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Reproductive Health: Morals, Margins and Rights

Reproductive interventions and technologies have the capacity to generate profound societal unease and to provoke hostile reactions underpinned by various moral concerns. This paper shows that this position currently goes relatively unchecked by the European Court of Human Rights, which allows the margin of appreciation and consensus doctrines significantly to limit the scope of reproductive rights under the right to respect for private and family life under Article 8.

Rosamund Scott


An Improved Protection for the (Mentally Ill) Trans Parent: A Queer Reading of AP, Garçon and Nicot v France

In April 2017 the ECtHR held that the legal recognition of gender transition cannot be made conditional upon pursuing medical or surgical procedures which have (or are likely to have) sterilising effects. This article analyses the judgment from a critical perspective grounded in queer theory, noting both the positive and the negative elements of the Court's decision.

Damian A Gonzalez-Salzberg

book review

Review of Nicola Lupo and Cristina Fasone (eds), Interparliamentary Cooperation in the Composite European Constitution, Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2016, xvii + 366 pp, hb £59.99.

Amidst an explosion in academic writing on the role of national parliaments and interparliamentary cooperation in the Lisbon and post-Lisbon EU, this valuable new collection brings together leading and emerging scholars in the field of interparliamentary cooperation from legal and political science backgrounds along with contributions from a number of practitioners.

Mario Mendez

book review

Review of Alan Norrie, Justice and the Slaughter Bench: Essays on Law's Broken Dialectic, Abingdon: Routledge, 2016, 222 pp, hb £110.00, pb £36.99.

Alan Norrie is one of the leading voices in the critical analysis of criminal law. In this book, he brings together a collection of recent essays and articles that develop two distinctive themes in his work to date: law's 'architectonic' and its 'constellation', challenging both liberal and critical legal theory, as part of a project of judging 'law's judgment'.

Peter Ramsay

book review

Review of Anthea Roberts, Is International Law International?, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017, 420 pp, hb £25.99.

Continuing her previous work examining the concept of ‘comparative international law,’ Anthea Roberts’ book represents a rare and valuable attempt to understand how pronounced differences of interpretation arise in, and structure, the study and practice of international law. For a profession that is profoundly dedicated to conceiving of itself as an ‘invisible college’ of members working towards a common project, there is much to be gained from taking a hard look at the reality of the ‘divisible college’.

Ryan Mitchell

book review

Review of Gregory Messenger, The Development of World Trade Organization Law: Examining Change in International Law, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016, 216 pp, hb £70.00.

It is easy to view the current instability in the international trading order as a time of upheaval and transformation, and to frame what came before as static and stable. Against this backdrop, Gregory Messenger’s meticulous, scholarly and ‘multi-causal’ portrait of the development of WTO law provides a thoughtful reminder that change has always been a central feature of the system.

Christopher Alexander Thomas

book review

Review of Dimitrios Kyritsis, Where Our Protection Lies: Separation of Powers and Constitutional Review, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017, 240 PP, hb £50.00.

In his new book, Dimitrios Kyritsis sets out a ‘moralized constitutional theory’, according to which questions of constitutional theory are questions of political morality. Working at the intersection of legal and political theory, Kyritsis tells a story of courts and legislatures as partners in a ‘joint project’ of political governance, and in so doing provides a framework with which to analyse one of the most controversial questions of constitutional theory: the justifiability of constitutional review of legislation

Conor Crummey

book review

Review of John M. Collins, Martial Law and English Laws, c 1500‐c 1700, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016, xiv + 319 pp, hb £64.99.

Jurists have long recognised a distinction between military law, which is seen as the code of rules enforced by military courts regulating the conduct of the armed forces, and martial law, which is seen as the resort to extra-legal force to restore order in times of invasion or emergency. In this meticulously-researched and well-written volume, John M. Collins argues that this distinction did not exist in early modern England, and that it only came into being after 1689 with the passage of the Mutiny Acts.

Michael Lobban

MLR Forum

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Responsibility and Reason-Responsiveness: Comments on John Gardner’s 2016 Chorley Lecture, ‘The Negligence Standard: Political, Not Metaphysical’, (2017) 80(1) MLR 1-21

Is it OK for the law to assign responsibilities to persons who lack the ability to respond to reasons? For John Gardner, the answer is 'normally, no'. Even when we do saddle those persons with responsibilities, we do so because we treat them, fictitiously, as if they are able to respond to reasons. Is that right?

Emmanuel Voyiakis

Hans Kelsen’s Judicial Decisionism versus Carl Schmitt’s Concept of the One ‘Right’ Judicial Decision: Comments on Stanley L Paulson, 'Metamorphosis in Hans Kelsen's Legal Philosophy' (2017) 80(5) MLR 860-894

Stanley Paulson's intriguing tracing of the developments of Hans Kelsen's work seems to maintain that Kelsen's decisionist stance of judicial decision-making was tamed by his constructivist 'Kantian' approach to law. While agreeing with Paulson’s jurisprudential analysis, a denial of the radicalism of Kelsen's decisionism often is the basis for the classic juxtaposition between his and Carl Schmitt's decisionist theory. But the opposite view is more appropriate: Schmitt's judge has much less room for individual political views than Kelsen's.

Jochen von Bernstorff

The Past and Future of the World’s Smallest Global Court: Comments on Tracy Robinson and Arif Bulkan, ‘Constitutional Comparisons by a Supranational Court in Flux: The Privy Council and Caribbean Bills of Rights’ (2017) 80(3) MLR 379–411

Robinson and Bulkan make a convincing case that the past and present of Judicial Committee of the Privy Council is of great concern for the future constitutional orders of the Caribbean, Commonwealth and United Kingdom. This note further explores the historical context to understand that future and its politics.

Coel Kirkby

A Time Traveller’s Guide to Law and Finance: Comments on Carsten Gerner-Beuerle, ‘Law and Finance in Emerging Economies: Germany and Britain 1800–1913’ (2017) 80(2) MLR 263–98

This comment connects Gerner-Beuerle's article on the evolution of company and securities law to the 'law and finance school', exploring the problems of original 'law and finance' research, Gerner-Beuerle's contribution in this direction, and suggesting how and why we may need a 'time traveller's guide' to law and finance.

Mathias Siems

Keeping It Real? Comments on Kimberlee Weatherall, ‘The Consumer as the Empirical Measure of Trade Mark Law’ (2017) 80(1) MLR 57-87

Professor Weatherall’s thought-provoking critique of the selective resistance to empiricism in trade mark law is a significant and welcome intervention. But the existence of certain structural features suggests that only a qualified turn to empiricism is possible, and the broader engagement between Law and Science holds other cautionary lessons.

Dev S Gangjee

MLR news

Recording of the 2018 Chorley Lecture now available

The recording of Professor Adrian Vermeule’s 2018 Chorley Lecture ‘The Publius Paradox: On the Dangers of a Weak Executive’, delivered on 5 June 2018, is now available here.

May 2018 now up

The articles, notes and reviews in theMay issue of the Modern Law Review are now online. This issue contains three articles, dealing with free speech suppression during the Korean War, the rights to reproductive health under the ECHR, and the category of the ‘child’ in European human rights law. Notes on the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act, the UNISON case, and a ECtHR decision on gender transition recognition are followed by seven reviews on books ranging from the instability in the WTO system to martial law in early modern England.

March 2018 Issue now available

The articles, notes and reviews from the March issue of the Modern Law Review are now available. This issue features articles on restitution theory, public procurement decision-making, patient capacity in treatment decisions, and value discourses in EU copyright law, a legislation note on bill of sale lending, case notes on upkeep costs for incorrectly conceived children and EU religious discrimination in the workplace, and reviews of books on topics ranging from anonymous speech to the choice theory of contracts.

MLR 4 days ago

RT @abicadams: So honoured to receive @ESRC Outstanding #impactprize in Public Policy fr @JuliaGillard for @ModernLRev #accesstojustice pie…

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