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Article

Access_open Too Immature to Vote?

A Philosophical and Psychological Argument to Lower the Voting Age

Tijdschrift Erasmus Law Review, Aflevering 1 2020
Trefwoorden voting age, children’s rights, youth enfranchisement, democracy, votes at 16
Auteurs Tommy Peto
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    This article argues in favour of lowering the voting age to 16. First, it outlines a respect-based account of democracy where the right to vote is grounded in a respect for citizens’ autonomous capacities. It then outlines a normative account of autonomy, modelled on Rawls’s two moral powers, saying what criteria must be met for an individual to possess a (pro tanto) moral right to vote. Second, it engages with empirical psychology to show that by the age of 16 (if not earlier) individuals have developed all of the cognitive components of autonomy. Therefore, since 16- and 17-year-olds (and quite probably those a little younger) possess the natural features required for autonomy, then, to the extent that respect for autonomy requires granting political rights including the right to vote – and barring some special circumstances that apply only to them – 16- and 17-year-olds should be granted the right to vote.


Tommy Peto
University of Oxford.
Article

Access_open Evidence-Based Regulation and the Translation from Empirical Data to Normative Choices: A Proportionality Test

Tijdschrift Erasmus Law Review, Aflevering 2 2018
Trefwoorden evidence-based, regulation, proportionality, empirical law studies, law and society studies
Auteurs Rob van Gestel en Peter van Lochem
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    Studies have shown that the effects of scientific research on law and policy making are often fairly limited. Different reasons can be given for this: scientists are better at falsifying hypothesis than at predicting the future, the outcomes of academic research and empirical evidence can be inconclusive or even contradictory, the timing of the legislative cycle and the production of research show mismatches, there can be clashes between the political rationality and the economic or scientific rationality in the law making process et cetera. There is one ‘wicked’ methodological problem, though, that affects all regulatory policy making, namely: the ‘jump’ from empirical facts (e.g. there are too few organ donors in the Netherlands and the voluntary registration system is not working) to normative recommendations of what the law should regulate (e.g. we need to change the default rule so that everybody in principle becomes an organ donor unless one opts out). We are interested in how this translation process takes place and whether it could make a difference if the empirical research on which legislative drafts are build is more quantitative type of research or more qualitative. That is why we have selected two cases in which either type of research played a role during the drafting phase. We use the lens of the proportionality principle in order to see how empirical data and scientific evidence are used by legislative drafters to justify normative choices in the design of new laws.


Rob van Gestel
Rob van Gestel is professor of theory and methods of regulation at Tilburg University.

Peter van Lochem
Dr. Peter van Lochem is jurist and sociologist and former director of the Academy for Legislation.
Article

Access_open False Confessions in the Lab: A Review

Tijdschrift Erasmus Law Review, Aflevering 4 2014
Trefwoorden confession, interrogation, evidence
Auteurs Eric Rassin Ph.D. en Han Israëls
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    Intuitively, confession is a strong piece of evidence, because it appears unlikely that a suspect would confess to a crime he did not commit, thereby acting against his own best interest. Surprisingly, experimental studies show that innocent and well-educated individuals do tend to confess falsely when questioned about something they did not in fact do. In this contribution, an overview is presented of the experimental research on confession evidence. Limitations and implications of the scientific insights are discussed.


Eric Rassin Ph.D.
Eric Rassin is Endowed Professor of Legal Psychology at the Faculty of Social Sciences and the School of Law at Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Han Israëls
Han Israëls is Assistant Professor in Legal Psychology at the Maastricht University.
Article

Access_open The Ambivalent Shadow of the Pre-Wilsonian Rise of International Law

Tijdschrift Erasmus Law Review, Aflevering 2 2014
Trefwoorden American Society of International Law, Peace-Through-Law Movement, Harvard Law Library: League of Nations, President Woodrow Wilson, Pre-Wilsonianism
Auteurs Dr Ignacio de la Rasilla del Moral Ph.D.
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    The generation of American international lawyers who founded the American Society of International Law in 1906 and nurtured the soil for what has been retrospectively called a 'moralistic-legalistic approach to international relations' remains little studied. A survey of the rise of international legal literature in the United States from the mid-nineteenth century to the eve of the Great War serves as a backdrop to the examination of the boosting effect on international law of the Spanish American War in 1898. An examination of the Insular Cases before the US Supreme Court is then accompanied by the analysis of a number of influential factors behind the pre-war rise of international law in the United States. The work concludes with an examination of the rise of natural law doctrines in international law during the interwar period and the critiques addressed by the realist founders of the field of 'international relations' to the 'moralistic-legalistic approach to international relations'.


Dr Ignacio de la Rasilla del Moral Ph.D.
Ignacio de la Rasilla del Moral is Lecturer in Law at the Brunel Law School of Brunel University, London. In the Spring of 2014 he served as Visiting Research Fellow at the Lauterpacht Research Centre for International Law of the University of Cambridge as recipient of a British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grant.

Michael G. Faure
Michael G. Faure is Professor of Law and Economics at the METRO Institute, University of Maastricht and at the Rotterdam Institute of Law and Economics (RILE), School of Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam. I am grateful to Roger Van den Bergh and to an anonymous referee for useful comments on an earlier version of this paper.

Claus Ott
Claus Ott is Professor Emeritus, University of Hamburg, Faculty of Law, Judge (ret.) at the Hanseatic Court of Appeals.

Hans-Bernd Schäfer
Hans-Bernd Schäfer is Professor of Economics, Bucerius Law School, Hamburg. For their valuable comments, the authors wishes to thank Roger Van den Bergh and Thomas Eger and the participants of the Mestmäcker colloqium on the autonomist vs. the welfarist concept of law at the Max Planck Institute Hamburg and the Institute of Law and Economics, University of Hamburg, in July 2008.
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