Archive: April, 2013

29 May IL Research Seminar with Ida Elisabeth Koch: The Rule of Law According to the ECtHR

In the course of this seminar, Professor Ida Elisabeth Koch will present and discuss an article on the notion of the rule of law as understood by the European Court of Human Rights. An abstract is included below.

Please send a mail to for a copy of the full text.

Date: 29 May, 10.15-12.00

Venue: Röda tornrummet, 4th floor, Faculty of Law, Lund.


The article deals with the way in which the European Court of Human Rights understands the notion of the rule of law, and examines how this perception is reflected in the case law of the Court. This exercise is approached from a discourse analytic perspective.

The article includes references to other discourses concerning the notion of the rule of law. However, it has not been my driving force to go deep down into the numerous ways in which judicial bodies and/or legal scholars talk about the notion of the rule of law. I have no interest in taking sides and enjoy the privilege not having to give my support to a particular perception of the rule of law. It is not the hegemony that interests me but the discourses as such.

Despite the many discourses about the rule of law, there is a general agreement that the rule of law is a fundamental principle. The Court must of course define which elements should be included in the notion the rule of law. However, the Court would appear more trustworthy if it were to consider its application of the rule of law term more carefully.

10 April Pufendorf Research Seminar: Wouter Werner on “Showing Trials”

On 10 April 2013 at 13.15-15.00 hrs, Professor Wouter Werner (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) will hold a Pufendorf Research Seminar. The topic of his talk will be

Showing Trials- Documentaries in International Criminal Law.

Venue: Styrelserummet, 4th floor, Faculty of Law.

Prospective participants may request a draft chapter of Wouter Werner’s forthcoming book by mailing


New Article on Trafficking by Vladislava Stoyanova

Vladislava Stoyanova has published

The Crisis of a Definition: Human Trafficking in Bulgarian Law

in the recent issue of the Amsterdam Law Forum.


This article develops two arguments. First, at a national level in Bulgaria, the human trafficking framework is inoperable for identifying abuses worthy of consideration. By comparing the Bulgarian criminal law definition of human trafficking with the international law definition, I argue that the national criminal law definition is overly inclusive. This state of the Bulgarian criminal law makes it difficult to undertake a realistic assessment of the problem. Second, I submit that because the focus in Bulgaria has been exclusively directed towards the crime of human trafficking, the fact that the abuses of slavery, servitude and forced labour as such have not been criminalised at a domestic level has remained ignored. Thus, abuses that constitute slavery, servitude and forced labour, but do not manifest elements of human trafficking, might be left without proper investigation and prosecution.