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Showing posts with label Gaspar Kot. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gaspar Kot. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

EU sustainability reg reaches companies in U.S., world

A sustainability regulation from the EU promises to be the next big compliance hurdle deployed on the continent to affect transnational businesses based in the United States and around the world.

The regulation is the subject of a lecture today by my friend and co-author Gaspar Kot in the 2020-21 lecture series, "Contemporary Challenges in Global and American Law," from the Faculty of Law and Administration at Jagiellonian University (JU) in Kraków, Poland, and the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, D.C.

Gaspar Kot
Kot speaks today on "Sustainable Investment – The New Heart of EU Financial Market Regulation."  His lecture will be published in the CUA YouTube playlist [now available & below].  Here is the abstract.

With increasing concern for global climate change and following the 2015 Paris Agreement obligations, the European Union adopted the Regulation [2019/2088] on Sustainability-Related Disclosures in the Financial Services Sector (SFDR), which took effect beginning March 10, 2021. The SFDR, along with draft regulatory technical standards and the EU’s Taxonomy Regulation, require financial market participants to incorporate sustainability considerations in their governance frameworks, as well as to prepare disclosures and reporting to investors about environmental, social, and governance factors. The EU sustainable investment regime reaches US entities offering investment funds and financial services to European clients. The EU General Data Protection Regulation sent shock waves across the Atlantic and required many US lawyers and businesses quickly to become expert in GDPR requirements. The EU’s ESG requirements are likely to have a similar dramatic border-crossing impact.

Kot is a markets, products, and structuring lawyer for UBS, the Swiss investment bank and financial services company with worldwide offices including more than 5,000 employees in Poland. He heads the asset management stream of the legal department in the UBS Kraków office.

When I last wrote about the winter-spring line-up for the lecture series, the following spring offerings were yet to be announced.  It's not too late now to sign up for four more programs.

  • April 14 – Katarzyna Wolska-Wrona, "Approaches to Combating Gender-Based Violence: The Council of Europe Istanbul Convention and a US Perspective"
  • April 27 – Mary Graw Leary, "#MeToo and #Black Lives Matter: Conflicting Objectives or Opportunities for Advancement of Shared Priorities?"
  • May 12 – Regina T. Jefferson, "Examining United States Retirement Savings Policy through the Lens of International Human Rights Principles"
  • June 2 – Wictor Furman, "European and US Perspectives on Investment Fund Regulation"

My students in comparative law especially might be interested in the April 14 program by attorney Wolska-Wrona, an expert with the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights.  Our class looked at eastern European skepticism of the Istanbul Convention as part of our examination of contemporary issues in EU law.  The matter remains timely; Turkey's withdrawal triggered protests just two days ago and was condemned by the Biden Administration.  I also look forward especially to the presentation of Professor Jefferson, who is a gem of a scholar and colleague.

[UPDATED, March 26, with video, below.]

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Comparative law talks look to Biden Administration, covid-19 aftermath, EU market, juvenile justice

The winter-spring lecture series, "Contemporary Challenges in Global and American Law," from the Faculty of Law and Administration at Jagiellonian University (JU) in Kraków, Poland, and the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, D.C., is free and already under way.

The series promises an exciting lineup, continuing from six lectures in fall 2020, all of which may be viewed online.  This semester's offerings kicked off last week, January 13, with London-Milan lawyer Vincenzo Senatore talking about covid-19 as force majeure in contract law, and comparing common law and civil law approaches.

One week from today, January 27, Professor Geoffrey P. Watson, director of the Comparative and International Law Institute at CUA, will talk on "International Law and the New Biden Administration."  Free registration is now open.

Stryjniak
Here's the line-up for February and March.  Watch the website for more in April and May.  Free registration is required for contemporaneous participation.

  • February 10 - Katarzyna Stryjniak, "EU and US Budget-Making: Process, Politics, and Policy in a COVID-Challenged World" 
  • February 24 - Heidi Mandanis Schooner, "How Well Did the Post-2008 Financial Crisis Regime Prepare the World for the COVID-19 Pandemic?"
  • March 2 - Cara H. Drinan, "The War on Kids: Progress and the Path Forward on Juvenile Justice"
  • March 24 - Gaspar Kot, "Sustainable Investment – The New Heart of EU Financial Market Regulation"

The lecture series grew out of a summer 2020 pilot program in which I was privileged to participate, and it's been a welcome way, during the pandemic, to connect with colleagues in Europe and take pride in former students.  Now a legal and policy officer with the European Commission, Kasia Stryjniak is a graduate of JU and CUA master's programs.  Gaspar Kot is near completion of the Ph.D. at JU, holds an LL.M. from CUA, coordinates the LL.M. program at JU, and was my co-author on a recent book chapter.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Book chapter examines information access in context of Polish privatization, law and development

My colleague Gaspar Kot and I have published a book chapter entitled Private-Sector Transparency as Development Imperative: An African Inspiration.  The chapter appears in the new book, Law and Development: Balancing Principles and Values, from Springer, edited by Professors Piotr Szwedo, Dai Tamada, and me (more in the next entry on this blog).  Here is our abstract:
Access to information (ATI) is essential to ethical and efficacious social and economic development. Transparency ensures that human rights are protected and not overwhelmed by profiteering or commercial priorities. Accordingly, ATI has become recognised as a human right that facilitates the realisation of other human rights. But ATI as conceived in Western law has meant only access to the state. In contemporary development, private actors are crucial players, as they work for, with, and outside the state to realise development projects. This investment of public interest in the private sector represents a seismic shift in social, economic, and political power from people to institutions, akin to the twentieth-century creation of the social-democratic state.
Contingent on state accountability, Western ATI law has struggled to follow the public interest into the private sector. Western states are stretching ATI law to reach the private sector upon classical rationales for access to the state. In Poland, hotly contested policy initiatives over privatisation and public reinvestment have occasioned this stretching of ATI law in the courts. Meanwhile, in Africa, a new model for ATI has emerged. Since the reconstruction of the South African state after Apartheid, South African ATI law has discarded the public-private divide as prohibitive of access. Rather than focusing on the nature of a private ATI respondent’s activity as determinative of access, South African law looks to the demonstrated necessity of access to protect human rights.
This chapter examines cases from South Africa that have applied this new ATI model to the private sector in areas with development implications. For comparison, the article then examines the gradually expanding but still more limited Western approach to ATI in the private sector as evidenced in Polish ATI law. This research demonstrates that amid shifting power in key development areas such as energy and communication, Polish courts have been pressing ATI to work more vigorously in the private sector upon theories of attenuated state accountability, namely public ownership, funding, and function. We posit that Poland, and other states in turn, should jettison these artifices of state accountability and look instead to the South African model, since replicated elsewhere in Africa, for direct access to the private sector. ATI law should transcend the public-private divide, and the nations of the North and West should recognise human rights as the definitive rationale for ATI in furtherance of responsible development.
Gaspar Kot
With Mr. Kot's help, this chapter extends to a European context my previously published comparative work on private-sector information access. Gaspar's expertise was invaluable for Polish legal research, to be sure, but moreover to help me to understand Poland's richly complex, on-again-off-again courtship of privatization.

In earlier works, I compared the South African approach with the United States FOIA and with Indian RTI law.  I am excited about this approach in access-to-information law, which is now gaining traction elsewhere in Africa, because I believe it to be a potential game-changer in saving democracy and human dignity from corporatocracy. I am spending some of my sabbatical time this semester in Africa and other parts of the developing world studying how this approach is especially salient in the context of problems in social and economic development.