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Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy x
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 A new interpretation of the modern two-pronged tests for insanity

Why legal insanity should not be a ‘status defense’

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 1 2018
Trefwoorden substantive criminal law, excuses, insanity defense, status defense
Auteurs Johannes Bijlsma
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Michael Moore has argued that modern two-pronged tests for legal insanity are wrongheaded and that the insanity defense instead should be a ‘status defense’. If Moore is right, than the laws on insanity in most legal systems are wrong. This merits a critical examination of Moore’s critique and his alternative approach. In this paper I argue that Moore’s status approach to insanity is either under- or overinclusive. A new interpretation of the modern tests for insanity is elaborated that hinges on the existence of a legally relevant difference between the mentally disordered defendant and the ‘normal’ defendant. This interpretation avoids Moore’s criticism as well as the pitfalls of the status approach.


Johannes Bijlsma
Johannes Bijlsma is assistant professor of criminal law at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
Artikel

Access_open Retributivist Arguments against Presuming Innocence

Answering to Duff

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 3 2013
Trefwoorden broad presumption of innocence, retributivism, punishment of innocents, vicarious liability of car owners, drink-driving tests of non-suspects
Auteurs Alwin A. van Dijk
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Factors justifying not presuming innocence are generally incorporated into the Presumption of Innocence (PoI). A confusing discourse has resulted: numerous guilt-presuming acts are deemed consistent with the PoI. I argue for an unusually broad PoI: any act that might convey to a reasonable actor that he is not presumed innocent of a punishable offence constitutes a PoI interference. Thus, academic debate need only be about the question what PoI interferences are justifiable or unjustifiable. This question must be answered using pro- and anti-PoI values. I analyse three PoI interferences in relation to Duff’s retributivist punishment theory: presumptions of guilt, vicarious liability of car owners and coercing non-suspects into proving their sobriety. Retributivists tend to castigate such procedures based on their (supposed) consequentialist rationale. I argue, however, that they might also be justified on retributivist grounds. The retributivist anti-PoI duty to punish the guilty may be the worst enemy of innocents.


Alwin A. van Dijk
Alwin A. van Dijk is Assistant Professor of Criminal Law at the University of Groningen.
Artikel

Access_open The Collapse of the Rule of Law

The Messina Earthquake and the State of Exception

Tijdschrift Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Aflevering 2 2012
Trefwoorden Messina, earthquake, state of exception, rule of law, progress
Auteurs Massimo La Torre
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Messina, a Sicilian town, was devasteted by an earthquake in1908. It was an hecatomb. Stricken through this unfathomable disgrace Messina’s institutions and civil society collapsed and a sort of wild natural state replaced the rule of law. In this situation there was a first intervention of the Russian Czarist navy who came to help but immediately enforced cruel emergency measures. The Italian army followed and there was a formal declaration of an ‘emergency situation.’ Around this event and the several exceptional measures taken by the government a debate took place about the legality of those exceptional measures. The article tries to reconstruct the historical context and the content of that debate and in a broader perspective thematizes how law (and morality) could be brought to meet the breaking of normality and ordinary life by an unexpected and catastrophic event.


Massimo La Torre
Massimo La Torre is Professor of Legal Philosophy at the University of Catanzaro in Italy and visiting Professor of Law at the University of Hull in England.
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