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Edinburgh Law School Legal Studies Research Paper Series - September 2021

Thu 23 September 2021

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The latest in the Legal Studies Research Paper Series (Vol. 9, No. 6: Sep 21, 2021) from Edinburgh Law School is now available.

View the full Edinburgh Law School Legal Studies Research Paper Series on SSRN

Illiberalism and National Sovereignty

Neil Walker, Edinburgh Law School

Abstract: This Chapter sheds light on illiberalism and its relationship to national sovereignty through drawing a comparison with liberalism’s relationship to national sovereignty. The immediate political context of the liberal regime today is typically the sovereign nation state. Equally, the immediate political context of the illiberal regime – in whose perspective liberal values are secondary and in at least some measure dispensable - is also the sovereign nation state. This is no coincidence. Liberalism and illiberalism alike identify sovereignty and nationalism as important enabling conditions, and there is sufficient overlap in the manner in which and the consequences with which those enabling conditions operate in these ostensibly contrasting regimes that there is inevitable seepage from one to the other. Illiberalism, then, should be considered as the shadow and temptation of liberalism, as much as its normative inverse and a reaction against it. The chapter concludes by assessing and comparing the apparently rising prospects of populist illiberalism today in both Central European and Western European states, keeping that close relationship with the liberal alternative in mind.

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COVID-19 Vaccination In The UK And Ireland: Ethics In Practice

Clayton Ó Néill, Queen's University Belfast - School of Law

Mary-Elizabeth Tumelty, University College Cork - School of Law

Mary Donnelly, University College Cork - School of Law

Anne-Maree Farrell, Edinburgh Law School

Rhiannon Frowde, Edinburgh Law School

Linda Pentony, University College Cork

Abstract: This working paper examines questions of values in relation to the COVID-19 vaccination programmes in the United Kingdom and Ireland. We first present a brief overview of developments in relation to COVID-19 vaccine development and rollout on a global basis. We then proceed with an examination of key ethical, policy and legal developments in these areas in the United Kingdom and Ireland, followed by the identification of commonalities and differences as between the two countries. In the final section, we consider the broader issue of values raised by the COVID-19 vaccination programmes in the UK and Ireland.

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Digital Assets in Scots Private Law

David Fox, Edinburgh Law School

Abstract: This paper sets out some of the main areas of legal uncertainty in accommodating digital assets within Scots private law. It suggests some analyses for fitting them within existing legal principles and areas where reform might be needed to allow that fit or give certainty to the commercial actors who use them. The paper builds on work done by the UK Jurisdiction Taskforce (“UKJT”) in their “Legal statement on cryptoassets and smart contracts” (2019) and by the Law Commission of England and Wales in their ongoing project on electronic trade documents and digital assets.

It proposes that digital assets are best analysed as species of corporeal thing in Scots property law.

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