Young Scholars Session: Opening a discussion and call for participants

European Regional Congress – Dublin, 17-19 September 2014

To the National European Associations and Institutions members of ISLSSL:

The aim of this communication is to provide for guidelines to drive national reports that will be made during the Dublin Congress. Each report will be made by single scholars or scholars as research group, and they will be appointed by the ISLSSL members to which the same communication is transmitted.

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I) ISLSSL guidelines to promote young scholars research activities in comparative labour law

According to the decisions taken by the Executive Committee during the last meeting on 25 September 2012 held at the World Congress in Santiago (de Chile), promoting participation of young scholars to scientific initiatives and Congress within the society is one of the current Presidency of SIDTSS priorities. To this end, the so called Report Servais as approved by the Executive Committees said:

“Mention has already been made of the emphasis put by the by-laws on the promotion of the study of labour and social security law amongst young academics and lawyers. A number of recommendations have been made with a view to attracting scholars, including young ones, coming from more countries. It has been traditionally observed that the main responsibility in this regard relies upon the national associations. When however scholars look for suitable conferences to attend, they look at the scholarly programme of the conference, whether it is refereed, what other internationally known scholars will be attending and so on. All of this is also the clear responsibility of the Society. In accordance with Article 1§2 of the by-laws, on the other hand, the Executive Committee facilitates the integration of young scholars into the labour law community and their networking by the assistance it gives to international seminars of comparative labour law, industrial relations and social security. It has recently promoted the organization of new colloquiums of this kind. It could be further encouraged to do so and to provide the organizers with more fellowships.

With the aim of getting up this exhortation, the SIDTSS Officers group composed by the President Adrian Goldin, the General Secretary Giuseppe Casale and the Treasurer Stefano Bellomo encouraged the Regional Conferences organizers, namely the Guayaquil American Regional Congress and the Dublin European Regional Congress, to schedule a specific session during the conferences for labour lawyers young scholars to discuss on topics across the board for all the countries within the Region.

A double consequence come from these initiatives. As the report Servais pointed out it is true that the main responsibility in promoting young scholars activities fall within the national associations competences.

However, each input coming from the International Society may facilitate the process to start reflecting and planning initiatives for young scholars even within each national association: for example, through a national young section or specific seminars or awards for younger scholars.

The second and more immediate consequence is to recognize a space for participation within the program of each Congress even to those who cultivates a significant interest for comparative labour law and devotes part of his research to this area of study, although having less seniority than academic scholars responsible for carrying out general relations or to fill the role of discussant or participant in the round tables.

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II) The first experience developed at the Guayaquil Regional American Congress

A first, indeed very positive, attempt to gather scholars belonging to the youngest generations and to promote an exchange of views among them has been carried out at the Ninth Regional American Congress that was held in Guayaquil, Ecuador, from the 1st to the 4th of October 2013. Works presented in that circumstance have been posted on the ISLSSL Internet site and can be consulted at http://islssl.org/category/young-legal-scholars-section/.

Considering the success achieved by such a first initiative, the proposal that herewith it is intended to put forward to each European National Association, in the perspective of the forthcoming Regional Congress to be held in Dublin in September 2014, is to appoint one or more young scholars (leaving to the discretion of each Association the choice of criteria and requirements that qualify a scholar as “young”) and to instruct them, as members of the European “embryo” of the ISLSSL young scholars group, to present a brief report to the Congress. The report should address the topical issues that are indicated in the next section of this communication.

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III) The discussion topics for Dublin 2014

As far as the evolution of labour law in the legal systems of the European area is concerned, the economic global crisis represents the most important transformation topic and the main reason of intervention.

Firstly, the direct or indirect impact of the crisis has characterised significantly the countries that have had to cope with a sharp increase in unemployment, especially among young people. In these cases, the response to the many issues arising from this phenomenon is represented by some incisive laws to reform the rules on employment contracts law, trade union law and collective bargaining, as well as some important changes in the field of social security law (pension systems, protection against unemployment, welfare to work).
These transformations, in many cases, did not derive solely from the decision process of each country’s legislature, but had been introduced, albeit in a diversified manner, in response to precise indications coming from the political-economic institutions that operate more directly in Europe, in most cases by the so-called troika, comprising the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund.

Secondly, even in countries where the economic crisis has opened up new market opportunities related to outsourcing of production and to relocation of businesses, changes in the labour market have brought out more clearly the need to provide assistance to the modernization of legislation in the area of labour.

It is also necessary to consider how these changes, in single countries, have affected the legislation’s evolution linked to the implementation of the Conventions of the International Labour Organization.

For this reason, the most appropriate topics of the first meeting scheduled during the European Regional Congress in Dublin can be summarized in the following questions.

  1. What are the most significant changes that the legal system of your country has suffered since the start of the global economic crisis (2008), with particular reference to the following areas: employment contracts law, trade union law and collective bargaining, social security law (pension systems, protection against unemployment, welfare to work)?
  2. Which role have the solicitations coming from the international and supranational authorities (ILO, IMF, Council of Europe, European Union, the Eurasian Customs Union, etc.) played in the elaboration of these reform measures?

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IV) Organization of the Session

Representatives from the various European national Associations and Institutions affiliated to the ISLSSL will be invited to submit a brief report answering the questions raised in Section III. Such report is to be written using one of the official languages of the Congress (English, French, Spanish).

The reports will be initially published on the website dedicated to this initiative: www.users2.unimi.it/euryoungscholars. After the end of the Congress, the reports will be also available on the ISLSSL website (www.islssl.org and www.sidtss.org).

The www.users2.unimi.it/euryoungscholars website will contain documents, contributions and papers to be uploaded by the persons concerned upon registration.

During the Session the above-mentioned representatives will be asked to present their own report. The duration of the presentation will be established according to the number of the national reports submitted.

The appointment of the representatives shall be notified within the 31st of March 2014. The reports shall be submitted within the 28th of July 2014.