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Tijdschrift Law and Method x Jaar 2012 x
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Access_open Hoe moet recht worden onderwezen?

Tijdschrift Law and Method, 2012
Trefwoorden curriculum rechtenstudie, aard van het recht, positief recht, (hulp)wetenschappen
Auteurs Jaap Hage
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The central issue of this paper is to outline a scientifically oriented course in law. Most actual courses focus on positive law, and the main conclusion of this paper is that this is wrong. This conclusion is based on the premise that law is not by definition positive law, but the answer to the question which rules should be enforced by collective means. This premise is argued in the full paper.Positive law is law to the extent that it should be enforced by collective means, and not by definition. Therefore a scientific course in law should pay some attention to positive law, but should not assign it the dominant place in the curriculum which it presently tends to have.To make this abstract idea more concrete, some proposals are made for a law curriculum. The starting point is that the law bachelor should only address positive law where this is necessary for exercises in legal reasoning. Moreover it should address the viable fundamental visions on the nature of law, the main theories about normative reasoning (main currents in ethics), and the facts which are relevant in the light of these normative theories for the question which norms should be enforced by collective means. These facts include both positive law and the results of the different sciences (e.g. psychology, sociology, economy, and biology) which are relevant to answer the normative question. Because there are too many scientific results to take in during a bachelor course, the study of the sciences should be replaced by an introduction to scientific method, which allows lawyers to evaluate the outcomes of scientific research. Finally, the bachelor course should also address ‘generic positive law’, the main questions which must be answered by legal systems and the most viable answers to these questions.The master phase of the curriculum should, for those lawyers who want to practice the positive law of a particular jurisdiction, be filled with the detailed study of the relevant positive law.


Jaap Hage
Jaap Hage is hoogleraar Algemene rechtsleer aan Maastricht University.
Artikel

Access_open Exciting Times for Legal Scholarship

Tijdschrift Law and Method, 2012
Trefwoorden legal methodology, law as an academic discipline, ‘law and …’-movements, legal theory, innovative and multiform legal scholarship
Auteurs Jan Vranken
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Until recently, legal-dogmatic research stood at the undisputed pinnacle of legal scientific research. The last few years saw increasing criticism, both nationally and internationally, levelled at this type of research or at its dominant role. Some see this as a crisis in legal scholarship, but a closer look reveals a great need for facts, common sense, and nuance. Critics usually base their calls for innovation on a one-dimensional and flawed image of legal-dogmatic research. In this article, the author subsequently addresses the various critical opinions themselves and provide an overview of the innovations that are proposed. He concludes that there are a lot of efforts to innovate legal scholarship, and that the field is more multiform than ever, which is a wonderful and unprecedented state of affairs. This multiformity should be cherished and given plenty of room to develop and grow, because most innovative movements are still fledgling and need time, sometimes a lot of time, to increase in quality. It would be a shame to nip them in the bud now, merely because they are still finding their way. In turn, none of these innovative movements have cause to disqualify legal-dogmatic research, as sometimes happens (implicitly), by first creating a straw-man version of the field and then dismissing it as uninteresting or worse. That only polarises the discussion and gains us nothing. Progress can only be achieved through cooperation, with an open mind towards different types of legal research and a willingness to accept a critical approach towards their development. In the end, the only criterion that matters is quality. All types of research are principally subject to the same quality standards. The author provides some clarification regarding these standards as well.


Jan Vranken
Jan Vranken is hoogleraar Methodologie van het privaatrecht aan de Universiteit van Tilburg.
Artikel

Access_open Legal Doctrine As a Non-Normative Discipline

A Refinement of Niiniluoto’s and Aarnio’s Distinction between Norm-Descriptions, Norm-Contentions and Norm-Recommendations

Tijdschrift Law and Method, 2012
Trefwoorden legal doctrine as a science, non-normative discipline, norm-descriptions, norm-contentions, norm-recommendations, Aarnio and Niiniluoto
Auteurs Anne Ruth Mackor
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In this article, the author argues that legal doctrine is not more normative than other scientific disciplines. This argumentation is built on the claim that the distinction between descriptive and normative statements is too simple to analyze the nature of legal doctrine. In the author’s view, a more detailed analysis of legal statements helps to achieve a better and more accurate characterization of legal doctrine as a science. For this purpose, the author builds on the distinction of Aarnio and Niiniluoto between norm-descriptions, norm-contentions and norm-recommendations. She argues that legal doctrine consists mainly of empirical and non-empirical norm-descriptions and that it can therefore be considered as a non-normative discipline.


Anne Ruth Mackor
Anne Ruth Mackor is professor of professional ethics, in particular of legal professions, at the Faculty of Law and Socrates professor of professional ethics at the Faculties of Theology and Philosophy at the University of Groningen.
Artikel

Access_open Hoe rechters denken

Tijdschrift Law and Method, 2012
Trefwoorden rechterlijke oordeelsvorming, opleiding, socialisatie, omgevingsinvloed
Auteurs Maarten van Wel
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In this paper the author attempts to answer the intriguing question how judges think by providing a description of the context of judicial decision-making from the insider’s perspective of a judge trainee. This paper demonstrates that in judicial training socialization plays an important formative role. Looking at a standard model for judging civil cases the author stresses that judicial decisions are essentially arbitrary in the true sense of the word and can only be understood from within the legal system. What makes judicial decisions special is not the argumentative method, but their status. One way the judicial power of decision is restricted is by the membership of judges of a professional group with a shared culture and tradition. The author is under the impression that the influence of this context of judicial decision-making on judging is underexposed in legal studies. This paper tries to give the initial impetus to a further exploration.


Maarten van Wel
Mr. Maarten van Wel is rechterlijk ambtenaar in opleiding en is werkzaam als advocaat in de buitenstage bij Höcker Advocaten te Amsterdam.
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