#9 International Law

The United Nations comprises 193 states, all of which have legal relations with each other. But how are these relationships governed? International law is there to help: It organises, furthers, and reforms these relationships. Who defines what a state is and why is Palestine, among others, not always recognised as one?

This 9th episode of Maastricht Law Talk features Marcel Brus. He is a professor of Public International Law at the University of Groningen. He not only coordinates several study programmes (two LLMs and one LLB), but also chairs the Department of Transboundary Legal Studies in Groningen. Additionally, he holds the position of Director of Studies at the prestigious International Law Association (Click here.)

As always: If you haven’t listened to our first episode yet, you should consider doing so first: What is Law. It definitely helps understanding certain terms and concepts.

Marcel and I discuss

  • the historical development of international law,
  • how it can be enforced,
  • what the requirements of statehood are,
  • why we should talk about participants and not of subjects,
  • the position of the ICJ and other international courts/tribunals,
  • what sources international law has,
  • how humanitarian interventions work,
  • the power of the UN’s General Assembly and Security Council, as well as
  • much more.

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avatar Marcel Brus
Full Professor

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#8 (EU) Citizenship

We don’t think much about it, but most of us have one: A citizenship. We are being born as Indian, Dutch, Bulgarian, Chinese, or some other nationality. But why do we have citizenships and what rights do they bring with them?

Our first guest in 2018 is Dimitry Kochenov. Dimitry holds a professorship in EU Constitutional Law at the University of Groningen and recently published his new book “EU Citizenship and Federalism: The Role of Rights” (Cambridge, 2017). He also consults national governments and acts as an expert for leading law firms. His biggest project, made possible through support by Henley & Partners, is the Quality of Nationality Index.

This episode is mostly standing on its own. If you haven’t listened to our other episodes yet, consider listening to our first: What is Law. We might refer to certain concepts of European Union law which we haven’t yet covered in this podcast. But don’t worry: You will understand the content anyways.

Dimitry and I talk about

  • what it means to be a citizen,
  • why citizenships exist and how to gain them,
  • what rights you get by holding one,
  • how racism and sexism play a role in nationality law,
  • why the European Union created its own,
  • bus travel and how it connects to everything,
  • what Dimitry and his fellow scholars think should happen to improve citizenship law in the EU but also in national systems, and
  • much more.

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avatar Dimitry Kochenov
Professor

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#7 Access to Justice

It might seem so obvious: If someone misbehaves, e.g. by damaging your property, you may start proceedings or seek any other remedy available. You may also want to mediate to find a solution. This, in a broad sense, is access to justice. Who is able to achieve justice? Listen to this 7th episode of Maastricht Law Talk to find out!

This month’s guest is Maurits Barendrecht. He is research director at HiiL and a Professor of Private Law at Tilburg University. After finishing his law degree at Leiden University he started working at De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, one of the biggest law firms in the Netherlands. Some years later, he even became partner. But: This wasn’t his. After finishing his PhD he started teaching at Tilburg and joined HiiL later on. To fight for justice!

We refer to three other Maastricht Law Talk episodes within the show. If you haven’t listened to them yet, consider doing so:  What is Law, why can the State cause harm, and what exactly is tort?

Maurits and I discuss

  • what access to justice contains,
  • the importance of the rule of law,
  • States not trying to solve anything,
  • what the UN and EU are doing in that area,
  • why law isn’t always the right answer,
  • how powerless States are,
  • what must change in legal education to guarantee access to justice,
  • that legal positivism might not be the best way to go (debatable ;-)), and
  • much more.

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avatar Mauritz Barendrecht
Research Coordinator at HiiL

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#6 Tort Law

There are 7.35 billion people on this planet. We all have to live together and arrange our lives in a way that others can live theirs. But what if something goes wrong? Your friend borrows your phone and it happens: It falls to the ground. Who must compensate your damage?

In our sixth episode we dig deeper into the private law. Tort law jumps in where contract law can not help: When you suffer a wrong but the wrongdoer is someone you do not have any legal relationship with.

Gijs van Dijck is Full Professor of Private Law at Maastricht University and joined its faculty of Law in September 2016. His work evolves around empirical legal research in fields such as tort law and insolvency law. He was a visiting scholar at Standford Law School and KU Leuven. Next to his professorship Gijs is co-director of the Maastricht European Private Law Institute.

We have tried our best to not use too many technical terms. If you have trouble understanding certain concepts, you may consider listening to our “What is Law?” and “State-Caused Harm” episodes first.

Gijs and I discuss

  • where tort law originates from,
  • what differentiates it from contract and criminal law,
  • why receiving compensation for damages is an important aspect of society,
  • what grounds there are to be hold liable,
  • climate change and government responsibilities,
  • what counts as a tort in the first place,
  • why the United States seems to be the odd one out,
  • what the difference is between punitive and compensatory damages,
  • that you can sue your doctor for malpractise, and
  • much more.

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avatar Gijs van Dijck
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#5 United States Law

European lawyers tend to have a hard time with United States Law at first. Too different are “both” systems, it seems. But is the Anglo-American legal order really that different?

The fifth main episode of Maastricht Law Talk leaves the European continent for a while: It covers the United States legal system. From a federal judge being able to block the president’s executive orders to the harmonisation process of law.

Larry Catá Backer is Professor of Law and International Affairs at Penn State University. He is an expert on corporate, enterprise, and constitutional law and is currently working on his new book on an “Introduction to U.S. Law”. You can find his work and latest research on his website Backer in Law or on his blog Law at the End of the Day.

If you haven’t yet listened to our episode on constitutions, you might want to do that first. Click here to listen to the episode.

Larry and I talk about

  • the federal structure,
  • common law as a concept,
  • “codification”,
  • harmonisation of law,
  • the appointment and election of judges,
  • popular democracy and democratic deficits,
  • the U.S. Supreme Court,
  • federal and state powers,
  • the presidential election,
  • gerrymandering,
  • executive orders,
  • judicial review, and
  • much more.

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avatar Larry Catá Backer
Professor of Law

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#4 Contract Law

Unfortunately we have encountered some problems with our audio files after recording. Therefore, especially during the first 5 minutes, the audio quality might not live up to our standards. Please accept my apologies for this!

Did you get a coffee this morning or maybe a sandwich for lunch? Whether or not you were aware of it: You have concluded a contract.

This fourth main episode of Maastricht Law Talk covers the law of contract. Contracts are everywhere: We rent apartments, subscribe to Netflix, and pay the electricity supplier. We also buy coffees, sausage rolls, and drinks.

My guest today is Jan Smits, Full Professor of European Private Law at Maastricht University (UM). He is also the head of the department for private law at UM and director of the Maastricht European Private Law Institute. Jan obtained his PhD on “the reliance principle and contractual liability” from Leiden University. Learn more about him on his personal website right here and click here for his new book.

If you haven’t yet listened to our first episode on “What is Law?”, you might want to do that first. Click here to listen to Bram Akkermans and me covering the very basics of law.

Jan and I discuss

  • why we live in a contract society,
  • the importance of contracting,
  • common misconceptions,
  • how a contract is formed,
  • why contracts do not have to be written,
  • whether we are always bound by them, and
  • much more.

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avatar Jan Smits
Full Professor

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#BREXIT It is not easy

This week’s episode is all about the United Kingdom leaving the European Union. With me for a second time is Aalt Willem Heringa – an expert in his field. If you haven’t listened to our episode on constitutions yet, you might want to do that first.

Aalt Willem is Full Professor of Comparative Constitutional Law at Maastricht University and recently started a research blog platform called Law Blogs Maastricht. Click here to find out more.

We talk about:

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avatar Aalt Willem Heringa
Full Professor

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#FACT Scots despise English Law

Hi, it’s Benedikt again and we are working hard to bring you a new full-feature episode soon. In the meantime however, Bram Akkermans has a fun fact for you: Why English and Scottish lawyers aren’t the best colleagues.

Bram Akkermans is Associate Professor at the Maastricht University Faculty of Law and was my first guest on the show. Click here to listen to the full episode on “What is Law”?

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avatar Benedikt Schmitz
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avatar Bram Akkermans
Associate Professor

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#XMS The Law to Gift

It’s holiday season! Whatever you celebrate, very often this includes giving presents. For most, gifting is as normal as buying tomatoes in the grocery store. The law however has quite a hard time dealing with it.

My guest for this special Christmas episode is William Bull, Lecturer at Maastricht University. William wrote his PhD on “Optional instruments of the European Union; A Definitional, Normative and Explanatory Study” and studied English and Italian law at the University College London. Currently he is teaching Comparative Contract Law and a Legal Research course.

William and I briefly discuss

  • what an immediate donation is,
  • the Common Law concept of consideration,
  • why you might want to look for a notary, and
  • why gifting isn’t as easy as it seems.

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avatar Benedikt Schmitz
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avatar William Bull
Lecturer

Click here for legal information. This episode also contains the following intellectual property:

Oh, Christmas Tree by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/