Volume 6, No 1

January 16, 2018

Freedom of Expression: European and Australian Perspectives

Michael Longo and Pavel Molek


This article explores the legal frameworks supporting the right to freedom of expression in Europe and Australia. Whereas in Europe there are overlapping protections of this right embedded within highly visible, legally binding instruments, the Australian protection rests on a judicial constitutional implication. Despite fundamental differences in salience, visibility and scope, it appears that neither jurisdiction is averse to limiting the right to free speech in certain circumstances, for instance when expressions are deemed gratuitously offensive. It is evident that the limits imposed on the freedom of expression both in Europe and in Australia determine the nature of the right. Whether or not the multiple layers of legal protection in Europe provide a bulwark against the erosion of the right to speech in Europe, this article reveals the comparative fragility of the constitutional implication in Australia.

Article Keywords: Australia, Europe, freedom of expression, judiciary, legal protections, limitations

She’ll Be Right: Some Observations on Diffused European Union Standards in a New Zealand Context


Due to their technical and rather specialist nature, standards are often overlooked as a form of influence over third states, yet they form an important and expanding role in the emerging global legal order. Usually developed outside of formal legal processes, regulatory standards nevertheless have hard impacts upon national and international legal frameworks. This paper examines the EU’s advancement of its regulatory agenda: producing global and domestic legal standards that are diffused to third states through multiple channels of communication. Using New Zealand as a case study, this paper draws on research to examine the success of extending the EU’s standards beyond its borders. While the extent to which adoption of EU standards by New Zealand has been varied, there is clear evidence that Europe’s regulatory reach extends far beyond its borders. The colloquialism “she’ll be right” gives a flavour of New Zealand’s approach to the adoption of EU standards in many contexts.


Article Keywords: Diffusion, standards, normative power, New Zealand, regulatory Europe

'Emergenza nomadi': Institutional Continuities in Italian Government Policy towards the Romanies

Riccardo Armillei

The Romani peoples today occupy a marginalised position in Italian society. A small number of these peoples live in ‘camps’ in conditions of extreme decay and abandonment. In order to address this situation and to improve these peoples’ lives, the Italian government has recently decided to implement an ‘extraordinary intervention.’ In 2008, in continuity with previous centre- left governments, the Berlusconi right-wing coalition implemented the so called ‘Emergenza Nomadi’ (nomad emergency). The state of emergency aimed to solve an issue that had been already categorised in the 1970s as the ‘problema nomadi’ (nomads problem), and was now described and handled as a ‘natural disaster.’ Based on interviews with Romani individuals, institutional and Third Sector representatives, participant observation and a broad range of secondary sources, this article argues that the enactment of an extraordinary measure was both disproportionate to the real degree of threat, and perpetuated an institutional tradition of racism and control of the Romani peoples. It was not, as the declaration of an ‘emergency’ might imply, the result of a sudden, unexpected situation which required an immediate action. The ‘emergency’ and the premises for the implementation of a ‘state of exception’ were created by protracted institutional immobility and political vacuum.


Article Keywords: ‘Emergenza Nomadi,’ Institutional Discrimination, Italy, Romanies.

‘Mutual Recognition’ or ‘Mutual Evaluation’? Dealing with ‘Behind the Borders’ Barriers to Market Integration

Anne McNaughton


As economic integration continues to deepen across developed economies the barriers to further integration are revealed as those located behind rather than at the borders of integrating states. A concept that has, correspondingly, acquired increasing popularity in recent years is that of ‘mutual recognition.’ This concept is regarded by many as a way of furthering economic integration in sectors in which identified obstacles to integration are regarded as limiting productivity and economic development. Using the European Services Directive1 as a case study, this article examines the concept of mutual recognition in order to better understand its limitations as well as its potential. It is suggested that the more significant innovation in the Directive is the process of ‘mutual evaluation’ introduced by the Directive in Article 39. Once again, the EU may be leading the way in dealing with barriers to trade.

Obstinate and Unmovable? The EU vis-à-vis Myanmar via EU- ASEAN

Ludovica Marchi Balossi-Restelli

This article examines continuity and change in the European Union’s interactions with the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) with regard to Myanmar. As the EU has used its connections with ASEAN to raise its concerns around Myanmar, the Association’s behaviour also comes into focus. This investigation is linked to the evolution of the EU in world affairs via its political ties to ASEAN. It concentrates on the rather abrupt change introduced by the reform process launched in 2011-12, which marked the beginning of a new phase. The EU’s concern that the Myanmar issue not destabilise its relations with ASEAN has remained constant, however changes in the dialogue can be seen as forming three distinct phases. It is maintained that the aspiration to escape from pervasive China and the desirability of attracting new partners were the catalyst for these changes. Official documents from the EU, the European Commission, and European Council Conclusions and Common Positions, declarations issued at ASEAN, Asia-Europe and other meetings, together with secondary sources and interviews conducted mostly in Myanmar, contribute to this work. While many scholars have hinted at the extent to which the issue of Myanmar has been problematic to the EU-ASEAN links, there has been no emphasis on the positive effect that Myanmar has had on EU-ASEAN relations. This research illuminates the extent to which this issue has conversely helped to reinforce the long-lasting EU-ASEAN relationship.


Article Keywords: European Union, EU-ASEAN, ASEM, Myanmar, foreign policy analysis