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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
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    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.
Artikel

Access_open The Enemy of All Humanity

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 2 2018
Trefwoorden hostis generis humani, piracy, crimes against humanity, universal jurisdiction, radical evil
Auteurs David Luban
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    Trationally, the term “enemy of all humanity” (hostis generis humani) referred to pirates. In contemporary international criminal law, it refers to perpetrators of crimes against humanity and other core. This essay traces the evolution of the concept, and then offers an analysis that ties it more closely to ancient tyrants than to pirates. Some object that the label is dehumanizing, and justifies arbitrary killing of the “enemy of humanity.” The essay admits the danger, but defends the concept if it is restricted to fair trials. Rather than dehumanizing its target, calling the hostis generis humani to account in a court of law is a way of recognizing that radical evil can be committed by humans no different from any of us.


David Luban
David Luban is University Professor in Law and Philosophy at Georgetown University.
Artikel

Access_open The Demos as a Plural Subject

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 1 2017
Trefwoorden democracy, demos, normativity, Margaret Gilbert, joint commitment
Auteurs Bas Leijssenaar
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    Existing conceptualizations of the demos fail to treat issues of composition and performativity consistently. Recent literature suggests that both aspects are required in a satisfactory account of the demos. An analysis of this literature suggests several desiderata that such an account must meet. I approach the definition of demos with a conceptual framework derived from Margaret Gilbert’s plural subject theory of social groups. I propose an account of demos as a plural subject, constituted by joint commitment. This account offers an improved and consistent understanding of normativity, composition, agency, and cohesion of demos.


Bas Leijssenaar
Bas Leijssenaar is PhD-candidate at the Institute of Philosophy, Centre for Social and Political Philosophy of the University of Leuven.
Artikel

Access_open The Erosion of Sovereignty

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 2 2016
Trefwoorden sovereignty, state, Léon Duguit, European Union, Eurozone
Auteurs Martin Loughlin
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    This article presents an account of sovereignty as a concept that signifies in jural terms the nature and quality of political relations within the modern state. It argues, first, that sovereignty is a politico-legal concept that expresses the autonomous nature of the state’s political power and its specific mode of operation in the form of law and, secondly, that many political scientists and lawyers present a skewed account by confusing sovereignty with governmental competence. After clarifying its meaning, the significance of contemporary governmental change is explained as one that, in certain respects, involves an erosion of sovereignty.


Martin Loughlin
Martin Loughlin is Professor of Public Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science and EURIAS Senior Fellow at the Freiburg Institute of Advanced Studies (FRIAS).
Artikel

Access_open ‘Should the People Decide?’ Referendums in a Post-Sovereign Age, the Scottish and Catalonian Cases

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 2 2016
Trefwoorden sub-state nationalism, referendums, sovereignty, deliberative democracy, Scottish referendum
Auteurs Stephen Tierney
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    This article uses the rise of referendum democracy to highlight the tenacity of modern nationalism in Western Europe. The proliferation of direct democracy around the world raises important questions about the health of representative democracy. The paper offers a theoretical re-evaluation of the role of the referendum, using the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence to challenge some of the traditional democratic criticisms of popular democracy. The final part of the paper addresses the specific application of referendums in the context of sub-state nationalism, addressing what might be called `the demos question'. This question was addressed by the Supreme Court in Canada in the Quebec Secession Reference but has also been brought to the fore by the Scottish reference and the unresolved issue of self-determination in Catalonia.


Stephen Tierney
Stephen Tierney is Professor of Constitutional Theory at the University of Edinburgh and Director of the Edinburgh Centre for Constitutional Law.
Artikel

Access_open Kelsen, Secular Religion, and the Problem of Transcendence

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 2 2015
Trefwoorden Kelsen, secular religion, Voegelin, Schmitt, transcendence
Auteurs professor Bert van Roermund
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    An alleged ‘return to religion’ in contemporary western politics (and science) prompted the Trustees of the Hans Kelsen Institut to posthumously publish Kelsen’s critique of the concept of ‘secular religion’ advanced by his early student Eric Voegelin. This paper identifies, firstly, what concept of transcendence is targeted by Kelsen, and argues that his analysis leaves scope for other conceptions. It does so in two steps: it summarizes the arguments against ‘secular religion’ (section 2) and it gives an account of the differences between Voegelin’s and Schmitt’s conception of transcendence – both under attack from Kelsen (section 3). It then submits an alternative account of the relationship between politics and religion in Modernity, building on the concept of a ‘civil religion’ as found in Rousseau’s Social Contract. Giving a Rousseauist slant to Claude Lefort’s analysis of political theology (section 4) it concludes that a thin concept of transcendence is part and parcel of every, in particular a democratic, account of politics. It should be a stronghold against any resurgence of religion that feeds on hypostatized transcendence. In closing (section 5), it is argued that two key concepts in Kelsen’s legal philosophy may well be understood as paradigms of thin transcendence, namely ‘the people’ and ‘the Grundnorm’.


professor Bert van Roermund
Bert van Roermund is professor (em.) of philosophy at Tilburg Law School and international correspondent of the Hans Kelsen Institute in Vienna.
Artikel

Access_open Idealized versus Real-Life Reciprocity: How to Strike the Balance?

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 2 2014
Trefwoorden norm of reciprocity, moral obligation, gift exchange, hospitality, intergenerational relations
Auteurs Mrs. Aafke Elisabeth Komter PhD
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    Rawls’s ’idealized’ notion of reciprocity is compared with the ’real-life’ concept of reciprocity as it has been developed in social scientific theory. The two perspectives appear to differ significantly as concerns dimensions related to equality, human motivation, the temporal aspects of reciprocity, and the supposed mental origin of reciprocity. Whereas norms of obligation and feelings of moral indebtedness are constitutive for reciprocity in real-life encounters, equality, freedom and rationality are the basis for reciprocity in the hypothetical world of the ’conjectural account’. Rather than being fundamentally incompatible, the idealized and the real-life perspectives on reciprocity seem to apply to different spheres of social life, the first requiring greater formality and universality than the second, which allows for more variation and particularities.


Mrs. Aafke Elisabeth Komter PhD
Aafke Komter is Emeritus Professor of Social Sciences and a Visiting Researcher at the Department of Sociology of the Erasmus University of Rotterdam. She has published many articles on (family) solidarity, reciprocity and the social and cultural meaning of the exchange of gifts.
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