The role of the third sector in man-made disasters: the Brazilian and Polish Red Cross Associations case study

This paper aims to discuss the special role of the third sector and civil society associations in man-made disasters caused by technological and biological (CBRN) hazards or armed conflict. By categorizing the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (ICRC, IFRC, and national societies) institutional position of trust (neutrality), we analyze their institutional advantages and limitations, considering stakeholders involved in each case and in relation with State authorities. The exploratory case study focuses on ICRC-IFCR support in the Brazilian dam breaks in 2015 (Mariana Dam) and 2019 (Brumadinho Dam) compared with the victims of war assistance in 2021 Polish-Belarusian border migration crisis and 2022 Russian aggression to Ukraine. Even with a different set of institutional boundaries, we conclude that Red Cross humanitarian assistance is decisive in the disaster response, reducing human, material, economic and environmental losses, and further impacts.

The right to information on the processes of classification of the “secrets” of State of the Spanish government

In Spain there are no such declassification mechanisms and since the democratic era began, with the approval of the 1978 Constitution, secret information has never been declassified. In addition, the law that regulates that regulate these information classification processes are prior to the Spanish Constitution and, in episodes of investigation of the government, it has been possible to verify certain conflicts of competences between the authorities themselves with the capacity to classify information public and allow access.
This study deepens the knowledge of the mechanisms established by the current Spanish legislation on the possibilities of declassifying secret information and allowing the citizen to access it. Likewise, the use made by the government of its power to classify information has been reviewed, to determine if the matters and procedures that it has followed are in accordance with those established by law, or if there is a risk that it exceeds said power.

Fiscal federalism and solidarity: exploring the role of equalization mechanisms as a tool of territorial integration in multilevel countries facing secessionist challenges

This paper aims at integrating the discussion on the role of fiscal constitutions -in a broad sense- as a determinant, among other factors, not only of financial relations but also of the inherent dynamics of a federal system. Specifically, this study will focus on the role of equalization mechanisms as tools of (dis)integration in multilevel countries that have experienced secessionist challenges. For this purpose, it aims to design a benchmark that could be used a standard for legal comparison to calibrate the (dis)integrative effects of the different elements that made up equalization mechanisms. Thus, the analysis will explore from a legal point of view the internal architecture of equalization mechanisms, focusing on those structural elements whose nature is connected to the notion of fiscal constitution with the aim of identifying the integrative and disintegrative effects that these elements have in the territorial accommodation of national minorities in multilevel systems.

The absence of ‘vertical’ impartiality in public administration

Public administration is an industry that employs half a billion people globally and covid-19 reminded us of its importance. One of the tenets of governance – democratic and perhaps totalitarian – is the impartiality of public administration. With such noun – impartiality – it is meant the capability of public administration to serve executive branches governed by different parties with the same loyalty: a ‘servant to any master’. Impartiality also implies the same capability vis-à-vis the citizens, i.e. the equal treatment and non-discrimination of all citizens. These ‘impartialities’ are ‘horizontal’, because they are addressed at entities that are on the same – horizontal – plane. On the other hand, literature shows that organizations do not behave with ‘vertical’ impartiality: public administration and public employees give themselves precedence vis-à-vis the rest of society. The absence of vertical impartiality has implications for public law.

Commander in Chief across Policy Dimensions: Theoretical Flaws of Independent Military Executive

Christopher Berry and Jacob Gersen, in their article The Unbundled Executive, propose an independent military executive. They argue that an independent military executive outperforms a unitary executive on constitutional values such as accountability, rapid response and speaking with one voice, energy, balance of power and uniformity. However, this thesis is based on the flawed premise that the military executive will work within one single policy dimension. On the contrary, the military literature shows that almost all types of contemporary military operations listed by the US Department of Defense are conducted across multiple policy dimensions. At a result, the military executive must coordinate with other agencies to achieve its missions. This will reduce the clarity of accountability of the military executive and undermine other constitutional values without good coordination. Therefore, the proposal for an independent military executive is undesirable.