle, examining the historical decision taken by the President of the State to dissolve the Saeima. The case law of the Latvian Constitutional Court in 2010, on issues connected with the restriction of various social rights, is also presented.

The Polish institutional practice in 2010, marked by the tragic death of the President of the Republic in the crash of the presidential aircraft, is presented in another chronicle. Are also examined in this chronicle several important statutes enacted that year as well as important judgements of the Polish Constitutional Tribunal.

Continuing in this section of chronicles, the ERPL readers will find a chronicle focusing on the operation of the Serbian Constitutional Court, and more in particular on its first decision on the merits in a case concerning the banning of an extremist organisation. This chronicle also touches upon an interesting decision of the Court on a constitutional complaint submitted by the organisers of the Belgrade Pride Parade and finally provides a short overview of the recent amendments of the Law on the Constitutional Court.

The last chronicle on Constitutional Law found in this ERPL issue comes from Spain and examines the acts passed in economic and employment subjects due to the international recession and more in particular the Real Decreto-ley 8/2010, of May 20, adopting extraordinary measures to reduce the public deficit. It also examines a landmark judgement of the Spanish Constitutional Court (Judgement No. 31/2010, of June 28) about the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia with regard to the evolution of the territorial organisation of the State.

Continuing in the section of Administrative Law chronicles, a chronicle presents the enormous range of rulings passed by administrative courts in Germany, revealing the extent of the juridification of modern society, which is based on the General and Special Administrative Law.

Another chronicle presents four decisions by the Supreme Administrative Court of Finland in 2011, all regarding civil service: three of these decisions concern fundamental rights and freedoms or human rights (freedom of expression, access to justice, and freedom of religion), whereas the fourth concerns the special compulsory retirement age.

Next, we find a chronicle providing an overview of particular issues connected with the economic recession and the consequential dismissal of public servants in Latvia. This chronicle also gives some significant indications on the Supreme Court regarding the freedom of information and the right to obtain an answer from public authorities and finally includes an overview of a number of significant decisions of the Department of Administrative Cases of the Supreme Court on construction law.

The chronicle on Polish Administrative Law focuses on issues related to the amendment of the Code of administrative procedure and on attempts to pass judgement on the most important changes occurred whereas in its second part presents the new initiatives and scientific problems in administrative law theory, more in particular regarding the question of time in administrative law.

The author of the chronicle on Serbian Administrative Law tries to identify the main deficiencies regarding public administration in Serbia, following the Commission Opinion published in October 2011 on the Serbian application for membership to the EU, while at the same time examines the positive results of the Serbian public administration reform, especially those achieved in 2011.

The chronicle on Spanish Administrative Law gives an overview of two facts specially relevant for the entire Spanish administrative system: the approval of Law 2/2011, of March 4, on Sustainable Economy and the use by the Spanish Constitutional Court - for the first time in its history - of the preliminary rulings procedure before the Court of Justice of the European Union.

As always, book reviews and information on major academic works and studies on public law are published in this ERPL issue.

Finally, a section called "Documents from Latin America" is launched, in which a presentation of the way Law is been taught, the methodology that should be used in teaching Law as well as recommendations of the author on this issue is published.

All in all, this is an issue of the ERPL where, as is the standard pursued by the Review, developments on public law of various countries are presented and commented in detail.

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I. Constitutional Law / Droit constitutionnel

 II. Administrative Law / Droit administratif








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