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Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy x Jaar 2009 x Rubriek Artikel x
Artikel

Access_open Wetenschappelijke rechtsgeleerdheid

Commentaar op het preadvies van Carel Smith

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 3 2009
Trefwoorden law and hermeneutics, law and normativity, one right answer thesis, legal jurisprudence, legal doctrine
Auteurs Prof. dr. Arend Soeteman
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article is a comment on Carel Smith’s paper. Smith rightly argues that the study of law has a hermeneutic character. But his interpretation of legal hermeneutics includes the thesis that in hard cases there is no right or true legal decision. This seems to have negative implications for the scholarly character of the study of law: in hard cases any solution goes. This paper argues, against Smith, that the study of law defends right answers for hard cases. It is also normative in another sense: legal answers, in easy cases as well as in hard cases, always presuppose a normative interpretation of the legal sources. This contributes to the differences of opinion under lawyers. But it is no obstacle to the scholarly character of the study of law, as long as a rational debate about these legal answers and the underlying values and principles is possible. Smith’s rejection of the right answer thesis, however, prevents the possibility of such a rational debate.


Prof. dr. Arend Soeteman
Arend Soeteman is professor at the Faculty of Law, VU University Amsterdam.
Artikel

Access_open Lettres Persanes 14

Oorlog is natuurlijk erger dan een zoekgeraakte koffer. Staking, geweld en rechtsorde

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 3 2009
Trefwoorden law and politics, right to strike, exceptionalism, Benjamin, political action
Auteurs Dr. mr. Klaas Tindemans
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article discusses the right to strike, with special regard to Belgium. Referring to Walter Benjamin, Tindemans argues that strikes are rechtsetzend rather than rechtserhaltend; they constitute a legal order rather than preserve one. Strikes are exceptional phenomena within any legal system, as they do not fit normal criteria of legal validity. According to Tindemans, strikes are to be considered primarily as extralegal phenomena, as means in a political struggle, confronting the “police” of the core institutions of the state and the legal order. Strikes are political actions, moments of collective aspiration towards political equality, and as such threaten the “pureness” of the legal order in favour of a fragmented politics.


Dr. mr. Klaas Tindemans
Klaas Tindemans is Doctor of Laws and a playwright. He teaches at the RITS, school for audiovisual and performing arts, Erasmushogeschool Brussels.
Artikel

Access_open Over de wetenschappelijkheid van de rechtswetenschap

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 3 2009
Trefwoorden legal science, empirical science, law and astronomy, mathematical logic, game theory
Auteurs Mr. Boudewijn de Bruin
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article provides an outsider perspective on the scientificity of legal studies. First, I argue that the presence of controversies does not mean that legal studies lack the status of a genuine science. Astronomy, mathematics, and economics have their controversies, too. Second, I show that non-empirical, non-normative research is no less scientific than empirical research. This is illustrated by work in mathematical logic. Third, I demonstrate the same claim for non-empirical, normative research.Here the example is research on social contract theories by means of gametheoretic models.


Mr. Boudewijn de Bruin
Boudewijn de Bruin is assistant professor in the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Groningen.
Artikel

Access_open Het normatieve karakter van de rechtswetenschap: recht als oordeel

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 3 2009
Trefwoorden legal theory, science, methodology, normativity, knowledge
Auteurs Prof. mr. Carel Smith
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Propositions of law are based upon normative judgement. The interpretation and application of legal provisions rest upon a judgement that determines which weight must be attributed to some point of view or perspective. In this respect, legal theory has a normative character. Its normative character does not preclude legal theory from being a scientific discipline. The scientific character of legal theory is not located in the possibility of testing the correctness of its theories. Rather, legal theory owes it scientific character to the shared standards of production and evaluation of legal arguments: the grammar of justice.


Prof. mr. Carel Smith
Carel Smith is associate professor at the Department of Metajuridica, Faculty of Law, Leiden University.
Artikel

Access_open Lettres Persanes 13

Res publica en rechtsstaat: vrijheid in een onvolmaakte samenleving – Pleidooi voor een functionele (niet te bevlogen) grondwet

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 1 2009
Trefwoorden Vlaanderen, constitutie, Grondwet, fundamentele vrijheden
Auteurs Matthias Storme
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In light of the possibility that Belgium could fall apart in coming years this contribution argues that it is time to reflect on a constitution for Flanders: What are the characteristics of a good constitution? A good constitution would entrench fundamental freedoms, which are historically rooted in society. Moreover, it obliges the government to maintain and enforce the laws, preventing abuse of power and corruption. Finally, a functioning constitution stands above temporary interests of partisan politics, and should not be used as a means to encumber future generations with our ideological choices.


Matthias Storme
Matthias Storme is advocaat aan de balie van Brussel en buitengewoon hoogleraar aan de Katholieke Universiteit Leuven en aan de Universiteit Antwerpen.
Artikel

Access_open Autonomie als voorwaarde tot legaliteit

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 1 2009
Trefwoorden autonomie, legaliteit, Brouwer, Fuller, certificering
Auteurs Pauline Westerman
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Brouwer defended the view that the autonomy of the individual citizen is furthered by articulated, precise and clear legislation. The question arises whether all kinds of rules can be said to enhance such autonomy. It is argued that a distinction should be drawn between rules that dictate desirable outcomes, on the one hand, and rules that determine the way the game is played, on the other. Rules of the game often reflect the way they were drafted and can be seen as the embodiment of power relations between rule-makers. Rules that dictate outcomes, on the other hand, are often drafted by experts who analyse the goals to be reached. The view is defended that only rules of the game – potentially – enhance the autonomy of the citizen, whereas outcome-rules are potentially manipulative, tending to exclude those who are ill-equipped to realize the prescribed outcomes. The virtues of rules therefore do not merely reside in their clear and precise nature, but are largely derived from their capacity to regulate the relations amongst citizens who were included in the process of rulemaking.


Pauline Westerman
Pauline Westerman is hoogleraar Rechtsfilosofie aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen.
Artikel

Access_open Op de bres voor rechtszekerheid

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 1 2009
Trefwoorden rechtszekerheid, in dubio pro libertate, Brouwer, rechtspositivisme, constructivisme
Auteurs Marc Loth
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This paper addresses the principle of legal certainty, which was central in the work of Bob Brouwer. He both regretted and disputed the decline of this principle in the theory and practice of law, trying to defend it against the spirit of the time. I argue that this attempt was in vain, because it opposes recent developments in law, as is illustrated by a notorious case of the European Court of Human Rights. Moreover, these developments invoke a constructivist account of legal certainty, which opposes Brouwer’s legal positivist account. Additionally, this meta-level shows that legal certainty in its classical form is indefensible, which – of course – does not mean that it is senseless altogether. On the contrary, the principle of legal certainty does have meaning in current legal systems, and it is the task of new generations of young scholars to try to get a grip on it. In doing so, they will undoubtedly make use of Brouwer’s work, which excels both in the depth of thinking and the clarity of writing.


Marc Loth
Marc Loth is raadsheer in de Hoge Raad der Nederlanden.
Artikel

Access_open Recht als sociaal feit en recht als praktische rede

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 1 2009
Trefwoorden recht als sociaal verschijnsel, recht en praktische rede, recht en moraal, Brouwer
Auteurs Jaap Hage
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Brouwer argued against a vision of the law in which moral considerations partly determine the contents of the law. He did this for moral reasons, mainly because of the uncertainty such a vision would cause. This seems a strange view because it means that the nature of the law would depend on moral considerations concerning legal certainty. Most of the present paper is devoted to exploring two conceptions of the law, law as social fact and law as practical reason. It is argued that a view like Brouwer’s fits in the law as practical reason conception and is therefore not so strange as might seem at first sight.


Jaap Hage
Jaap Hage is hoogleraar Algemene rechtsleer aan de Universiteit Maastricht en gasthoogleraar aan de Universiteit Hasselt.
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