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Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy x Jaar 2017 x
Artikel

Access_open Sincere Apologies

The Importance of the Offender’s Guilt Feelings

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 2 2017
Trefwoorden Sincerity of emotions, Guilt, Feelings, Apology, Offender
Auteurs Margreet Luth-Morgan
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This paper discusses the meaning and the importance of emotions, in particular the sincere guilt feelings of the offender. It is argued that the emotion of guilt reveals important information about the offender’s values and normative position. In the remainder of the paper, special consideration is awarded to the argument concerning ritual apologies, which might contain value even when insincere. This argument is rejected, on two grounds: 1. if the apology ritual does not aim for sincere guilt feelings, then the use of the symbol of apology is not fitting; and 2. if the apology ritual does aim for sincere guilt, then an insincere apology devalues the sincere expression.


Margreet Luth-Morgan
Margreet Luth-Morgan is universitair docent aan Erasmus School of Law, sectie Sociologie, Theorie en Methodologie, Rotterdam.
Artikel

Access_open Over verplichte excuses en spreekrecht

Wat is er mis met empirisch-juridisch onderzoek naar slachtoffers?

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 2 2017
Trefwoorden empirical legal studies, apologies, procedural justice, humiliation, victim rights
Auteurs Vincent Geeraets en Wouter Veraart
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The central question in this article is whether an empirical-legal approach of victimhood and victim rights could offer a sufficient basis for proposals of legal reform of the legal system. In this article, we choose a normative-critical approach and raise some objections to the way in which part of such research is currently taking place in the Netherlands, on the basis of two examples of research in this field, one dealing with compelled apologies as a possible remedy within civil procedural law and the other with the victim’s right to be heard within the criminal legal procedure. In both cases, we argue, the strong focus on the measurable needs of victims can lead to a relatively instrumental view of the legal system. The legal system must then increasingly be tailored to the wishes and needs of victims. Within this legal-empirical, victim-oriented approach, there is little regard for the general normative principles of our present legal system, in which an equal and respectful treatment of each human being as a free and responsible legal subject is a central value. We argue that results of empirical-legal research should not too easily or too quickly be translated into proposals for legal reform, but first become part of a hermeneutical discussion about norms and legal principles, specific to the normative quality of legal science itself.


Vincent Geeraets
Vincent Geeraets is universitair docent aan de afdeling Rechtstheorie en rechtsgeschiedenis van de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Wouter Veraart
Wouter Veraart is hoogleraar rechtsfilosofie aan de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
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
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    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.

François Levrau
Dr. François Levrau studeerde klinische psychologie en moraalfilosofie en promoveerde in de sociale wetenschappen aan de Universiteit van Antwerpen.
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
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