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The legal basis of measures adopted by the Eurosystem to deal with sovereign debt-crisis in the Europe

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By Evlampia Tsolaki, Lawyer "…Every person is a much better judge of what is good for him than any President, Governor or Congressman. When the government starts telling people what they should do with their money, they are telling people how to mind their own business. This will make a bigger mess than that which they tried to correct…" ADAM SMITH, THE WEALTH OF NATIONS PREFACE   The current financial crisis has fundamentally challenged the predominant economic orthodoxy of "laissez faire-laissez passer" by unearthing rather turbulently its structural weaknesses. Contrary to the rosy expectations cultivated systematically all over the world in order to encourage every single individual to live his own myth based on the systemic practice of excessive borrowing by any possible means, the absolute dedication to that dogma has led to a massive financial bubble, culminating in a striking and shocking failure. Unfortunately, in the very same vein, states have been infect

The money laundering risk of Golden Passports

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By Christina Poursanidou, Lawyer Following the financial crisis of 2009, most of the European countries in order to boost their weakened economies, have introduced policies, which allow foreign investors to make large and passive investments, in exchange of an easy (almost immediate) route to citizenship or residence of the investors. Such schemes are definitely not a new trend, since even from the 1980s UK and USA offered residence in exchange for sizable investments. Usually these policies are defined as Citizenship by Investment (CBI) or  Residency by Investment (RBI), “Golden Visas” or “Golden passports”. Undoubtedly,  such policies have a positive impact on the introducing country, but simultaneously could carry significant risk of economic crime. At that point, let’s discuss the intentions of the parties. On the one hand, the country introducing a golden passport policy aims at its economic growth. Basically, the country offers a passport in order to receive a huge investment fro

Protocol No. 15 amends the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

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Protocol No. 15 to the European Convention on Human Rights brings significant amendments in Convention’s provisions. The ratification shall trigger into force of the Protocol as such, in respect of all the Council of Europe member States on 1 August 2021. This protocol brings some changes to the European Convention on Human Right’s provisions regarding the functioning of the European Court of Human Rights : Adding a reference to the principle of subsidiarity and the doctrine of the margin of appreciation to the Preamble of the Convention; Shortening from six to four months the time limit within which an application must be made to the Court; Amending the ‘significant disadvantage’ admissibility criterion to remove the second safeguard preventing rejection of an application that has not been duly considered by a domestic tribunal; Removing the right of the parties to a case to object to relinquishment of jurisdiction over it by a Chamber in favour of the Grand Chamber; Replacing t

In prison 37-year-old in Greece because he did not wear a mask against Covid-19

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A 37-year-old man will serve 2/3 of the total sentence of 60 days imposed on him by the District Criminal Court in Serres, Greece, because he did not wear a protection mask against coronavirus. In particular, the court, after finding him guilty of violating the measures to prevent infectious diseases, ordered that the accused should serve 40 days in prison, while the rest of the sentence (20 days) was decided to be suspended. The case was tried with the "act of committing an offence" procedure, while as it became known, the accused is said to have committed the same crime during the previous period. According to Article 100 of the new Greek Penal Code, if a person is sentenced to imprisonment for not more than three years, the court, if it deems it necessary to assess part of the deprivation of liberty in order to prevent him from committing other criminal acts, may order the execution of that part, the duration of which may not be less than ten days nor more than three month

Failure to enforce sentence imposed on sex offender breached ECHR

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In Chamber judgment on 13.4.2021 in the case of E.G. v. Republic of Moldova (application no. 37882/13) the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been a violation of Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights and a violation of Article 8 (right to respect for private life).  The case concerned a sexual assault on the applicant in February 2008, and in particular the failure to enforce the sentence imposed on one of her three attackers. The offender in question had been granted an amnesty while the authorities were still looking for him and he had never served his sentence. The benefit of this amnesty had subsequently been annulled. However, the period of about one year during which he had benefited from the amnesty had enabled him to leave Moldova, shortly before the last annulment decision.  The Court found that the sexual assault on the applicant had constituted a serious breach of her right to protec

European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority is inviting applications for a position as Legal Expert

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The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) is an independent European Union Authority established on 1 January 2011 by Regulation (EU) No. 1094/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 November 2010. For its offices in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, EIOPA is inviting applications for a position as Legal Expert. The successful candidate will be a member of the Legal Team, within EIOPA’s Corporate Affairs Department, which consists of three teams: the Legal Team, the Institutional Relations, Strategy and Implementation Team and the Communications Team. Place of employment Frankfurt am Main, Germany Monthly basic salary 3,555.98 EUR Applications should be submitted to recruitment@eiopa.europa.eu, specifying in the subject the reference number above. Deadline for application is 23:59 CET on 10 May 2021 Read the Vacancy Note here photo by  Janine Bolon  from   pixabay . com

First ECtHR judgment on compulsory childhood vaccination: No violation of the Convention

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In its Grand Chamber judgment in the case of Vavřička and Others v. the Czech Republic (applications no. 47621/13 and five other applications) the European Court of Human Rights held, by a majority (sixteen votes to one), that there had been no violation of Article 8 (right to respect for private life) of the European Convention on Human Rights.  In the Czech Republic there is a general legal duty to vaccinate children against nine diseases that are well known to medical science. Compliance with the duty cannot be physically enforced. Parents who fail to comply, without good reason, can be fined. Non-vaccinated children are not accepted in nursery schools (an exception is made for those who cannot be vaccinated for health reasons).  In the present case, the first applicant was fined for failure to comply with the vaccination duty in relation to his two children. The other applicants were all denied admission to nursery school for the same reason.  The Court pointed out that, under its

Covid-19 is worsening human trafficking – states should take action, warn Council of Europe experts

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The Covid-19 pandemic is having a worrying impact on human trafficking across Europe and states should do more to prevent it, according to the latest annual report from the Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings ( GRETA ). “The effects of the pandemic have made victims of human trafficking even more vulnerable,” said GRETA President Helga Gayer. “Frontline NGOs have reported delays in people being formally identified as victims of trafficking, which seriously affects their access to safe accommodation, healthcare and much-needed support whilst also putting them at risk of further abuse,” she added. “Traffickers have made the most of the situation, exploiting the precarious financial situation of many of their victims. Furthermore, whilst the authorities are reporting increased sexual exploitation and criminal activity online, stretched resources and delays in the justice system are hampering efforts to bring traffickers to account and t

The phenomenon of “De-risking”

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By Christina Poursanidou, Lawyer During the last years the AML regulations have become stricter, forcing the banks and payment institutions to pay closer attention to compliance. The harsh consequences of non-compliance, such as the annulment of operating licenses of institutions, the criminal prosecution against their executives, billion-dollar fines and the reputational risk has led to the phenomenon of “De-risking”. According to the European Banking Authority (EBA), “De-risking refers to a decision taken by firms to refuse, or to terminate, business relationships with some categories of customers that they associate with higher ML/TF risk.”. Ιn depth, it has been noticed instead of applying a risk based approach for each customer individually, in a comprehensive and proportionate basis, the banks and financial institutions tend to exit entire categories of customers and terminate relationships with high risk clients, such as residents of certain countries, PEPs, charities and cert

Basic Attributes of Transnational Law and CISG

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By Evlampia Tsolaki, Attorney at Law The conception of "transnational" law by its spiritual father Philip Jessup (1)  has heralded a completely new scientific legal realm in order to suggest an unconventional for that time approach to legal problems arisen beyond national borders. However vague normatively and thus rather controversial theoretically, that term has been gradually established at its beginnings (2) in the trade area as "transnational commercial law" for describing the law governing the cross-border transactions. It has been proven that the term has been conceptually very precisely chosen in order to imply that contrary to the well-known traditional areas of national and international law and besides them, there is an intrinsic need for mapping a completely undiscovered field where individual persons, either natural or legal personalities, operate outside the protective national net. The exploration of this unknown land is the aim of this paper in order

Rule of Law: European Commission refers Poland to the European Court of Justice and asks for interim measures

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The European Commission decided to refer Poland to the Court of Justice of the European Union regarding the law on the judiciary of 20 December 2019, which entered into force on 14 February 2020. The Commission also decided to ask the Court of Justice to order interim measures until it has issued a final judgment in the case. The Commission considers that the Polish law on the judiciary undermines the independence of Polish judges and is incompatible with the primacy of EU law. Moreover, the law prevents Polish courts, including by using disciplinary proceedings, from directly applying certain provisions of EU law protecting judicial independence, and from putting references for preliminary rulings on such questions to the Court of Justice. In addition, the Commission considers that Poland violates EU law by allowing the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court – the independence of which is not guaranteed – to take decisions which have a direct impact on judges and the way they e

Implementing ECHR judgments: Progress in 2020 despite COVID, but further efforts needed

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States across Europe are continuing to make progress on implementing judgments from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the latest  annual report  from the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers.  However, further efforts are needed to tackle systemic issues highlighted by the ECHR, including ill-treatment or deaths caused by the security forces and poor conditions of detention, as well as inter-state cases and a growing number of cases concerning abusive limitations on rights and freedoms. “Today’s report shows that our member states take their obligation to implement judgments from the European Court of Human Rights very seriously, even in difficult circumstances,” said Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić. “It is also very positive that NGOs and National Human Rights Institutions are becoming more and more involved in the process, making it more effective and transparent. “Nevertheless, this is no time

Legal aid in civil and administrative law: New guidelines

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The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe has adopted a set of  guidelines  for the 47 member States to help them improve the functioning of national systems of legal aid in the fields of civil and administrative law. The Committee of Ministers stresses the importance of establishing an accessible, effective, sustainable and reliable legal aid scheme allowing individuals to effectively exercise their right of access to justice These guidelines, prepared by the European Committee on Legal Co-operation, invite member States to take a number of measures: - in order to resolve disputes quickly, provide better information on existing legal rights, obligations and remedies and improve access to legal advice and assistance (e.g. through one-stop shops in public services); - to ensure the quality of legal aid schemes and legal services provided by legal aid providers (appointment criteria, evaluation, codes of ethics, satisfaction surveys, disciplinary measures etc); - to e

Jurisdiction in matters of parental responsibility – Abduction of a child (ECJ)

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Court of Justice of the E.U. - Judgment in Case C-603/20 PPU SS v MCP (24.3.2021): The jurisdiction of the court of a Member State that is seised of an action relating to parental responsibility cannot be based on Article 10 of the Brussels II bis Regulation in a case of abduction of a child to a third State. Where a finding is made that the child now has his or her habitual residence in a third State, the jurisdiction of the court will have to be determined in accordance with the applicable international conventions or, in their absence, in accordance with Article 14 of the Brussels II bis Regulation. Facts SS and MCP are the father and mother of P, who was born in 2017 and has British citizenship. SS and MCP, who are of Indian nationality and have leave to remain in the United Kingdom, are not legally married but jointly hold parental responsibility. In October 2018 the mother went to India with the child, who has since lived there with her maternal grandmother and is therefore

Economic Financial sanctions: What, why and do they work?

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by Christina Poursanidou, Lawyer Economic sanctions have a vital role in the global financial industry. The majority of countries have imposed sanctions or had sanctions imposed against either them or their citizens. Considering the above, it is important to have a clear understanding of the definition and the rationale of economic sanctions. Do the economic sanctions really work or do the negatives results outweigh the positives?  Economic sanctions have both diplomatic and economic nature. They are defined as restrictive measures against a target government, or non-state entities and individuals. They may comprise export and/or import bans, bans on the provision of specific services (brokering, financial services, technical assistance), flight bans, prohibitions on investment, payments and capital movements, or the withdrawal of tariff preferences.  Undoubtedly, all these restrictions may cause financial and humanitarian crises to the target countries. So, what is the ratio of these