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Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy x Jaar 2011 x
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Access_open The Destruction and Reconstruction of the Tower of Babel

A Comment to Gunther Teubner’s Plea for a ‘Common Law Constitution’

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 3 2011
Trefwoorden global society, constitutionalism, social systems theory, Teubner, law and order
Auteurs Bart van Klink
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article presents some critical comments concerning the conceptual, normative and institutional foundations of Teubner’s plea for a ‘common law constitution’. My comments question the desirability of the means chosen for attaining this objective as well as their efficacy. In particular, I have difficulties with the ambivalent role that is assigned to man, either as a person or as a human being; with the reduction of social problems to problems of communication; and, finally and most importantly, with the attempt to conceive of law and politics beyond established legal and political institutions, which in my view is doomed to fail. The conclusion offers some tentative suggestions for an alternative approach.


Bart van Klink
Bart van Klink is Professor of Legal Methodology at the Faculty of Law of the VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Artikel

Access_open When regulators mean business

Regulation in the shadow of environmental Armageddon

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 1 2011
Trefwoorden ecological catastrophe, regulatory legitimacy, regulatory effectiveness, geo-engineering
Auteurs Han Somsen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article considers the question how knowledge of an impending ecological catastrophe is likely to impact on regulatory legitimacy and regulatory effectiveness. If the ultimate aim to safeguard meaningful human life on earth is in acute danger, this is likely to translate into zero tolerance towards non-compliance with environmental rules designed to avert catastrophe. This, in turn, will persuade regulators to employ normative technologies that do not engage with the moral reason of regulatees at all, but leave no option but to comply. In addition, regulators may turn to panoptic surveillance techniques that allow no breaches of rules to remain undetected. Finally, it is argued that if and to the extent that impending ecological catastrophe marks the end of maintaining the status quo as a plausible policy goal, regulators will be more sympathetic towards potentially apocalyptic technologies that carry greater promise for future gain than otherwise would be the case.


Han Somsen
Han Somsen is Professor of Regulation & Technology at the Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology and Society, and Dean of Research of Tilburg Law School.
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