Recent Submissions

  • AfCFTA and lex mercatoria: reconceptualising international trade law in Africa

    Onyejekwe, Chisa; Ekhator, Eghosa; Canterbury Christ Church University; University of Derby (Taylor and Francis, 2020-09-08)
    This paper focuses on the Agreement for the Establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). It argues that commercial activities in precolonial Africa was akin to the phenomenon of lex mercatoria in medieval Europe. It discusses two major tenets embedded in the AfCFTA: the variable geometry principle and the dispute settlement mechanism. It argues that for structural and comparative purposes, these principles (variable geometry and dispute settlement) form the kernel of modern lex mercatoria in the African context. This paper concludes by advocating that the AfCFTA will enhance the principles of lex mercatoria by promoting African trade principles.
  • Institutional development and the Astana international financial center in Kazakhstan

    Huang, Flora; Yeung, Horace; Bekmurzayeva, Zhanyl; Janaidar, Dina; University of Essex (Washington University, 2020)
    This article investigates the most recent instance of the transplantation of English corporate and financial law into a different legal environment. The Astana International Financial Center (AIFC) in Kazakhstan was launched in 2018. The AIFC has largely built on the institutional model pioneered by the Dubai International Financial Center. This key institutional innovation is the transplanting and operation of laws based on the English common law, independent of their national legal systems (civil law systems, heavily influenced by Islamic tradition, and, in the case of Kazakhstan, also Soviet socialist principles). This article seeks to contribute to the understanding of the system of Kazakhstan, a strategically located but well under-investigated country, and a potentially viable institutional model for other aspiring financial centers. To the best knowledge of the authors, this work is the first ever English academic literature on the development of the AIFC.
  • RE: AB (termination of pregnancy)[2019] EWA CIV 1215: ‘wishes and feelings’ under the mental capacity act 2005

    Cherkassky, Lisa; University of Derby (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2020-06-15)
    In Re: AB (Termination of Pregnancy), the Court of Appeal was asked to consider an assumption made about the future living arrangements of a pregnant patient, and the weight to be ascribed to her wishes and feelings when she had no real understanding of her predicament. This commentary explores the importance of taking into account the perspective of the patient, even if suffering from a mental disorder, and it will analyse the existing common law to show that the weaker the ability of the patient to form her own wishes and feelings, the more appropriate it would be to rely on the remaining evidence.
  • International environmental governance: A case for sub-regional judiciaries in Africa

    Ekhator, Eghosa Osa; University of Derby (Palgrave Macmillam, 2020-08-21)
    Arguably, due to the non-justiciability of the right to environment doctrine in many African countries, Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs), activists, communities and individuals now utilise the sub-regional judiciaries in accessing justice in environmental issues. This chapter focuses on the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Community Court of Justice (ECCJ) and the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) because they are amongst the most active sub-regional judiciaries in Africa. The main question this chapter addresses is whether the rise of environmental governance or litigation in sub-regional judiciaries leads to better environmental protection for the victims and communities. The methodology adopted in this study is of a doctrinal nature that consists of library-based texts analysis. This paper undertakes a critical analysis of the emergent environmental governance under the sub-regional judiciaries in Africa.
  • Police interview of suspects in China: developments and analyses

    Zeng, Fanging; Huang, Ching-Yu; Bull, Ray; University of China; Keele University; University of Derby (Sage, 2020-08-13)
    This paper investigates the power dynamics in police interviews with suspects in China by examining a real-life sample. It first overviews some recent developments and legislation in China regarding police interviewing of suspects, followed by outlining the linguistic and psychological research which the analyses are based upon. The interviews are examined using critical discourse analysis that reveals the high-power position of the Chinese police in suspect interviews. However, the large proportion of open questions found in the interviews is encouraging, as this suggests that the regulations outlawing use of evidence obtained by torture or other illegal means is taking effect. This paper is the very first to empirically examine actual Chinese police interviews with suspects, providing valuable insights for theories and practice.
  • The impact of interviewer working hours on police interviews with children

    Kyriakidou, Marilena; Blades, Mark; Cherryman, Julie; Christophorou, Stephanie; Kamberis, Andreas; Sheffield Hallam University; University of Sheffield; University of Portsmouth; University of Maastricht, Netherlands; University of Derby (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2020-05-18)
    Fatigue resulting from unpredictable or extended working conditions is a factor that negatively impacts the performance of police officers. In this study, we considered how investigative interviewing of children is influenced by interviewer working conditions. We examined two working conditions concerning when interviews were conducted: (a) during early duty shift and (b) an hour before the end of an interviewer’s duty shift and after the end of a shift. We analysed 102 police interviews with children and identified clues that interviews which commenced during early duty shift had more appropriate approaches than interviews in the other condition. Inappropriate approaches were not significantly affected by interviewer working conditions. These outcomes suggest considering new knowledge specific to the behaviour of interviewers according to working conditions and provide promising foundations for further research.
  • Built environment attributes and crime: an automated machine learning approach

    Dakin, Kyle; Parkinson, Simon; Saad, Kahn; Monchuck, Leanne; Pease, Ken; University of Huddersfield; University of Derby (BMC, 2020-07-08)
    This paper presents the development of an automated machine learning approach to gain an understanding of the built environment and its relationship to crime. This involves the automatic capture of street-level photographs using Google Street View (GSV), followed by the use of supervised machine learning techniques (specifically image feature recognition) to recognise features of the built environment. In this exploratory proof-of-concept work, 8 key features (building, door, fence, streetlight, tree, window, hedge, and garage) are considered and a worked case-study is demonstrated for a small geographical area (8300 square kilometres) in Northern England. A total of 60,100 images were automatically collected and analysed across the area where 5288 crime incidents were reported over a twelve- month period. Dependency between features and crime incidents are measured; however, no strong correlation has been identified. This is unsurprisingly considering the high number of crime incidents in a small geographic region (8300 square kilometres), resulting in an overlap between specific features and multiple crime incidents. Further- more, due to the unknown precise location of crime instances, an approximation technique is developed to survey a crime’s local proximity. Despite the absence of a strong correlation, this paper presents a first-of-a-kind cross-disci- pline approach to attempt and use computation techniques to produce new empirical knowledge. There are many avenues of future research in this fertile and important area.
  • Improving pofessional observers’ veracity judgements by tactical interviewing

    Sandham, Alex; Dando, Coral; Bull, Ray; Ormerod, Tom; University of Gloucestershire; University of Westminster; University of Derby; University of Sussex (Springer, 2020-06-25)
    Understanding whether a person of interest is being truthful during an investigative interview is a constant challenge and is of concern to numerous criminal justice professionals, most of whom are not involved in conducting the interview itself. Here we investigated police observers’ veracity detection performance having viewed interviews with truthtellers and deceivers using either the Tactical Use of Evidence (TUE), Strategic Use of Evidence (TUE) or a Control technique. Thirty serving police officers participated as post interview observers and each viewed 12 interviews in a counterbalanced order. Immediately post each interview each officer made a veracity judgment. Overall, untrained police observers were significantly more accurate (68%) when making veracity judgments post TUE interviews whereas for both SUE and Control performance was around chance (51% and 48%, respectively). Veracity performance for liars and truthtellers revealed a similar pattern of results (67% liars; 70% truthtellers) in the TUE condition. These results lend further support to the psychological literature highlighting the importance of how and when to reveal evidence or any other relevant event information during an investigative interview for ‘outing’ deceivers as well as allowing truthtellers early opportunities to evidence their innocence.
  • Applying hierarchy of expert performance (HEP) to investigative interview evaluation: strengths, challenges and future directions

    Huang, Ching-Yu; Bull, Ray; Dror, Itiel; Bournemouth University; University of Derby (Taylor and Francis, 2020-06-16)
    The purpose of this paper is to systematically examine the research literature on the decision of expert interviewers within the theoretical framework of the Hierarchy of Expert Performance (HEP, Dror, 2016). After providing an overview of the HEP framework, existing research in the investigative interviewing at each of the eight levels of the HEP framework is reviewed. The results identify areas of strength in reliability between experts’ observations (Level 2) and of weakness in reliability between experts’ conclusions (Level 6). Biases in investigative interview experts’ decision making is also revealed at biasability between expert conclusions (Level 8). Moreover, no published data is available in reliability within experts at the level of observations (Level 1) or conclusions (Level 5), biasability within or between expert observations (Level 3 and 4) and biasability within expert conclusions (Level 7). The findings highlight areas where future research and practical endeavor are much needed investigative interview.
  • Sino-African trade: A multi-layered appraisal

    Huang, Flora; Yeung, Horace; University of Derby; University of Leicester (Electronic Publications, 2020-04)
    There are both believers and critics on the state and potential of Sino-African trade. For example, China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is expected to benefit several African countries. At the same time, some critics refer to it as ‘debt trap diplomacy’ for China to politically and economically exploit the countries involved. Nearly a decade ago, China surpassed the US to become Africa’s largest trading partner. Sino-African trade is now four times larger than that of US-Africa. While the importance of Sino-African trade can be seen in the scale of trade and investment, this article at the same time concerns the legal, and also some non-legal mechanisms such as BRI and the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, to take the bilateral/multilateral relations to the next level. Other than continental and country level perspectives, firm level considerations cannot be ignored. Chinese companies now dominate in certain Africa’s business sectors and are rapidly expanding into new sectors. There have been concerns regarding the behaviour of certain Chinese companies in Africa. Through a multi-level analysis, the article endeavours to form a comprehensive picture of the closer than ever Sino-African trade relations.
  • Investigative empathy: a strength scale of empathy based on European police perspectives

    Baker, Bianca; Bull, Ray; Walsh, Dave; University of Derby; De Montfort University (Taylor and Francis, 2020-05-14)
    A growing body of research suggests that empathy may play a major role in establishing and maintaining rapport during police interviews. The benefits of rapport include not only increased cooperation from interviewees, but also gaining more accurate investigation-relevant information. However, despite a large amount of research on empathy which already exists, there still is, unfortunately, no universally agreed-upon definition and very little research on operationalizing and implementing appropriate forms of empathy, especially within the realm of investigative interviewing. Therefore, the present study was conducted with the goal of better understanding empathy from a police perspective and developing a way to assess and operationalize empathy for use in police interviews with suspects of high risk crimes (particularly with sex offences). The study considers police interviewers’ varying definitions of empathy in seven European countries, along with other factors. It analyzed police interviewers’ self-reports regarding their (i) training and methods employed during interviews, (ii) application of empathy in interviews, and (iii) definitions/understanding of empathy. Based on their answers, the various definitions of empathy were compiled and then placed on a new strength scale. It was found that officers in all participating countries varied within each country in their use of accusatory or information-gathering interview styles, suggesting that the methods employed were not systematically and uniformly taught and/or applied. The majority of participants in each country claimed to currently employ empathy in their interviews with suspects, yet they varied on their strength of the definitions provided. In no country was empathy considered useless in interviews and in no country was empathy defined as having aspects that may not be conducive to investigative interviewing.
  • Energy law and policy in Nigeria with reflection on the International Energy Charter and domestication of the African Charter

    Ekhator, Eghosa; Agbaitoro, Godswill; University of Derby; University of Essex (Pretoria University Press, 2019-12)
    The aim of this chapter is to examine the benefits of the International Energy Charter (IEC) to signatory countries with a view to illustrating its future relevance and potential influence in respect of energy laws and policies in Nigeria. The intended outcome of the chapter is to highlight the critical role of the IEC in global energy governance and its impact on Nigeria. Moreover, it will discuss how the IEC has contributed to the ability of signatory countries to enhance international cooperation aimed at addressing common energy challenges while enabling them to harness their full energy resource potential. The research question sought to be answered is whether the IEC has the requisite elements to transform Nigeria’s energy laws and policies so as to bring about positive outcomes in the country’s energy sector. The chapter argues that lessons can be gleaned from the successful domestication and implementation of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Charter) in Nigeria in this regard.
  • Chinese companies and the Hong Kong stock market

    Huang, Flora; Yeung, Horace; University of Leicester (Routledge, 2013-10-04)
    Listing by companies from one country on the stock market of another country is a device often used both to raise capital in, and to increase bonding with, the target country. This book examines the listing by Chinese companies on the Hong Kong stock market. It discusses the extent of the phenomenon, compares the two different regulatory regimes, and explores the motivations for the cross-listing. It argues that a key factor, in addition to raising capital and bonding with the Hong Kong market, is Chinese companies’ desire to encourage legal and regulatory reforms along Hong Kong lines in mainland China, in order to develop and open up China’s domestic capital markets.
  • The regulation of illegal fundraising in China

    Huang, Flora; Liu, Xinmin; Yeung, Horace; University of Essex (Taylor and Francis, 2018-10-03)
    The rise of financial technology means that it is easier than ever to raise funds from a large group of people, notably via peer-to-peer lending or crowdfunding platforms. This article seeks to discuss the law on illegal fundraising, which has existed for some time before the boom of the Internet, as a legal response to the increasing number of fundraising from the public. Regulation is necessary to ensure market order and investor protection. Virtually in all markets, there are restrictions on how entities can make a public offer of shares, bonds and/or other investment schemes. There are several laws, most notably criminal law, in China that are relevant to illegal fundraising. An individual/company can poten- tially breach one or more of these rules as long as they attempt to raise funds from a non-conventional (i.e. not stock markets or banks) route. The worst outcome of this used to be death penalty. There has been a degree of ambiguities in the application of these laws. The article will attempt to clarify these ambiguities. The regulation of illegal fundraising can have a far reaching conse- quence on the financial markets in China, considering that non- state entities, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, have limited access to conventional finance. The article will con- sider whether China is on the right track in terms of regulation to allow alternative fundraising channels to thrive. This article is the first ever to present a holistic account of the regulation of illegal fundraising in China.
  • Law–finance–growth nexus in the context of Africa

    Huang, Flora; Yeung, Horace; University of Essex (De Gruyter, 2018-04-26)
    This article seeks to put the law–finance–growth nexus into the context of Africa. As of 2017, the African Securities Exchanges Association has 27 securities exchanges as full members. The Johannesburg Stock Exchange is the most developed of all, especially with respect to its market capitalization. Its socio-legal proximity with the English system may provide a good explanation to its phenomenal growth relative to the rest in the region. However, such a socio-legal proximity is indeed shared by a number of other former British colonies such as Nigeria and Zimbabwe. Law alone may not account for the rise of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Furthermore, this article seeks to argue whether there is a genuine need for the African countries to have a stock market, which requires highly evolved legal, market and governmental institutions and norms that often do not pre-exist in these countries. On the one hand, the article will look at Africa in general. On the other hand, it will put certain discussions into the context of selected African countries.
  • Dual class shares around the top global financial centres

    Huang, Flora; University of Essex (2017-04-01)
    Dual class shares (DCS) offer additional classes of shares that provide holders with greater voting rights. The article aims to investigate why leading financial centres have different attitudes towards DCS, with a focus on the recent reforms of their company law and listing rules with respect to DCS.
  • The “tech” of two cities: what Hong Kong failed but Shenzhen succeeded

    Huang, Flora; Yeung, Horace; University of Essex (Coller Capital, 2017-05-01)
    Shenzhen used to be a tiny town of around 30,000 people, north of the then prosperous British colony, Hong Kong, in southern China. The story is certainly entirely different now that Shenzhen is comparable to, if it has not already outshone its once proud neighbor. Shenzhen’s Nanshan district, home to a huge hi-tech industrial park, is now China’s richest, with a higher per capita GDP than even capitalist Hong Kong. This article will compare the two cities through the use of CIV city cases. It will discuss whether the institutional differences can help to explain the respective growth stories of the cities. Afterwards, the article will consider the prospects of the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone, a national-level initiative to combine the core strengths of the two cities in an attempt to boost the existing technology center to a new level before a conclusion is drawn.
  • Certainty over clemency: English contract law in the face of financial crisis

    Huang, Flora; Yeung, Horace; University of Leicester (Springer, 2016)
    This chapter has the objective to consider the legal implications of negative economic trends under English contract law in the aftermath of the global Financial Crisis of 2007–2008. Unlike other jurisdictions, most notably in civil law countries, the English position in the law governing a fundamental change in circumstances has remained narrow, that is, no relief will be granted unless it is an exceptional situation. The English courts deal with the issue either by the doctrine of frustration or through construing contractual force majeure provisions. Following the crisis, indeed there have been an increasing number of cases going down these avenues. Apart from relying on frustration or force majeure clause, another emerging phenomenon is that there has been a growth in allegations of misrepresentation and therefore requesting a rescission of contract. In either case, the aim of claimants is apparently trying to bring the contractual obligations to an end.
  • Shareholder protection in China from a numerical comparative law perspective

    Huang, Flora; Yeung, Horace; University of Essex; University of Leicester (Oxford Academic, 2019-04-16)
    The traditional approach in legal comparative research is doctrinal rule based. A relatively recent breakthrough has been the use of econometric techniques in comparing the extent of success in different jurisdictions with respect to, for example, protecting shareholders. The meshing of legal research and econometrics is known as ‘leximetrics’. One of the most prominent and widely cited use of leximetrics is the seminal study by Rafael La Porta and colleagues on the correlation between shareholder protection and financial development. The study, though highly influential, has attracted various criticisms. Subsequent studies have sought to build on the study by coming up with improved research design. For example, using a panel data set covering a range of developed and developing countries, researchers from the Cambridge Centre for Business Research have discovered that a significant upward movement in the level of shareholder protection was made by China between 1990 and 2013. It has been suggested that, during this period, China experienced the ‘biggest increase in shareholder protection’ among 30 countries studied, and China was amongst the top performers (along with France and Russia) in shareholder protection in 2013, performing even better than the United Kingdom and the USA. At the same time, the World Bank’s Protecting Minority Investors Index, which forms part of its Doing Business reports, has recently painted a rather opposite picture, in contrast to the positive assessment by the Centre for Business Research, by putting China in the 119th position out of 190 countries, which indicates a very mediocre performance. This article seeks to address the question of whether and how the two studies, both employing leximetric techniques and examining an ostensibly similar issue, can point to discrepant results.
  • Institutions and economic growth in Asia: The case of mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia

    Huang, Flora; Yeung, Horace; University of Essex (Routledge, 2018-04-03)
    This book explores the role of institutions in economic growth, looking in particular at specific Asian countries and at particular cities within those countries. It considers a wide range of factors besides institutions, including the law, cultural factors and overall government arrangements. The differences between the countries studied are highlighted, and the impact of these differences assessed: the impact of English common law on arrangements in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia; sharia law in Malaysia; the differing lengths of time of colonial rule; the extent to which Chinese family businesses control an economy. Also studied are the degree to which the law is effectively applied, and a range of other social, economic and cultural factors. The book’s conclusions as to which factors have the greatest impact will be of considerable interest to economists of Asia and those interested in economic growth more widely.

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