Latest posts


Our moral, digital future

There are ethical and legal issues regarding most future innovations. Some may be resolved by applying existing legal principles. Some will require us to rethink what civil and criminal liability means in a world in which machines make decisions on our behalf. [...]

Of mice, men and constitutions

To make my own position perfectly clear: I am fundamentally ambivalent about whether New Zealand would be better off with a written constitution. [...]

Plain stupid

In a world of complex markets with millions of buyers, sellers and products, brands provide orientation. This is what brands contribute to civilisation. [...]

Will the euro die in the courts?

Admittedly, judgements by the German constitutional court can sometimes be hard to understand. Last week’s ruling to pass on the matter of the European Central Bank’s bond purchases to the European Court of Justice is no exception. It is certainly a decision that is easy to misinterpret. [...]

Germany’s grip over ‘whatever it takes’

Germany’s most important decision for this year will not be made by its people in general elections but by eight judges in red robes. And that makes it worth paying attention to this rather obscure and complicated law case. [...]

Open doors, not webcams

Victoria’s Premier John Brumby has made an unusual pledge ahead of the state election. If re-elected, his government would commit $6.3 million to installing facilities to stream Victorian court proceedings on the Internet. The public would be able to follow a selection of court cases, most of them criminal, live on the web. [...]

Behind the Moral Curtain: The Politics of a Charter of Rights

Just as judges are not philosopher-kings, nor are legislative drafters. The terms of a charter are subject to the influence of lobbyists; the judicial interpretation of charters is subject to manipulation by legal experts; and the pervasiveness of a charter is impossible to avoid. [...]