Laurent Pech (Ireland), Jean Monnet Lecturer in EU Public Law at the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG). Research Projects: " A Union Based on the Rule of Law? Current and Forthcoming State of the Rule of Law in the European Union" and "Combating Racism, Genocide-Denial and Incitement to Terrorism through EU Law: The Implications for Free Speech".
Laurent joined the Law Faculty of NUIG in 2004 and teaches EU Constitutional Law, EU Substantive Law, EU Competition Law as well as Law and Regulation on various programmes offered by the Faculty. He holds a Doctorate in Law and a Master's degree in Public Law from the Faculty of Law of Aix-en-Provence (France). He graduated in 1996 from the Institute of Political Studies of Aix-en-Provence and studied at the University of Limerick (1994-1995) and at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1996-1997). From 1998 to 2003, he worked as a Teaching Assistant at the Faculty of Law of Aix-en-Provence. Laurent also successively held the position of lawyer to the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia-Herzegovina (1999) and the position of Legal Clerk for Professor Louis Favoreu, one of the three international judges of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia-Herzegovina (2000-2001). Before being appointed to his current position, he was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Canada Research Chair on Globalization, Citizenship and Democracy (2003-2004).
Research Projects Summary:
(1) A Union Based on the Rule of Law? Current and Forthcoming State of the Rule of Law in the European Union: The EU is not a "State" in the classical meaning of constitutional law, yet it is said to be based on the principle of the rule of law. This study will first consider this principle from a conceptual point of view. Although the EU Treaty refers to Etat de droit or Rechtsstaat in the French and German versions of the EU Treaty respectively, can these national concepts deem to be equivalent? The "structural defects" of the EU's constitutional framework will also be explored. The objective is to examine whether the current EC be properly described as "a Community based on the rule of law" and to question whether the positive yet limited character of the reforms contained in the Lisbon Treaty will not make it difficult for the European Court of Justice, were the 2007 Lisbon Treaty to be ratified, to accurately state that the EU is "a Union based on the rule of law". The author will finally suggest a set of reforms to guarantee better compliance with the principle of the rule of law at EU level.
(2) Combating Racism, Genocide-Denial and Incitement to Terrorism through EU Law: The Implications for Free Speech: Laurent Pech will explore the implications of the EU Framework Decision on combating terrorism and a new EU Framework Decision on combating racism and xenophobia for freedom of expression in light of US free speech law, European and international law norms dealing with hate speech and terrorism. This study will also review the dangers of the proposal to extend EU law to cover "gulag denial" and will defend the view that the latest attempt to combat genocide denial at EU level will eventually result in the criminalization of mere unpopular or controversial views that might cause ethnic or religious offence. The author will finally examine whether the creation of an EU offence to punish the dissemination of terrorist propaganda can be at all effective at curbing "terrorist" propaganda.
Emile Noel Fellows for the Academic Year 2008-2009