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Artikel

Het contact tussen gedetineerden en interne en externe re-integratieprofessionals in Nederlandse penitentiaire inrichtingen

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift voor Veiligheid, Aflevering 1 2021
Trefwoorden contact, professionals, gevangenis, re-integratie, casemanagement
Auteurs Amanda Pasma, Esther van Ginneken, Anouk Bosma e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Prisoners often encounter multiple barriers when returning to society, resulting in higher risks of recidivism. To overcome these barriers, prison-based and community-based professionals assist with preparation for release. Prison-based professionals, such as the case manager and mentor, screen and monitor the problems regarding work and income, housing, healthcare, financial debts and valid identification. Community-based professionals, such as municipal officials, parole officers, healthcare professionals and volunteers, can provide additional and specialized help. First, this research discusses the current policy of the Dutch Custodial Institutions Agency (DJI) and the role of different types of professionals. Second, it presents a nationwide picture of the extent to which prisoners report contact with prison-based and community-based professionals, and to what degree prisoners appreciate this contact. The results are specified for various types of regimes and time served and are based on 4308 prisoner surveys of the Dutch Prison Visitation Study (DPVS), part of the Life in Custody Study (LIC-study). It turns out that most prisoners seem to be in close contact with prison-based professionals and that prisoners positively value this contact. However, contact with community-based professionals is limited and prisoners are somewhat dissatisfied about their contact with parole officers and municipal officials. Furthermore, the amount of contact differs across various types of regimes and time served. In particular, individuals who recently entered prison report less contact. To conclude, policy implications will be discussed.


Amanda Pasma
Amanda J. Pasma is PhD-student aan de Universiteit Leiden, Faculteit der Rechtsgeleerdheid.

Esther van Ginneken
Esther van Ginneken is Universitair Docent Criminologie aan de Universiteit Leiden, Faculteit der Rechtsgeleerdheid.

Anouk Bosma
Anouk Bosma was ten tijde van het onderzoek Universitair Docent Criminologie aan de Universiteit Leiden, Faculteit der Rechtsgeleerdheid.

Hanneke Palmen
Hanneke Palmen is Universitair hoofddocent Criminologie aan de Universiteit Leiden, Faculteit der Rechtsgeleerdheid.

Paul Nieuwbeerta
Paul Nieuwbeerta is Hoogleraar Criminologie aan de Universiteit Leiden, Faculteit der Rechtsgeleerdheid.
Artikel

Access_open Art, Science and the Poetry of Justice – ­Pragmatist Aesthetics and Its Importance for Law and Legal Education

Special Issue on Pragmatism and Legal Education ­Sanne Taekema & Thomas Riesthuis (eds.)

Tijdschrift Law and Method, maart 2021
Trefwoorden legal research, legal education, epistemology, law, science and art
Auteurs Wouter de Been
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Classic pragmatists like John Dewey entertained an encompassing notion of science. This pragmatic belief in the continuities between a scientific, ethical and cultural understanding of the world went into decline in the middle of the 20th century. To many mid-century American and English philosophers it suggested a simplistic faith that philosophy and science could address substantive questions about values, ethics and aesthetics in a rigorous way. This critique of classic pragmatism has lost some of its force in the last few decades with the rise of neo-pragmatism, but it still has a hold over disciplines like economics and law. In this article I argue that this criticism of pragmatism is rooted in a narrow conception of what science entails and what philosophy should encompass. I primarily focus on one facet: John Dewey’s work on art and aesthetics. I explain why grappling with the world aesthetically, according to Dewey, is closely related to dealing with it scientifically, for instance, through the poetic and aesthetic development of metaphors and concepts to come to terms with reality. This makes his theory of art relevant, I argue, not only to studying and understanding law, but also to teaching law.


Wouter de Been
Wouter de Been is a legal theorist who has written widely on pragmatism and legal realism. I would like to thank the reviewers for their comments. Their critical commentary made this a much better article. Any remaining shortcomings are of course my own. I dedicate this article to the memory of Willem Witteveen, who always saw the art in law.
Artikel

Access_open Addressing Problems Instead of Diagnoses

Reimagining Liberalism Regarding Disability and Public Health

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering Pre-publications 2021
Trefwoorden Vulerability Theory, Liberalism, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), Public Health, Capabilities Approach
Auteurs Erwin Dijkstra
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The public health systems of liberal states systematically fail to meet the goals and obligations of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which aims to facilitate full societal participation and independent life choices by all impaired persons, as well as the unburdening of their private caretakers. This failure does not stem from a lack of money or effort by governments and other societal institutions, but flaws in the anatomy of these systems. As these systems confine institutional assistance to the needs of persons with certain delineated disabilities, they neglect the needs of other persons, whose disabilities do not fit this mould. The responsibility for the latter group thus falls to their immediate social circle. These private caretakers are in turn seldom supported. To remedy this situation, I will present the alternative paradigm of vulnerability theory as the possible foundation for a more inclusive approach to public health.


Erwin Dijkstra
Erwin Dijkstra LLM MA is lecturer and researcher at the Department of Jurisprudence of the Leiden Law School of Leiden University.
Discussie

‘Access to Justice’ en rechtshulpverlening.

Over de voortschrijdende rechtssociologische benadering van de rechtshulpverlening in de lage landen

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 2 2020
Auteurs Prof. Dr. Jean Van Houtte en Prof. Dr. Bernard Hubeau
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This contribution puts the developments of the socio-legal approach of access to justice and legal aid in the low countries (Belgium and the Netherlands) in a broad perspective. During the last 40 years, the journal has dealt with some general problems, related to the accessibility of justice and legal aid and the effects of legislation in that field. Some important differences between het Belgian and the Dutch situation are highlighted. Although the general situation has not changed dramatically in both countries, some improvements have been achieved, e.g. when it comes to the so called “social legal aid”. Still, a better and more equal access to justice has to be promoted and realised.


Prof. Dr. Jean Van Houtte
Jean Van Houtte is emeritus hoogleraar Rechtssociologie aan de Universiteit Antwerpen. Hij is op dit moment lid van de redactieraad.

Prof. Dr. Bernard Hubeau
Bernard Hubeau is emeritus hoogleraar Rechtssociologie aan de Universiteit Antwerpen en gastdocent aan de Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Hij is op dit moment lid van de redactieraad.
Artikel

Access_open Het effect van een pro Justitia-rapportage op de bewijsbeslissing: een empirische verkenning

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 2 2020
Trefwoorden Pro Justitia, Guilt, Conviction, Forensic mental health report
Auteurs Roosmarijn van Es MSc., Dr. Janne van Doorn, Prof. dr. Jan de Keijser e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    A forensic mental health report is requested in about 30% of more serious cases presented to the criminal court. These reports can be used at sentencing and advise the judge on criminal responsibility, recidivism risk, and possible treatment measures, but is not a formal factor in decisions about guilt. The current study focuses on the (unwarranted) effect of forensic mental health information on conviction decisions. Using an experimental vignette study among 155 criminology students, results show that when a mental disorder is present, conviction rates are higher than when such information is absent. In line with the story model of judicial decision-making, additional analyses showed that this effect was mediated by the evaluation of guilt rather than by the evaluation of other physical evidence. Implications for further research and practice are discussed.


Roosmarijn van Es MSc.
Roosmarijn van Es is promovenda bij het Instituut voor Strafrecht en Criminologie aan Universiteit Leiden. Haar onderzoek richt zich op de rol van informatie in pro Justitia-rapportages in rechterlijke beslissingen over bewijs en straf.

Dr. Janne van Doorn
Janne van Doorn is universitair docent bij het Instituut voor Strafrecht en Criminologie aan Universiteit Leiden.

Prof. dr. Jan de Keijser
Jan de Keijser is hoogleraar Criminologie bij het Instituut voor Strafrecht en Criminologie aan Universiteit Leiden.

Prof. dr. mr. Maarten Kunst
Maarten Kunst is hoogleraar Criminologie bij het Instituut voor Strafrecht en Criminologie aan Universiteit Leiden.
Article

Access_open Mechanisms for Correcting Judicial Errors in Germany

Tijdschrift Erasmus Law Review, Aflevering 4 2020
Trefwoorden criminal proceedings, retrial in favour of the convicted, retrial to the disadvantage of the defendant, Germany, judicial errors
Auteurs Michael Lindemann en Fabienne Lienau
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The article presents the status quo of the law of retrial in Germany and gives an overview of the law and practice of the latter in favour of the convicted and to the disadvantage of the defendant. Particularly, the formal and material prerequisites for a successful petition to retry the criminal case are subject to a detailed presentation and evaluation. Because no official statistics are kept regarding successful retrial processes in Germany, the actual number of judicial errors is primarily the subject of more or less well-founded estimates by legal practitioners and journalists. However, there are a few newer empirical studies devoted to different facets of the subject. These studies will be discussed in this article in order to outline the state of empirical research on the legal reality of the retrial procedure. Against this background, the article will ultimately highlight currently discussed reforms and subject these to a critical evaluation as well. The aim of the recent reform efforts is to add a ground for retrial to the disadvantage of the defendant for cases in which new facts or evidence indicate that the acquitted person was guilty. After detailed discussion, the proposal in question is rejected, inter alia for constitutional reasons.


Michael Lindemann
Michael Lindemann is Professor for Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure and Criminology at the Faculty of Law of Bielefeld University, Germany.

Fabienne Lienau
Fabienne Lienau is Research Assistant at the Chair held by Michael Lindemann.

Prof. dr. Koen Van Aeken
Koen Van Aeken is senior hoofddocent aan de Faculteit Rechten van de Universiteit Antwerpen. Hij doceert rechtssociologie in de eerste Bachelor en de Master, en Legal Research Methodology en Empirical Research Methods in Law in de LLM. Zijn onderzoek situeert zich op het terrein van wetsevaluatie, regulering en governance, recht en digitalisering, en juridische en empirische onderzoeksmethodologie.
Article

Access_open Post-Conviction Remedies in the Italian Criminal Justice System

Tijdschrift Erasmus Law Review, Aflevering 4 2020
Trefwoorden wrongful conviction, revision, extraordinary appeal, rescission of final judgment, res judicata
Auteurs Luca Lupária Donati en Marco Pittiruti
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The Italian Constitution expressly contemplates the possibility of a wrongful conviction, by stating that the law shall determine the conditions and forms regulating damages in case of judicial error. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that many provisions of the Italian Code of Criminal Procedure (CCP) deal with the topic. The aim of this article is to provide an overview of the post-conviction remedies in the Italian legal system by considering the current provisions of the CCP, on the one hand, and by exploring their practical implementation, on the other.


Luca Lupária Donati
Luca Lupária is Full Professor of Criminal Procedure at Roma Tre University, Director of the Italy Innocence Project and President of the European Innocence Network.

Marco Pittiruti
Marco Pittiruti is researcher of Criminal Procedure at Roma Tre University.
Article

Access_open Exoneration in Sweden

Is It Not about Time to Reform the Swedish Model?

Tijdschrift Erasmus Law Review, Aflevering 4 2020
Trefwoorden wrongful convictions, extraordinary legal remedy, exoneration, exoneration in Sweden
Auteurs Dennis Martinsson
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article reviews exoneration in Sweden, with a focus on the procedure of applying for exoneration. First, it highlights some core features of Swedish criminal procedural law, necessary to understand exoneration in the Swedish context. Secondly, it outlines the possibilities in Swedish law to apply for exoneration, both in favour of a convicted person and to the disadvantage of a previously acquitted defendant. Thirdly, it identifies some challenges with the current Swedish model of administering applications for exoneration. Fourthly, it argues that the current system should be reformed by introducing into Swedish law a review committee that administers applications for exoneration.


Dennis Martinsson
Dennis Martinsson is Assistant Professor in the Department of Law of Stockholm University in Sweden.
Artikel

Exploring narrative, convictions and autoethnography as a convict criminologist

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, Aflevering 3 2020
Trefwoorden convict criminology, narrative, autoethnography, reflexivity, post-colonial perspective
Auteurs Dr. Rod Earle
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Convict criminology draws from personal experience of imprisonment to offer critical criminological perspectives on punishment and prisons. In this article I discuss how some of these are aligned with questions of narrative and post-colonial perspectives in criminology. I use autoethnographic vignettes to communicate the experiences of imprisonment that inform the development of convict criminology, and I explore their relationship to narrative criminology’s interest in personal stories.


Dr. Rod Earle
Dr. Rod Earle is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care, The Open University, UK.
Artikel

Whose narratives?

The Self as (also) an alien – for a complex concept of ‘Self’ in narrative criminology

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, Aflevering 3 2020
Trefwoorden Self, narrative criminology
Auteurs Professor Alfredo Verde
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This paper, answering to a recent critique by Ben Laws to the concept of Self developed by narrative criminology, and recognizing its importance, shows that narrative criminology has formulated a complex dynamic definition of it, in addressing both the limit-experiences and the unconscious dimension. Such enlargement can be attained by adding to narrative criminology the contributions of psychosocial criminology, that considers also the emotional dimension of crime narratives and the enjoyment connected to crime: the offender Self, in this perspective, is a multiplex, not completely definable, sometimes alien entity, which can be exposed analysing in depth criminal narratives.


Professor Alfredo Verde
Professor Alfredo Verde is professor of Criminology, Department of Health Sciences (DISSAL), University of Genoa, Italy.
Artikel

Cultural criminology and narrative criminology’s shared interests

More than just criminological verstehen

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, Aflevering 3 2020
Trefwoorden verstehen, cultural criminology, media looping, narrative criminology, storytelling
Auteurs Dr. Avi Brisman
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article explores the intersection of two criminological perspectives—cultural criminology and narrative criminology. Taking inspiration from Mills and Fleetwood’s article, ‘Prepping and verstehen: A narrative criminological perspective’, where the authors contend that stories complement the pursuit of criminological verstehen, this article draws attention to other ways in which cultural criminology and narrative criminology are imbricated, taking notice of commonalities in cultural criminology’s analysis of media looping and narrative criminology’s identification of cycles of storytelling practice and lived experiences. A consideration of Donald Trump’s attempts to control narrative is used to develop an argument regarding cultural criminology’s and narrative criminology’s joint questioning of linear sequencing and mutual recognition of circulating fluidity


Dr. Avi Brisman
Dr. Avi Brisman (MFA, JD, PhD) is professor in the School of Justice Studies at Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, KY, USA.
Article

Access_open Migration and Time: Duration as an Instrument to Welcome or Restrict

Tijdschrift Erasmus Law Review, Aflevering 2 2020
Trefwoorden Migration, EU migration law, time
Auteurs Gerrie Lodder
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    States apply different material conditions to attract or restrict residence of certain types of migrants. But states can also make use of time as an instrument to design more welcoming or more restrictive policies. States can apply faster application procedures for desired migrants. Furthermore, time can be used in a more favourable way to attract desired migrants in regard to duration of residence, access to a form of permanent residence and protection against loss of residence. This contribution makes an analysis of how time is used as an instrument in shaping migration policy by the European Union (EU) legislator in the context of making migration more or less attractive. This analysis shows that two groups are treated more favourably in regard to the use of time in several aspects: EU citizens and economic- and knowledge-related third-country nationals. However, when it comes to the acquisition of permanent residence after a certain period of time, the welcoming policy towards economic- and knowledge-related migrants is no longer obvious.


Gerrie Lodder
Gerrie Lodder is lecturer and researcher at the Europa Institute of Leiden University.
Article

Access_open Positive State Obligations under European Law: A Tool for Achieving Substantive Equality for Sexual Minorities in Europe

Tijdschrift Erasmus Law Review, Aflevering 3 2020
Trefwoorden Positive obligations, sexual minorities, sexual orientation, European law, human rights
Auteurs Alina Tryfonidou
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article seeks to examine the development of positive obligations under European law in the specific context of the rights of sexual minorities. It is clear that the law should respect and protect all sexualities and diverse intimate relationships without discrimination, and for this purpose it needs to ensure that sexual minorities can not only be free from state interference when expressing their sexuality in private, but that they should be given the right to express their sexuality in public and to have their intimate relationships legally recognised. In addition, sexual minorities should be protected from the actions of other individuals, when these violate their legal and fundamental human rights. Accordingly, in addition to negative obligations, European law must impose positive obligations towards sexual minorities in order to achieve substantive equality for them. The article explains that, to date, European law has imposed a number of such positive obligations; nonetheless, there is definitely scope for more. It is suggested that European law should not wait for hearts and minds to change before imposing additional positive obligations, especially since this gives the impression that the EU and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) are condoning or disregarding persistent discrimination against sexual minorities.


Alina Tryfonidou
Alina Tryfonidou is Professor of Law, University of Reading.
Article

Access_open How Far Should the State Go to Counter Prejudice?

A Positive State Obligation to Counter Dehumanisation

Tijdschrift Erasmus Law Review, Aflevering 3 2020
Trefwoorden prejudice, soft paternalism, empathy, liberalism, employment discrimination, access to goods and services
Auteurs Ioanna Tourkochoriti
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article argues that it is legitimate for the state to practice soft paternalism towards changing hearts and minds in order to prevent behaviour that is discriminatory. Liberals accept that it is not legitimate for the state to intervene in order to change how people think because ideas and beliefs are wrong in themselves. It is legitimate for the state to intervene with the actions of a person only when there is a risk of harm to others and when there is a threat to social coexistence. Preventive action of the state is legitimate if we consider the immaterial and material harm that discrimination causes. It causes harm to the social standing of the person, psychological harm, economic and existential harm. All these harms threaten peaceful social coexistence. This article traces a theory of permissible government action. Research in the areas of behavioural psychology, neuroscience and social psychology indicates that it is possible to bring about a change in hearts and minds. Encouraging a person to adopt the perspective of the person who has experienced discrimination can lead to empathetic understanding. This, can lead a person to critically evaluate her prejudice. The paper argues that soft paternalism towards changing hearts and minds is legitimate in order to prevent harm to others. It attempts to legitimise state coercion in order to eliminate prejudice and broader social patterns of inequality and marginalisation. And it distinguishes between appropriate and non-appropriate avenues the state could pursue in order to eliminate prejudice. Policies towards eliminating prejudice should address the rational and the emotional faculties of a person. They should aim at using methods and techniques that focus on persuasion and reduce coercion. They should raise awareness of what prejudice is and how it works in order to facilitate well-informed voluntary decisions. The version of soft paternalism towards changing minds and attitudes defended in this article makes it consistent with liberalism.


Ioanna Tourkochoriti
Ioanna Tourkochoriti is Lecturer Above the Bar, NUI Galway School of Law.
Artikel

Access_open Institutioneel misbruik en geweld uit het verleden

Een vergelijking van twee herstelgerichte responsmodellen in België

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift voor Herstelrecht, Aflevering 3 2020
Trefwoorden institutioneel misbruik en geweld, responsmodellen, rooms-katholieke kerk, Centrum voor Arbitrage inzake seksueel misbruik, Permanente Arbitragekamer
Auteurs Ivo Aertsen en Martien Schotsmans
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In this article, an analysis is made of two response models for different forms of abuse and violence that occurred in the past on children in institutional settings. Two programmes are compared, as they operated during last 10 years in Belgium: on the one hand the Centre of Arbitration for sexual abuse and violence in the Catholic Church at the national level, on the other hand the Commission for Recognition and Mediation for various types of abuse and violence in youth and educational institutions and other organisational contexts in the Flemish Community. Both models are analysed and compared at the conceptual and empirical level from a restorative justice approach, looking at the elements that may reveal a certain form of restorative justice and/or may contain lessons for the further development of restorative justice. The background and origins of both programmes are presented into detail, followed by a comparison with respect to the political options on the basis of their creation, the composition of their boards, their scope of application and their procedures. Some numbers and characteristics of cases dealt with are presented.
    The analysis of both models points at the presence – in varying degrees – of important restorative justice elements as provided in the international literature. However, restorative justice standards are more prominent in the Flemish Commission for Recognition and Mediation as compared to the national Centre of Arbitration for sexual abuse in the Church. Both programmes also demonstrate that restorative action is needed at different, mutually interwoven levels: the personal (micro) level, the institutional (meso) level and the societal (macro) level. At the institutional and societal level the transformative potential of the interventions is very much needed, but also most challenging in terms of the development of effective restorative methods.


Ivo Aertsen
Ivo Aertsen is emeritus hoogleraar criminologie aan de KU Leuven. Hij was aangesteld als expert bij de federale parlementaire Bijzondere Commissie in 2010-2011 en fungeerde vier jaar als lid van de Permanente Arbitragekamer inzake seksueel misbruik in de Kerk.

Martien Schotsmans
Martien Schotsmans is advocaat en verzoeningsexpert. Zij was als arbiter betrokken bij twee dossiers inzake seksueel misbruik in de kerk en was tot september 2020 coördinator van de Vlaamse Commissie voor Erkenning en Bemiddeling inzake misbruik en geweld uit het verleden.
Artikel

Pro-cycling’s doping pentiti

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, Aflevering 2 2020
Trefwoorden doping, cycling, cultural criminology, crime facilitative system, organisational crime
Auteurs Dr. mr. Roland Moerland en Giulio Soana
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Throughout the last decade several cyclists have published memoirs in which they account for their doping use. In previous literature such autobiographical accounts have been characterized as attempts of fallen sports stars to sanitize their spoiled public image. In contrast, the analysis in this article will show that the accounts are of relevance when it comes to understanding the problem of doping in professional cycling. Their accounts break the omertà regarding doping, providing insights about the motivation and opportunity structures behind doping and how such structures are endemic to the system of professional cycling.


Dr. mr. Roland Moerland
Dr. mr. Roland Moerland is universitair docent criminologie aan de Faculteit der Rechtsgeleerdheid, Universiteit Maastricht.

Giulio Soana
Giulio Soana is afgestudeerd Master Forensica, Criminologie en Rechtspleging, Faculteit der Rechtsgeleerdheid, Universiteit Maastricht.
Artikel

Macht(eloos)

Normalisering van seksueel grensoverschrijdend gedrag in de (top)sport

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, Aflevering 2 2020
Trefwoorden sexually transgressive behavior, normalization, topsport culture, grooming, coach
Auteurs Dr. mr. Anton van Wijk en Prof. mr. Marjan Olfers
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Sexually transgressive behavior occurs in all sections of society, including sports. That includes behavior from making sexual comments to rape. A risk factor is the culture that can prevail in sports, also known as a disruptive culture. There is normalization of deviant behavior. The top sport culture is particularly vulnerable to unacceptable behavior. In this article we will consider the phenomenon of grooming by the coach – the conscious and movement that induce the minor to engage in sexual contact. Within top sport, the opportunity for (sexually) transgressive behavior will be the determining factor. While grooming in recreational or recreational sport is often by isolating (vulnerable) children from the group, grooming can occur in top sport because of the intensity of the relationship, which is in any case of a more closed nature and can be strengthened by the strong performance-oriented top sport culture. In both cases, an alert, open environment is necessary to create a safe sports climate.


Dr. mr. Anton van Wijk
Dr. mr. Anton van Wijk is criminoloog en directeur van Bureau Beke en Verinorm.

Prof. mr. Marjan Olfers
Prof. mr. Marjan Olfers is hoogleraar sport en recht aan de VU, tevens directeur van Verinorm.
Artikel

Access_open Restraint as a Source of Judicial ‘Apoliticality’

A Functional Reconstruction

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 2 2020
Trefwoorden Urgenda, Miller v. Secretary of State, Norm of judicial apoliticality, Ronald Dworkin, Judicial restraint
Auteurs Maurits Helmich
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Few legal theorists today would argue that the domain of law exists in isolation from other normative spheres governing society, notably from the domain of ‘politics’. Nevertheless, the implicit norm that judges should not act ‘politically’ remains influential and widespread in the debates surrounding controversial court cases. This article aims to square these two observations. Taking the Miller v. Secretary of State and Urgenda cases as illustrative case studies, the article demonstrates that what it means for judges to adjudicate cases ‘apolitically’ is itself a matter of controversy. In reflecting on their own constitutional role, courts are forced to take a stance on substantive questions of political philosophy. Nevertheless, that does not mean that the ‘norm of judicial apoliticality’ should therefore be rejected. The norm’s coherence lies in its intersocial function: its role in declaring certain modes of judicial interpretation and intervention legitimate (‘legal’/‘judicial’) or illegitimate (‘political’).


Maurits Helmich
Maurits Helmich is promovendus aan de afdeling Sociologie, Theorie en Methodologie van het Recht aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.
Artikel

Access_open The Obligation of Judges to Uphold Rules of Positive Law and Possibly Conflicting Ethical Values in Context

The Case of Criminalization of Homelessness in Hungary

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 2 2020
Trefwoorden Judicial independence, Rule of law, Judicial ethics, Hungary, Criminalization of homelessness
Auteurs Petra Gyöngyi
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article examines the tension between the constitutional obligation of judges to uphold rules of positive law and possibly conflicting standards of conduct arising from professional-ethical values. The theoretical analysis will be illustrated by the case of Hungary, an EU member state experiencing rule of law challenges since 2010 and where the 2018-2019 criminalization of homelessness exemplifies the studied tension. Inspired by the theories of Philip Selznick and Martin Krygier, rule of law will be viewed as a value that requires progressive realization and context-specific implementation. By contextualizing the relevant Hungarian constitutional framework with the content of the judicial code of ethics and judicial practice, it will be shown how the legitimate space for Hungarian judges to distance themselves from legislation possibly in conflict with rule of law values is reduced. Theoretical suggestions for addressing such rule of law regressions will be made.


Petra Gyöngyi
Petra Gyöngyi is postdoctoral fellow aan de University of Oslo.
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