Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy

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Issue 2, 2009 Expand all abstracts

Access_open Presentation

Authors prof. mr. Hans Lindahl and mr. Erik Claes
Author's information

prof. mr. Hans Lindahl
Hans Lindahl is Professor in Philosophy of Law at Tilburg University.

mr. Erik Claes
Erik Claes is assistant professor at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.

Access_open Responsibility Incorporated

Keywords corporate agency, corporate responsibility, collective responsibility
Authors prof. Philip Pettit
AbstractAuthor's information

    Incorporated groups include businesses, universities, churches and the like. Organized to act as single centers of agency, they also routinely satisfy the three conditions that make an agent fit to be held responsible: they face significant choices, can recognize the relative value of different options, and are able to choose in sensitivity to such values. But is it redundant to hold a corporate agent responsible for something, when certain members are also held responsible for the individual parts they play? No it is not, for it is often possible for a corporate entity to be fully fit to be held responsible, when this is not true of the individual members; they may be able to make excuses that are not available at the corporate level. Does the case made for corporate responsibility extend to unincorporated collectivities like nations or religions? Not strictly but it does explain why it may be sensible to treat those collectivities as if they had corporate responsibility in certain domains.

prof. Philip Pettit
Philip Pettit is the Laurence S. Rockefeller University Professor of Politics and Human Values at Princeton University.

Access_open Collective Criminal Responsibility: Unfair or Redundant

Keywords collective criminal responsibility;, individual responsibility
Authors dr. Govert den Hartogh
AbstractAuthor's information

    This paper argues, against Pettit’s thesis about the incorporation of responsibility, that holding collective agents criminally responsible is necessarily either redundant or unfair: redundant if responsibility can be distributed without remainder over individual persons; unfair if it cannot. It should be the task of legal systems to create chains of individual criminal responsibility encompassing executives, officials, and members of corporate agents.

dr. Govert den Hartogh
Govert den Hartogh is Professor of Ethics at the Department of Philosophy of the University of Amsterdam.

Access_open On the Enactment of Corporate Arrangements

Keywords collective responsibility, individual responsibility
Authors prof. Bert van den Brink
AbstractAuthor's information

    Whereas Pettit distinguishes between responsibility for the enactment of a directly harmful act and responsibility for the arrangement or constitution that channels the formation of a corporate agent’s beliefs, desires, and intentions, we should acknowledge the existence of yet a third level of responsibility: the enactment of corporate arrangements that makes the enactment of harmful corporate actions likely or unavoidable.

prof. Bert van den Brink
Bert van den Brink is Associate Professor of Political and Social Philosophy at the Department of Philosophy of Utrecht University.

Access_open Morality Incorporated? Some Peculiarities of Legal Thinking

Keywords responsibility, accountability, imputation, liability
Authors prof. Bert van Roermund and prof. Jan Vranken
AbstractAuthor's information

    Responsibility disappears into the background of private law as it deals with imputation of liability. Fitness to be held liable is determined by normative viewpoints different from moral ones, in particular by convictions on how society ought to be organized so as to avoid or end conflict between private citizens. Modes of discursive control are geared to making authoritative decisions in view of the same end, and corporate agency is created, restricted or enlarged to undercut or to impose individual liability.

prof. Bert van Roermund
Bert Van Roermund is Professor of Philosophy at the Department of Philosophy of Tilburg University.

prof. Jan Vranken
Jan Vranken is Professor of Private Law at the Faculty of Law of Tilburg University and former Advocate General at the Dutch Supreme Court.

Access_open Collective Responsibility, National Peoples, and the International Order

Keywords collective responsibility, international legitimacy, global justice
Authors prof. Ronald Tinnevelt
AbstractAuthor's information

    This paper critically scrutinizes Pettit’s defence of corporate and collective responsibility in the light three questions. First, does Pettit successfully argue the passage from corporate responsibility to the responsibility of embryonic group agents, in particular nations? Second, are representation and the authorial and editorial dimensions of democratic control sufficient to ensure that a state is under the effective and equally shared control of its citizens? Third, what kind of international order is required to prevent states from being dominated?

prof. Ronald Tinnevelt
Ronald Tinnevelt is Associate Professor of Legal Philosophy at the Faculty of Law of the Radboud University Nijmegen.

Access_open Corporate Responsibility Revisited

Keywords individual responsibility, collective responsibility, legal liability, responsibility and politics
Authors prof. Philip Pettit

    This paper responds to four commentaries on “Responsibility Incorporated”, restating, revising, and expanding on existing work. In particular, it looks again at a set of issues related primarily to responsibility at the individual level; it reconsiders responsibility at the corporate level; it examines the connection of this discussion to issues of responsibility in law and politics.

prof. Philip Pettit