Accountability in the Globalized Digital Age: The example of online content regulation in the EU

The purpose of this paper is to reflect on the challenges that accountability is presented with in the area of online content moderation, with emphasis on practices adopted for the regulation of hate speech online. The analysis will deal not only with the role of the state in the digital environment but also with that of internet intermediaries—labelled as ‘private superpowers’—in providing more accountable webs of protection for affected individuals and groups in the post-truth era. The discussion of the regulatory ‘exchange’ between the two actors will reveal the difficulties and advantages of this evolving policy area on the level of accountability for digital platform users. The analysis also takes a closer look at how the most common tools of online content moderation pose a challenge to accountability in more specific terms, in order then to explore the current trends in the European legal landscape on the question.

Financial accountability and transparency of public sector institution in the Republic of Serbia

The research problem assessed in the paper is financial accountability and transparency of public sector financial operations in the Republic of Serbia as a country in transition. The methodological approach applied in the assessment is based on analysis of content of the Serbian State Audit Institution (SAI) over the last five years and using the legal-dogmatic method. The results of the analysis of the SAI reports provide insight into the bottlenecks of financial accountability in the public sector and enable identification of recommendations for improvement. Application of the legal-dogmatic method reflects the normative complexity and role of the SAI in the system of public expenditure control and in other state institutions relevant for strengthening of transparency of financial operations.

Transparency and accountability v. secrecy in intelligence operations: An Italian case study

This paper deals with the Italian intelligence system from a public law perspective in the context of the tension between transparency and accountability. This paper provides a brief history of the organisation and functioning of intelligence services in Italy, from the earliest pieces of legislation to the current legal framework regulating the matter. After this diachronic analysis, the Author will focus on mechanisms designed to ensure oversight of intelligence operations and accountability of agents and on the relationship between intelligence services and the executive, as framed by laws in force and interpreted by the courts. At the same time, the relationship between intelligence services and the judiciary will be examined, specifically when the state secret privilege is invoked within criminal proceedings.

Non-judicial legal accountability: The case of the Chilean comptroller general

Courts are often perceived as the ideal institutional embodiment of the legal accountability. It is for judges to make sure that actions by government agencies conform to legal rules and procedures. Yet we usually miss the importance of non-court machinery that also performs a crucial legal accountability role. The concepts of bureaucratic justice, administrative justice and adjudication, internal administrative law, horizontal accountability, and non-judicial dispute resolution may be used precisely to refer to this phenomenon. In this paper, the author will explain why the Chilean comptroller-general is an example of non-judicial legal accountability. This institution has played a critical function in the Chilean constitutional landscape for over a century. This paper will describe the main structure and functions of this office. The author also will try to present the institution of the Chilean comptroller-general in the broader Latin American context.

Ministerial criminal liability in the Greek legal order: A concise critical review

The criminal liability of ministers in Greece has always given ample cause for deliberations and heated debates in both the political and the academic worlds. It follows an essentially extraordinary path that is quite differentiated from common criminal procedure, and it is established in the controversial provision of Article 86.1 of the Greek Constitution. It states that only the Greek Parliament has the power to prosecute incumbent or even former ministers for alleged criminal offenses committed during the discharge of their duties. From an institutional point of view, the above-mentioned regime deviates from the principle of separation of powers, given that it entrusts a purely political body—such as the parliament—with the exercise of judicial powers. The authors argue that it may mean that the vague notion of political responsibility tends to grip its criminal counterpart, leading to penal exemption and rising mistrust in political institutions.

Transparency and Government Accountability in Brexit Negotiations

This paper presents an analysis of the implications and the consequences of the UK’s decision to withdraw from the EU in the context of the principle of transparency and the UK Government’s accountability in the Brexit negotiations. In political terms, the result of the 2016 Brexit referendum took on a particular role because its effects made it impossible for the parliament to disregard the will of the people and in legal terms, the Government was unable to trigger Art. 50 of the TUE. The outcome of the so-called Miller I case showed that the courts had been forced again to draw the boundaries of constitutional competence between the executive and the parliament, in the sense that they had consistently backed Westminster. Thus, this paper discusses that the credibility of the EU and the UK Government depended on the principle of transparency in the Brexit negotiations. The author argues that openness is a key element in ensuring accountability in the decision-making process.