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Access_open Where Were the Law Schools?

On Legal Education as Training for Justice and the Rule of Law (Against the ‘Dark Sides of Legality’)

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 1 2021
Auteurs Iris van Domselaar
Auteursinformatie

Iris van Domselaar
Iris van Domselaar is associate professor in legal philosophy and legal ethics at the Amsterdam Law School, University of Amsterdam.
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.
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
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    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 Dworkin’s Rights Conception of the Rule of Law in Criminal Law

Should Criminal Law be Extensively Interpreted in Order to Protect Victims’ Rights?

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 2 2017
Trefwoorden Klaas Rozemond, Ronald M. Dworkin, Legality in criminal law, Rights conception of the rule of law, Legal certainty
Auteurs Briain Jansen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The extensive interpretation of criminal law to the detriment of the defendant in criminal law is often problematized in doctrinal theory. Extensive interpretation is then argued to be problematic in the light of important ideals such as democracy and legal certainty in criminal law. In the Dutch discussion of this issue, Klaas Rozemond has argued that sometimes extensive interpretation is mandated by the rule of law in order to protect the rights of victims. Rozemond grounds his argument on a reading of Dworkin’s distinction between the rule-book and the rights conception of the rule of law. In this article, I argue that Dworkin’s rights conception, properly considered, does not necessarily mandate the imposition of criminal law or its extensive interpretation in court in order to protect victims’ rights.


Briain Jansen
Briain Jansen is als promovendus rechtstheorie verbonden aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.
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.

    This paper interprets the presumption of innocence as a conceptual antidote for sacrificial tendencies in criminal law. Using Girard’s philosophy of scapegoat mechanisms and sacrifice as hermeneutical framework, the consanguinity of legal and sacrificial order is explored. We argue that some legal concepts found in the ius commune’s criminal system (12th-18th century), like torture, infamy, or punishment for mere suspicion, are affiliated with scapegoat dynamics and operate, to some extent, in the spirit of sacrifice. By indicating how these concepts entail more or less flagrant breaches of our contemporary conception of due process molded by the presumption of innocence, an antithesis emerges between the presumption of innocence and sacrificial inclinations in criminal law. Furthermore, when facing fundamental threats like heresy, the ius commune’s due process could be suspended. What emerges in this state of exception allowing for swift and relentless repression, is elucidated as legal order’s sacrificial infrastructure.


Rafael Van Damme
Rafael Van Damme is PhD-student in philosophy.
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.
Discussie

Access_open Drones, Targeted Killings and the Politics of Law

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 2 2015
Trefwoorden drone warfare, politics of international law, humanitarian law, targeted killing
Auteurs Wouter G. Werner
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In this article I discuss one of the latest reports on the practice of drone warfare, the UN SRCT Drone Inquiry. I use the report to illustrate some of the specific forms of legal politics that surround drone warfare today. In the first place, I focus on the tension between the capacity of drones to target more precisely and the never-ending critique that drone warfare victimizes civilian populations. Secondly, I focus on the call for more objective legal rules that can be found in many debates on drone warfare.


Wouter G. Werner
Wouter G. Werner is co-founder of the Centre for the Politics of Transnational Law, VU University Amsterdam.

Wouter G. Werner
Wouter G. Werner is co-founder of the Centre for the Politics of Transnational Law, VU University Amsterdam.
Artikel

Access_open Private law as an open legal order: understanding contract and tort as interactional law

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 2 2014
Trefwoorden contract law, Fuller, informal law, pragmatism, rules versus standards
Auteurs Prof Sanne Taekema PhD
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article puts forward the claim that private law, and especially contract and tort, is the area of law that most clearly shows how law depends on social interactions. Taking its cue from Lon Fuller, interactional law is presented as a form of law that depends on informal social practices. Using tort and contract cases, it is argued that this implies that law is in open connection to moral norms and values, and that law cannot be understood without taking into account people’s everyday reciprocal expectancies.


Prof Sanne Taekema PhD
Sanne Taekema is Professor of Jurisprudence, Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University of Rotterdam. Her current research is oriented to the rule of law in a global context and to methodological and conceptual issues pertaining to interdisciplinary rule of law.
Artikel

Access_open Liberalism and Societal Integration: In Defence of Reciprocity and Constructive Pluralism

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 2 2014
Trefwoorden societal integration, liberalism, conflict, constructive pluralism, citizenship, national communities
Auteurs Dora Kostakopoulou PhD
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Communities can only be dynamic and projective, that is, oriented towards new and better forms of cooperation, if they bring together diverse people in a common, and hopefully more equal, socio-political life and in welfare. The latter requires not only back-stretched connections, that is, the involvement of co-nationals and naturalized persons, but also forward-starched connections, that is, the involvement of citizens in waiting. Societal integration is an unhelpful notion and liberal democratic polities would benefit from reflecting critically on civic integration policies and extending the norm of reciprocity beyond its assigned liberal national limits. Reciprocity can only be a comprehensive norm in democratic societies - and not an eclectic one, that is, either co-national or co-ethnic.


Dora Kostakopoulou PhD
Dora Kostakopoulou is currently Professor of European Union Law, European Integration and Public Policy at Warwick University. Her research interests include European public law, free movement of persons and European Union citizenship, the area of freedom, security and justice, migration law and politics, citizenship, multiculturalism and integration, democracy and legitimacy in the EU, law and global governance, political theory and constructivism, and, fairly recently, equality law.
Artikel

Access_open The Meaning of the Presumption of Innocence for Pre-trial Detention

An Empirical Approach

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 3 2013
Trefwoorden pre-trial detention practice, presumption of guilt, incapacitation, presumption of innocence
Auteurs Lonneke Stevens
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The presumption of innocence (PoI) is considered to be an important principle for regulating pre-trial detention. The idea is that pre-trial detention should be a last resort. However, pre-trial detention practice demonstrates that pre-trial detention does not function on the basis of a presumption of innocence but rather from a presumption of guilt and dangerousness. It must be concluded that, with regard to pre-trial detention, the PoI has a rather limited normative effect.


Lonneke Stevens
Lonneke Stevens is Associate Professor of Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure at VU University Amsterdam.
Artikel

Access_open There is Only One Presumption of Innocence

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 3 2013
Trefwoorden burden of proof, German law, procedural rights, pretrial detention
Auteurs Thomas Weigend
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Antony Duff proposes a comprehensive concept of the presumption of innocence, covering the period before, during and after a criminal process, both in an official (state vs. individual) and a non-official, civic sense. By that broad usage, the concept of presumption of innocence is getting blurred and risks losing its contours. I therefore suggest to keep separate matters separate. The presumption of innocence in the narrow sense that I suggest applies only where there exists a suspicion that an individual has committed a criminal offence. The important function of the presumption of innocence in that situation is to prevent an over-extension of state power against the individual under suspicion before that suspicion has been confirmed to be true beyond a reasonable doubt. A general presumption that all people abide by the law at all times is neither warranted nor necessary. It is not warranted because experience tells us that many people break some laws sometimes. And it is not necessary because a system of civil liberties is sufficient to protect us against official or social overreach based on a suspicion that we may commit crimes.


Thomas Weigend
Thomas Weigend is Professor of Criminal Law at the University of Cologne.
Artikel

Access_open Presumption of Innocence Versus a Principle of Fairness

A Response to Duff

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 3 2013
Trefwoorden rules, principles, fairness, PoI
Auteurs Magnus Ulväng
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In my response to Duff I focus mainly on the following two issues. Firstly, I examine what kind of a norm the presumption of innocence (PoI) really is and how it ontologically differs from other types of rules, principles, rationales, etc. My tentative conclusion is that a PoI does not suffice the requirement of being a dogmatic rule and, thus, has less weight than what Duff perhaps assumes.
    Secondly, I examine what role the concept of innocence plays in the debate on fundamental (moral and legal) principles and the underlying rationales of a criminal law system. Although I am sympathetic to much of what Duff purports in his plea for civic trust and a parsimonious use of criminal law, I am reluctant to believe that it is really a broader version of a PoI that warrants the kind of morally decent criminal law system that he suggests normatively ought to be. In my view, most of what Duff wants to ascribe to the PoI can be derived from a principle of fairness which, in my view, is already embedded in the fundamentals of criminal law doctrine.


Magnus Ulväng
Magnus Ulväng is Professor of Criminal Law at Uppsala University.
Artikel

Access_open On Presuming Innocence

Is Duff’s Civic Trust Principle in Line with Current Law, Particularly the European Convention on Human Rights?

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 3 2013
Trefwoorden Presumption of innocence, Art. 6(2) ECHR, Duff’s civic trust
Auteurs Geert Knigge
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Duff sets out to present, not theoretical concepts, but ‘real’ principles that underlie positive law. This paper examines whether Duff’s analysis really reflects current law. To that end, this paper analyses the case law of the European Court on Human Rights. As far as his preposition that there are many presumptions of innocence is concerned, Duff seems to be right. In the case law of the European Court different presumptions can be discerned, with different rationales. However, these presumptions are a far cry from the trust principle Duff advocates. Indeed, a principle that prescribes trust cannot be found in the Court’s case law. There might be a unifying principle but if so this principle is about respect for human dignity rather than trust. This analysis serves as a basis for criticism. It is argued that the approach Duff proposes is in tension with the Court’s case law in several respects.


Geert Knigge
Geert Knigge is Advocate General of the Supreme Court of the Netherlands and Professor of Criminal Law at the University of Groningen.

    This paper explores the roles that the presumption of innocence (PoI) can play beyond the criminal trial, in other dealings that citizens may have with the criminal law and its officials. It grounds the PoI in a wider notion of the civic trust that citizens owe each other, and that the state owes its citizens: by attending to the roles that citizens may find themselves playing in relation to the criminal law (such roles as suspect, defendant, convicted offender and ‘ex-offender’), we can see both how a PoI protects us, beyond the confines of the trial, against various kinds of coercion, and how that PoI is modified or qualified as we acquire certain roles. To develop and illustrate this argument, I pay particular attention to the roles of defendant (both during the trial and while awaiting trial) and of ‘ex-offender,’ and to the duties that such roles bring with them.


Antony Duff
Antony Duff holds the Russell M and Elizabeth M Bennett Chair in the University of Minnesota Law School, and is a Professor Emeritus of the Department of Philosophy, University of Stirling.
Artikel

Access_open Private law and ethical life

Honneth on legal freedom and its pathologies

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 2 2013
Trefwoorden Honneth, Hegel, social freedom, legal freedom, law, pathologies
Auteurs Jan Ph. Broekhuizen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In Das Recht der Freiheit Axel Honneth develops his concept of social freedom. In this article I discuss Honneth’s project and critique one of its crucial aspects: Honneth’s views on the disruptive role of legal freedom in our society and its dependent relation to the sphere of social freedom. I argue that in his attempt in Das Recht der Freiheit to reactualize Hegel’s discourse on the realization of freedom for our time, Honneth risks mistranslating Hegel’s discourse of ‘right’ by denying the sphere of legal relations a constitutive role for true freedom, and that because of this Honneth’s own theory of social freedom suffers: it becomes less clear whether it can still offer helpful insights into the proper place of legal freedom in our society.


Jan Ph. Broekhuizen
Jan Broekhuizen is an attorney (advocaat) in Amsterdam and a deputy judge at the Court of Appeals in Den Bosch (the Netherlands). He holds degrees in both law and philosophy.

    In this reply, Steven L. Winter adresses his critics.


Steven L. Winter
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