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Artikel

Access_open What does it mean to be ‘illiberal’?

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 1 2021
Trefwoorden Liberalism, Illiberalism, Illiberal practices, Extremism, Discrimination
Auteurs Bouke de Vries
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    ‘Illiberal’ is an adjective that is commonly used by scholars. For example, they might speak of ‘illiberal cultures’, ‘illiberal groups’, ‘illiberal states’, ‘illiberal democracies’, ‘illiberal beliefs’, and ‘illiberal practices’. Yet despite its widespread usage, no in-depth discussions exist of exactly what it means for someone or something to be illiberal, or might mean. This article fills this lacuna by providing a conceptual analysis of the term ‘illiberal practices’, which I argue is basic in that other bearers of the property of being illiberal can be understood by reference to it. Specifically, I identify five ways in which a practice can be illiberal based on the different ways in which this term is employed within both scholarly and political discourses. The main value of this disaggregation lies in the fact that it helps to prevent confusions that arise when people use the adjective ‘illiberal’ in different ways, as is not uncommon.


Bouke de Vries
Bouke de Vries is a postdoctoral research fellow at Umeå University and the KU Leuven.
Artikel

Access_open Religie op het werk?

Over positieve en negatieve godsdienstvrijheid bij private ondernemingen en tendensondernemingen

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 1 2020
Auteurs Leni Franken en François Levrau
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In this article we elaborate on the place of religion in the workplace. Does the individual freedom of religion imply that employers must always accommodate the religious claims of employees or can they boast a number of arguments allowing them to legitimately limit that freedom? And, conversely, do employers not also have a right to freedom of religion and a right to formulate certain religious expectations for their employees? In this contribution, we deal with these and related questions from a legal-philosophical perspective. The overall aim is to illustrate the extent to which univocal answers are jeopardized because of conceptual ambiguities. We first make a normative distinction between two strategies (i.e. difference-blind approach and difference-sensitive approach) and subsequently illustrate and elaborate on how and why these strategies can lead to different outcomes in legal cases. We illustrate the extent to which a contextual and proportional analysis can be a way out in theoretical and practical conundrums.


Leni Franken
Leni Franken is senior researcher and teaching assistant at the University of Antwerp.

François Levrau
François Levrau is senior researcher and teaching assistant at the University of Antwerp.
Artikel

Access_open Legal and Political Concepts as Contextures

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 1 2020
Trefwoorden Concepts, Contextualism, Essentially Contested Concepts, Legal Theory, Freedom
Auteurs Dora Kostakopoulou
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Socio-political concepts are not singularities. They are, instead, complex and evolving contextures. An awareness of the latter and of what we need to do when we handle concepts opens up space for the resolution of political disagreements and multiplies opportunities for constructive dialogue and understanding. In this article, I argue that the concepts-as-contextures perspective can unravel conceptual connectivity and interweaving, and I substantiate this by examining the ‘contexture’ of liberty. I show that the different, and seemingly contested, definitions of liberty are the product of mixed articulations and the development of associative discursive links within a contexture.


Dora Kostakopoulou
Dora Kostakopoulou is a member of the Scientific Committee of the Fundamental Rights Agency of the EU and Professor of European Union Law, European Integration and Public Policy at Warwick University.
Artikel

Access_open Positieve uitlokking van ethisch hacken

Een onderzoek naar responsible-disclosurebeleid

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 2 2017
Trefwoorden ethical hacking, responsible disclosure, positive incitement, negative incitement, intrinsic desirability
Auteurs Karel Harms
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In this contribution, the Dutch government’s acceptance of ethical hacking, by implementing a policy of responsible disclosure, is considered to be a beneficent development. Ethical hacking contributes to cybersecurity and is intrinsically desirable. The term positive incitement is proposed to describe the relatively new phenomenon of encouraging ethical hacking. Positive incitement will be analysed by making a comparison to the Dutch toleration policy regarding soft drugs, and to incitement by law enforcement. Positive incitement should not change into negative incitement, which would result in a serious breach of the rights of ethical hackers. Furthermore, it is argued that the intrinsic value of ethical hacking can justify searching for vulnerabilities in systems of organisations who do not approve of this in advance.


Karel Harms
Karel Harms studeert aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen en volgt de master Rechtswetenschappelijk onderzoek.
Artikel

Access_open Belgium and Democratic Constitution-Making: Prospects for the Future?

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 1 2017
Trefwoorden constitutional change, democracy, participation, Belgium
Auteurs Ronald Van Crombrugge
Samenvatting

    How constitutions are changed – and more importantly: how they should be changed – is the subject of ongoing debate. There seems to be a growing consensus, however, that in order for a constitution to be considered legitimate it is required that it was created through a democratic process. This growing consensus stands in sharp contrast with the Belgian experience of constitutional change as an essentially elite-led process that takes place behind closed doors. This article seeks to explore the possibilities for more democratic forms of constitutional change in Belgium. It does so by evaluating and comparing two examples of democratic constitution-making, namely the constitution-making processes In South Africa (1996) and Iceland (2012). On the basis of these two examples, several concrete suggestions will be made, which are not only relevant for the Belgian case but can be applied more broadly to other countries as well.


Ronald Van Crombrugge
Artikel

Access_open The Justification of Basic Rights

A Discourse-Theoretical Approach

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 3 2016
Trefwoorden Basic rights, Right to justification, Discourse theory, Non-domination, Kant
Auteurs Rainer Forst
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In this paper, I suggest a discourse theory of basic legal rights that is superior to rival approaches, such as a will-based or an interest-based theory of rights. Basic rights are reciprocally and generally justifiable and binding claims on others (agents or institutions) that they should do (or refrain from doing) certain things determined by the content of these rights. We call these rights basic because they define the status of persons as full members of a normative order in such a way that they provide protection from severe forms of legal, political and social domination. The very ground of these rights is the status of persons as free and equal normative authorities within the order they are subject to. In other words, these rights are grounded in a fundamental moral right to justification.


Rainer Forst
Rainer Forst is professor of Political Theory and Philosophy at the Goethe Universität, Frankfurt am Main.
Artikel

Access_open The Justification of Basic Rights

A Response to Forst

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 3 2016
Trefwoorden Basic rights, Justification, Kant
Auteurs Glen Newey
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This paper responds to Rainer Forst’s article ‘The Justification of Basic Rights’. I argue that Forst's main thesis is difficult to pin down, partly because it is formulated in significantly distinct ways at numerous points. I offer a possible formulation of the argument but note that this encapsulates a fallacy; I further argue that his inference of the basic rights seems to imply an over-moralisation of social life and that his argument does not distinguish rights with discretionary and non-discretionary content. Then I query Forst’s claim that a right to justification is a condition of engaging in justificatory discourse. This leads to the conclusion that what goes into the process of justification, including who figures in the discursive community, are irreducibly political questions, whose answers cannot be convincingly specified antecedently by a form of moral legislation. I argue that actual discursive processes allow for considerably more contingency and contextual variability than Forst’s construction acknowledges. This extends, as I suggest in conclusion, to the idea that content can be specified via the Kantian notion that acceptability requires the ‘containment’ of an actor's ends by another, such as an affected party.


Glen Newey
Glen Newey is professor of Political Philosophy and Ethics at Leiden University.
Artikel

Access_open What Does it Mean to Justify Basic Rights?

Reply to Düwell, Newey, Rummens and Valentini

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 3 2016
Auteurs Rainer Forst
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In this paper, I reply to the four comments on my paper ‘The Justification of Basic Rights: A Discourse-Theoretical Approach’ given by Laura Valentini, Marcus Düwell, Stefan Rummens and Glen Newey.


Rainer Forst
Professor of Political Theory and Philosophy at the Goethe Universität, Frankfurt am Main.

    In her reply to critics, Jean Cohen responds to some of the main criticisms and remarks raised by the respondents.


Professor Jean L. Cohen
Jean L. Cohen is the Nell and Herbert M. Singer Professor of Political Thought and Contemporary Civilization at the Department of Political Science of Columbia University (New York) and will be the Emile Noel Fellow at the Jean Monet Center of the NYU Law School from January till June 2016.
Artikel

Access_open Institutional Religious Accommodation in the US and Europe

Comparative Reflections from a Liberal Perspective

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 3 2015
Trefwoorden European jurisprudence, freedom of religion, religious-based associations, religious accommodation
Auteurs Patrick Loobuyck
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Jean Cohen argues that recent US Supreme Court decisions about institutional accommodation are problematic. She rightly points out that justice and the liberal concept of freedom of consciousness cannot do the work in Hobby Lobby and Hosanna-Tabor: what does the work is a medieval political-theological conception of church immunity and sovereignty. The first part of this commentary sketches how the autonomy of churches and religious associations can be considered from a liberal perspective, avoiding the pitfall of the medieval idea of libertas ecclesiae based on church immunity and sovereignty. The second part discusses the European jurisprudence about institutional accommodation claims and concludes that until now the European Court of Human Rights is more nuanced and its decisions are more in line with liberalism than the US Jurisprudence.


Patrick Loobuyck
Patrick Loobuyck is Associate Professor of Religion and Worldviews at the Centre Pieter Gillis of the University of Antwerp and Guest Professor of Political Philosophy at Ghent University.
Artikel

Access_open Religious Sovereignty and Group Exemptions

A Response to Jean Cohen

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 3 2015
Trefwoorden democracy, exemptions, group rights, religious institutionalism
Auteurs Jonathan Seglow
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This response concurs with Cohen’s critique of the Hobby Lobby and Hosanna-Tabor cases but investigates whether religious accommodation might sometimes be justified in the case of institutions and groups (not just individuals). It suggests that exemptions for associations that are recruited to advance state purposes (e.g., in welfare or education) may be more justifiable than where private associations seek to maintain illiberal – for example, discriminatory – rules in line with their religious ethos. Non-democratic associations with a strong religious ethos might in principle enjoy permissible accommodation on the grounds that its members acquiesced to that ethos by joining the association, but only if other conditions are met. Democratic associations with a religious ethos have in principle a stronger claim for accommodation; in practice, however, few religious associations are internally democratic, especially where they seek to preserve illiberal internal rules.


Jonathan Seglow
Jonathan Seglow is Reader in Political Theory in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Royal Holloway, University of London.
Artikel

Access_open Freedom of Religion, Inc.: Whose Sovereignty?

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 3 2015
Trefwoorden accommodation, freedom of religion, political theology, liberalism, liberty of conscience
Auteurs Jean L. Cohen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article focuses on an expansive conception of religious freedom propagated by a vocal group of American legal scholars – jurisdictional pluralists – often working with well-funded conservative foundations and influencing accommodation decisions throughout the US. I show that the proliferation of ‘accommodation’ claims in the name of church autonomy and religious conscience entailing exemption from civil regulation and anti-discrimination laws required by justice have a deep structure that has little to do with fairness or inclusion or liberal pluralism. Instead they are tantamount to sovereignty claims, involving powers and immunities for the religious, implicitly referring to another, higher law and sovereign than the constitution or the people. The twenty-first century version of older pluralist ‘freedom of religion’ discourses also rejects the comprehensive jurisdiction and scope of public, civil law – this time challenging the ‘monistic sovereignty’ of the democratic constitutional state. I argue that the jurisdictional pluralist approach to religious freedom challenges liberal democratic constitutionalism at its core and should be resisted wherever it arises.


Jean L. Cohen
Jean L. Cohen is the Nell and Herbert M. Singer Professor of Political Thought and Contemporary Civilization at the Department of Political Science of Columbia University (New York) and will be the Emile Noel Fellow at the Jean Monet Center of the NYU Law School from January till June 2016.
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