The chapter explores the emergence of the EU as a global actor in the field of international investment law and policy. Therefore, it examines first the legal framework concerning the assumption of powers in the field of foreign investment by the EU. Secondly, it looks into the accommodation of the EU within the existing regime of international investment law. The chapter places particular emphasis on the EU mechanism providing for transitional arrangements for Member State BITs and the EU mechanism on financial responsibility. Finally, it explores the content of EU investment agreements, identifying the key contributions that the EU has developed in this field and its importance as a ground-breaking normative actor. In light of the above, the conclusion is drawn that although the EU’s record has not been quantitatively impressive, it is qualitatively substantial, paving the path for a new legal framework on FDI regulation.
Browse by title
A European perspective to the assessment of academic legal publications is still in its infancy. Yet, in Europe, there are several contexts in which assessment of academic works takes place: when legal scholars apply for funding at the European Research Council, when they submit manuscripts to book publishers or law journals that target a European audience, and when they try to get awarded a contract for doing research for the European Commission. Moreover, there are debates and initiatives on European journal and university rankings in which the assessment of academic legal publications is also discussed. This chapter explores and critically discusses the assessment criteria and procedures employed in these various contexts. It finds that all institutions that evaluate works of academic legal scholarship have, independent of each other, developed their own specific evaluation criteria and procedures that are subjected to similar flaws (most-importantly: multi-interpretable criteria and a focus on author status rather than substantive quality). It is therefore argued that it is high time to have a more vivid European debate on how best to evaluate the work legal scholars produce.
Dissertation, habilitation and the appointment procedure for professorships are the typical steps of an academic career in Austria. In all procedures publications represent the most important performance indicator. Guidelines about good scientific practice are established, but an official ranking of law journals does not exist. An Austrian particularity is, that there is no clear distinction between academic and professional legal research. A review system comparable to open peer review is used in most journals. PhD dissertations are reviewed by two supervisors, special doctoral programs for law students started around 2009. The habilitation thesis is reviewed by a committee, also the appointment procedure for professorship is implemented by a committee. Some universities make bibliometric analysis additionally. Funding agencies use a double blind peer review system for evaluation. There are not exact definitions for quality criterions in all procedures – this is a point of criticism in Austria.
All Finnish law faculties are state funded. They provide the basic qualification to enter the legal profession. The output of the law faculties and legal scholars is evaluated by reference to criteria formulated by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture and the university administration. The criteria include educational (the number of bachelor and master degrees) and research indicators. The indicators in assessing research outputs include the number of doctoral degrees, the others being the amount of external research funding and the number of (ranked) publications. The ‘key actor’ in the evaluation of academic publications is the so-called Publication Forum (in Finnish JUFO). The Forum has created a rating and classification system to support the quality assessment of research output. At the same time, evaluation and ranking practices are based more on formal than on substantial criteria. Actually, a kind of convergence of disciplines can be seen in the Finnish academic life. The convergence is one-sided: publication and evaluation practices of natural sciences have quite actively been adapted by social sciences and humanities.: Writing of journal articles merits more than the writing of textbooks or other monographs, texts written in English are scientifically and ‘economically’ more valuable than those written in national languages.
In France, the evaluation of academic legal publications is not current practice, but it is changing. The national institution in charge of evaluation of research entities takes more and more consideration about legal publications. It is also getting better when submitting academic output for publication and when defending PhD theses. The assessment of legal publications is also important for the recruitment of academic staff (associate and full professors), nationally and locally, but can be increased for promotion of academics and for research funding.
Kai Purnhagen and Niels Petersen
If legal scholarship is lagging behind other disciplines in using more objective evaluation standards for assessing the quality of legal research, Germany is definitely not at the forefront of closing the gap. Skepticism towards seemingly more objective assessment methods is more widely shared than in other European countries. There is no state-sponsored performance evaluation exercise of law schools on the federal level; peer-review of manuscripts for the acceptance in journals or monograph series is rare; and the use of journal rankings, citation analysis or other bibliometric tools is almost non-existent. Doctoral and postdoctoral (habilitation) theses are usually evaluated inside the faculty without external review. The quality standards that do exist mostly refer to the substantive evaluation of individual pieces of scholarship. However, they are rather vague and subject to diverging interpretations.
Within the general context of scientific research assessment exercises, evaluation of legal research has specific characteristics due to the peculiarity of legal science. The discussion on the topic is very lively in Italy, in particular from the time (2011) the Agency for the Evaluation of University and Research System (ANVUR) has launched national exercises on evaluation of quality research. The chapter presents an overview of the Italian research environment and its evaluation, showing a renewal in the assessment of legal research, despite the conservative attitude of legal scholars who are strongly resistant to change. Attention has focused on effectiveness and significance of research evaluation as well as on the tools to be used to evaluate legal research outputs in Italy.
Slovenia has essentially adopted a bibliometric system of research evaluation, based on impact factors, whereby more or less the same rules apply for evaluating research across all fields and disciplines, including law. This chapter shows that although there are some advantages of the bibliometric system, there are also several drawbacks, where form threatens to prevail over the content of publications. Even though one might say that Slovenian research evaluation reflects a Big Brother like approach, where every step of a researcher is scored, the system has certain advantages, especially in terms of objectivity and transparency. On the other hand, however, the Slovenian bibliometric model committed a categorical error against which Thomson Reuters itself warns, i.e. impact factors of scientific journals are used to evaluate the scientific performance of individual researchers, thereby encouraging salami slicing and several other practices to potentiate the bibliometric score.
The chapter provides an overview of how academic legal research publications are evaluated in Spain. This is still a little researched area and many aspects of such evaluation still remain unclear or underdeveloped. Moreover evaluation mostly focuses on merely formal or external aspects such as some so-called objective indicators and scant attention is paid to whether research actually adds to legal knowledge as such. To make things worse, evaluation criteria are often defined in rather imprecise ways, which makes the outcome of evaluation rather unpredictable. As a result, a researcher in the field of law may find it rather difficult to know what to do exactly so as to obtain a positive evaluation.
Antonia Bakardjieva Engelbrekt
This chapter discusses the principles and methods for quality evaluation of legal research and legal publications in Sweden, reviewing the various contexts in which such evaluation takes place, from allocation of research funding to universities and law faculties to academic appointments and promotions. The chapter describes briefly the general system of research funding in Sweden, underlining the centrality of direct public funding set in proportion to the educational tasks of universities. However, the chapter also identifies a trend towards basing public funding more decisively on research quality, and a marked increase of the use of quantitative methods (i.e. bibliometric indicators such as number of publications and citations) for measuring research quality. While the use of metrics is viewed as an imperfect tool for assessing research quality, some quality-enhancing effects are nevertheless acknowledged, chiefly in terms of increased productivity and encouraging research collaborations, inter-disciplinarity and publications in leading international law journals. In addition, a sustained focus on research quality arguably makes legal scholars more acutely aware of the need to better explain their theoretical frames and methodological choices and revitalizes the debate on what defines good legal scholarship.