Fundamental Rights and Freedoms

The French Council of State rules that the existing threat to national security currently justifies the generalized retention of data. It affirms also that the possibility of accessing connection data in order to fight serious crime allows, at the present time, the constitutional requirements of preventing breaches of law and order, and the tracking down of authors of criminal offences to be ensured. However, after examining the conformity with EU law of French rules on the retention of connection data, and verifying that the implementation of EU law (as interpreted by the European Court of Justice) does not jeopardize the requirements of the French Constitution, the French Council of State orders the Government to reassess regularly the threat that exists in France so as to justify the generalized retention of data, and to submit the use of these same data by the intelligence services to clearance provided by an independent authority.

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Digitalisation and the right to good administration



Post author | 9 July 2021 | Not Yet in an issue

Since the adoption of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, in the context of the European Union the so-called “good administration” has emerged as a new fundamental right: the right to good administration, as written and detailed in Article 41 of the EU Charter. As for its specific contents, there is a clear correspondence with the provisions of Article 97 of the Italian Constitution with respect to the need for impartiality and good performance/efficiency of the Public Administration: two principles of which the best expression is found in Law 241 of 1990 on administrative procedure. It is precisely in this perspective that modern Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) can play a fundamental role in the context of public administration, especially in as far as the possibility to carry out an adequate and prompt investigation process during the administrative procedure is concerned.

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Distrust in science and the spread of pseudoscientific theories appears to be one of the main factors threatening the freedom of science in modern Western democracies. This article discusses how due to the CoVid-19 pandemic this danger may even increase. In particular, the article highlights how certain behaviours of members of the scientific community may contribute to the spread of anti-scientific attitudes in society. The author analyses which strategies of action, especially within the scientific community, can be used to contrast such a tendency and points out that, regardless of the strategy chosen, the fight against pseudoscience requires a deep reflection on the problem of the “demarcation”, a key issue of the philosophy of science, which has been neglected in recent decades.

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The ongoing issuing of regulations in order to face the emergency stemming from the pandemic represents an interesting test to verify the integrity of our traditional system of protection of general interests. This system consists in the combination of general law, abstract and durable over time, on the one hand, and typical and punctual administrative provision, on the other. The orders of necessity and urgency are highly symbolic and emblematic, because they show a problematic relationship between law and power. The technique of using general principles (such as the principle of sincere cooperation, the principle of state supremacy, the principle of subsidiarity, the principle of reasonableness, the principle of proportionality, the precautionary principle and the principle of solidarity) must be refined in order to strike a balance between the rule and the exception. The excesses - of centralism, regionalism, authoritarianism and individualism - are always dangerous.

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The aim of this article is to analyse some questions concerning the relationship between the policy of the European Union in the Higher education and the profound changes taking place in the Italian university system.

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This paper investigates the further and multiple repercussions of the results of the Research Quality Assessment (VQR), which could affect the freedom of scientific research activity, influencing its methods, object, degree of depth and dissemination channels. The paper will distinguish between effects that affect institutions and departments as a whole, and effects that directly affect the authors of the research products evaluated. The analysis will then focus in particular on the relationship between the results of the VQR and the classification of the A-class scientific journals in Italy, highlighting the potential distorting effects both in terms of greater or lesser accessibility to the A-class journals by contributions from authors who do not participate in the VQR, and in terms of research topics.

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The article explores the concept and the development of academic freedom in Afghanistan since the fall of the Talibans in 2001. It sets out the main dimensions and the scope of academic freedom as a fundamental right, protected by the Afghan Constitution, as well as the challenge of increasing the number of female academics. It also aims to indicate how Afghan policymakers and legislators should take measures to effectively protect and optimize academic freedom.

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Brexit represents a meaningful change within the legal and political framework of the EU-UK relationship. The current food and water security regulations, as well as the environmental impact assessment standards, could be considered at stake. Thus considered, this paper points out Brexit not just as a mere “breakdown” in the system in order to lower the contemporary established environmental standards. Indeed, potential environmental risks posed by Brexit could be effectively mitigated by applying the principle of non-regression, and simultaneously institutions can move forward adopting greener legal instruments and political actions inter alia creating new environmental governance and maintaining a high level of cooperation with the EU.

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The Covid-19 pandemic has provoked both in Italy and in Germany wide debates among scientists, scholars of multiple disciplines and public opinion. Of course, politics has played a fundamental role in the management of the health emergency: in Italy, “collective” health has been protected through the adoption of a very wide range of regulatory acts of different nature, not always suitable to guarantee a unitary protection. In Germany, the emergency crisis has been (more) successfully managed, with the sole exception of some problems that have emerged in the coordination between the Bund and Länder in the fight against the virus. This work will analyse, from a comparative point of view, the relationship between the legislative power and science in defining policies to combat the health emergency, focusing on the impact of such policies on the academic context.

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In the summer term of 2020, teaching at German universities was shifted to the digital space. In the winter term 2020/21, distance learning will continue at many universities, at least in part, especially for courses with a high number of participants. It is questionable to what extent compulsory digital teaching will interfere with the freedom of teaching and whether digital teaching can be demanded by the faculty management in accordance with fundamental rights in the exceptional situation caused by the pandemic and beyond the crisis.

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