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eu tobacco consultation July 27, 2011

Posted by Bradley in : consultation , add a comment

The Commission announced that it received more than 85,000 responses to its consultation on revising the tobacco products directive carried out late in 2010. In some ways it seems to have been an extremely successful consultation. The response was significant, and 96% of the responses were from citizens. But almost two thirds of the responses came from two Member States, Italy and Poland, and the Commission suggests the Italian response was a reaction to a citizen mobilization campaign which generated a significant number of standard comments. The Commission is not making the full set of responses available online:

Given the high number of contributions, it is not considered to be useful to release an online database of individual submissions.

This exercise raises other questions about whether consultations like this one really serve a useful purpose. The Commission writes:

It is difficult to draw firm conclusions from the outcome of the public consultation procedure. In general, opinions varied significantly between and also within categories of respondents. Arguments provided by respondents in the ‘free text’ sections of the consultation present a variety of different justifications for policy action.

knowledge July 20, 2011

Posted by Bradley in : truth , add a comment

Via the Guardian, Cameron spinning on Wallis:

On claims that Wallis provided Coulson with some informal advice on a voluntary basis before the election, Cameron said: “To the best of my knowledge I didn’t know anything about this until Sunday night.” He later added that he did not know Wallis had been contracted to work for Scotland Yard.

Surely this should be “as far as I remember” (I don’t recall) rather than “[t]o the best of my knowledge”? Either way it looks a bit slippery.

Is Vince Cable feeling vindicated now? The Evening Standard suggests he is.

corporations compliance and crimes July 19, 2011

Posted by Bradley in : compliance , add a comment

The UK Parliament’s Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee is taking evidence from Rupert and James Murdoch. The two don’t seem to be selling quite the same story all the time. But James Murdoch, while emphasizing News Corporation’s code of conduct which prohibits criminal activity by employees, suggested that the senior executives of the corporation couldn’t be expected to know about employees’ criminal activities. He admitted that denials in 2009 had been more emphatic than was justified by the facts. But he seemed to think it was reasonable for an organization to discover facts about its own conduct in the course of litigation. All this raises some big questions about whether some large corporate organizations are really too big to comply with the law.

the meaning of integrity July 17, 2011

Posted by Bradley in : ethics , 1 comment so far

The Independent has the full text of Sir Paul Stephenson’s statement on his resignation as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service. It contains the following sentences:

As Commissioner I carry ultimate responsibility for the position we find ourselves in. With hindsight, I wish we had judged some matters involved in this affair differently. I didn’t and that’s it. However, the issue of my integrity is different. Let me state clearly: I and the people who know me know that my integrity is completely intact.

But the Commissioner did accept a stay at Champneys in Tring which news reports value at around £12,000. It seems to me that people in charge of police forces should not be accepting this sort of hospitality from anyone, and that the fact of accepting such hospitality raises real questions about the recipient’s integrity whether or not he realizes there is a problem.

consultation and standard setting July 13, 2011

Posted by Bradley in : consultation , add a comment

My paper, Consultation and Legitimacy in Transnational Standard-Setting is published in 20 Minn. J. Int’l L. 480 (2011).

a green and pleasant land July 10, 2011

Posted by Bradley in : life , add a comment

How much pleasanter will the UK be without the News of the World? Perhaps a bit until the Sunday Sun (not a cynical replacement for the News of the World) comes online. It’s a bit greener: this new map of the UK produced by the Center for Ecology and Hydrology is pretty green. And the UK cuts are forcing some new green behaviour: to save money on landfill tax Councils are encouraging residents to separate food waste from other waste. Some councils seem to have a more aggressive attitude than others to policing whether waste is put in the right places.