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Article

Access_open The Relationship between Empirical Legal Studies and Doctrinal Legal Research

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 2 2020
Keywords empirical legal studies, legal research methods, doctrinal legal research, new legal realism, critical legal studies, law and policy
Authors Gareth Davies
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article considers how empirical legal studies (ELS) and doctrinal legal research (DLR) interact. Rather than seeing them as competitors that are methodologically independent and static, it suggests that they are interdependent activities, which may each be changed by interaction with the other, and that this change brings both opportunities and threats. For ELS, the article argues that DLR should properly be understood as part of its theoretical framework, yet in practice little attention is given to doctrine in empirical work. Paying more attention to DLR and legal frames generally would help ELS meet the common criticism that it is under-theorised and excessively policy oriented. On the other hand, an embrace of legal thinking, particularly of critical legal thinking, might lead to loss of status for ELS in policy circles and mainstream social science. For DLR, ELS offers a chance for it to escape the threat of insular sterility and irrelevance and to participate in a founded commentary on the world. The risk, however, is that in tailoring legal analysis to what can be empirically researched legal scholars become less analytically ambitious and more safe, and their traditionally important role as a source of socially relevant critique is weakened. Inevitably, in offering different ways of moving to normative conclusions about the law, ELS and DLR pose challenges to each other, and meeting those challenges will require sometimes uncomfortable self-reflection.


Gareth Davies
Gareth Davies is Professor of European Law at the Faculty of Law of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
Article

The European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages

Specific Features and Problems of Application

Journal Hungarian Yearbook of International Law and European Law, Issue 1 2019
Keywords European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, protection of minority languages, protection of regional languages, supervisory regime
Authors Gábor Kardos
AbstractAuthor's information

    As was the case after the Great War, World War II was followed by the setting up of international legal regimes to protect national (national, ethnic, linguistic, and religious) minorities in Europe. The emerging ideas of universalism and European unity were to prevent the aftermath of World War I, a conflict which erupted as a result of Western focusing the system of European minority protection on Central and Eastern Europe. The European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages protects minority languages, without granting minority rights. It provides an á la Carte system of obligations, with a supervisory system hinged on government reports. The Charter was intended to be a ‘high politics’ treaty. Nevertheless, with the protection of the minority linguistic heritage and the indirect provision of minority linguistic rights, it meant a first step towards bringing an end to the 19th century processes linguistic homogenization of the budding nationstates. As such, its implementation is highly political. The minority languages protected by the Charter are strongly varied in nature. If we add this factor to the á la Carte system of obligations, the sheer complexity of the system prevents evaluations of the Committee of Experts from being as consistent as they should be. An important contribution of the soft supervisory mechanism is that it at least puts some problematic issues on the agenda, however, experience has shown that the transposition of treaty obligations into national law is always a simpler task than creating the substantive conditions for the actual use of minority languages.


Gábor Kardos
Professor of law, ELTE Law School, Budapest; Member of the Committee of Experts of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.

    Hoe was het met de Nederlandse rechtsfilosofie gesteld in de eerste jaren na de bevrijding? In die periode lag binnen de Vereniging voor Wijsbegeerte des Rechts (VWR) het accent op de verhouding tussen recht en gerechtigheid in het licht van het recente verleden. Dit artikel bespreekt interventies van drie actieve VWR-leden in de jaren 1946-1949: C.M.O. van Nispen tot Sevenaer, I. Kisch en G.E. Langemeijer. Gelet op het sterke accent op de relatie tussen recht en moraal in deze periode, is het niet verwonderlijk dat de rechtsfilosofie van Gustav Radbruch destijds binnen de VWR veel bijval kreeg. Wat was Radbruchs invloed op deze drie rechtsfilosofen? Het artikel besluit met een bespreking van de herdenkingsrede die VWR-voorzitter M.P. Vrij in 1949 uitsprak bij het dertigjarig bestaan. Deze rede markeert het eindpunt van vier jaar van intensieve aandacht voor de rechtsfilosofische implicaties van de ervaring van juridisch onrecht.


Wouter Veraart
Wouter Veraart is hoogleraar Rechtsfilosofie aan de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

András Zs. Varga
Professor of law, Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Budapest; judge, Constitutional Court of Hungary.
Article

Access_open Making Sense of the Law and Society Movement

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 2 2018
Keywords law and society, sociology of law, sociolegal, empirical legal studies
Authors Daniel Blocq and Maartje van der Woude
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article aims to deepen scholarly understanding of the Law and Society Movement (L&S) and thereby strengthen debates about the relation between Empirical Legal Studies (ELS) and L&S. The article departs from the observation that ELS, understood as an initiative that emerged in American law schools in the early 2000s, has been quite successful in generating more attention to the empirical study of law and legal institutions in law schools, both in- and outside the US. In the early years of its existence, L&S – another important site for the empirical study of law and legal institutions – also had its center of gravity inside the law schools. But over time, it shifted towards the social sciences. This article discusses how that happened, and more in general explains how L&S became ever more diverse in terms of substance, theory and methods.


Daniel Blocq
Daniel Blocq is assistant professor at Leiden Law School.

Maartje van der Woude
Maartje van der Woude is professor at Leiden Law School.
Human Rights Literature Review

Ukraine

Journal East European Yearbook on Human Rights, Issue 1 2018
Authors Dr. Tetyana Antsupova
Author's information

Dr. Tetyana Antsupova
Dr. habil., Judge of the Supreme Court (Ukraine).
Article

French Constitution, Droit Administratif and the Civil Code

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2017
Keywords Droit Administratif, Civil Code, Conseil d’État, public order
Authors Zia Akhtar
AbstractAuthor's information

    Droit Administratif in France is a separate branch of law that exists in parallel to the civil and criminal law. The law has been developed from the concept of separation of powers that is ingrained in the French constitution. Its concepts derive from the Code civil that is implemented in France since its inception in the Napoleonic era and this has undergone reform that has made the role of the judges more interventionist. The highest administrative court is the Conseil d’État, which is at the apex of the machinery of administrative courts that are an important part of public law’s discourse and there is a hierarchy of courts that consider appeals and regulate the norms of conduct of state officials towards the citizens. The judges receive induction and training before taking on the role of occupation and that has been inculcated in the French administrative court judges. This article looks at the separate system of administrative law and its success in preserving the necessary checks and balances in the constitution, which it is intended to protect. This is an examination of the developing concept of French justice, the doctrine of separation of powers and civil procedural changes that enable the grievance of citizens against officials to be heard more expeditiously.


Zia Akhtar
LLB (Lon), LLM (Lon), Gray’s Inn, PhD candidate (Sussex). Zia Akhtar is a leading writer on judicial review, regulatory law and EU law. He undertakes research in the comparative law between the common law and the civil law countries.
Article

Defining ‘Better’

Investigating a New Framework to Understand Quality of Regulation

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2 2016
Keywords better regulation, businesses, cross-disciplinary approaches, quality of regulation, European Union
Authors Morten Jarlbæk Pedersen
AbstractAuthor's information

    Better regulation is a political and scholarly theme, which has gained in both relevance and salience throughout the last two decades or so. Regulatory quality is the epicentre of these discussions. Despite this, quality is seldom conceptualized in its own right. Thus, beyond loose principles, we are rarely aware of what we mean by ‘better’ regulation, and academic discussions hereof usually centre themselves on other topics such as meta-regulation and processes. This leaves the notion of quality hard to asses especially from a comparative perspective. In this article, a core concept of quality is suggested. This concept is founded on an acknowledgement of the importance of the legal texts when it comes to achieving regulatory aims and objectives. The concept and methodology proposed has components from both law and political science and is sought to be of relevance to scholars and practitioners alike.


Morten Jarlbæk Pedersen
Morten Jarlbæk Pedersen is a Ph.D. fellow at the Department of Political Science at the University of Copenhagen. He has an affiliation with the Confederation of Danish Enterprise, where he has been employed for 5 years before engaging in this research project. For the purpose of the project, he was relieved of responsibilities as a consultant at the Confederation.
Article

Access_open The Erosion of Sovereignty

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2016
Keywords sovereignty, state, Léon Duguit, European Union, Eurozone
Authors Martin Loughlin
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article presents an account of sovereignty as a concept that signifies in jural terms the nature and quality of political relations within the modern state. It argues, first, that sovereignty is a politico-legal concept that expresses the autonomous nature of the state’s political power and its specific mode of operation in the form of law and, secondly, that many political scientists and lawyers present a skewed account by confusing sovereignty with governmental competence. After clarifying its meaning, the significance of contemporary governmental change is explained as one that, in certain respects, involves an erosion of sovereignty.


Martin Loughlin
Martin Loughlin is Professor of Public Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science and EURIAS Senior Fellow at the Freiburg Institute of Advanced Studies (FRIAS).
Article

Access_open E pluribus unum? The Manifold Meanings of Sovereignty

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2016
Keywords political sovereignty, power, legislative sovereignty, constitutive power, external sovereignty
Authors Raf Geenens
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article investigates and classifies the different meanings of the term sovereignty. What exactly do we try to convey when using the words “sovereign” or “sovereignty”? I will argue that, when saying that X is sovereign, we can mean five different things: it can mean that X holds the capacity to force everyone into obedience, that X makes the laws, that the legal and political order is created by X, that X holds the competence to alter the basic norms of our legal and political order, or that X is independently active on the international stage. These different usages of the term are of course related, but they are distinct and cannot be fully reduced to one another.


Raf Geenens
Raf Geenens is an assistant professor of Ethics and Legal Philosophy at the Institute of Philosophy, University of Leuven.
Article

Access_open Power and Principle in Constitutional Law

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2016
Keywords sovereignty, constitutional law, positivism, constructivism, common law
Authors Pavlos Eleftheriadis
AbstractAuthor's information

    Legal and sociological theories of sovereignty disagree about the role of legal and social matters in grounding state power. This paper defends a constructivist view, according to which the constitution is a judgment of practical reason. The paper argues that a constitution sets out a comprehensive institutional architecture of social life in terms of principles and official roles that are necessary for any legitimate scheme of social cooperation to exist. It follows that legal and sociological theories of sovereignty capture only part of the truth of sovereignty. Legal reasoning engages with political power, but it is not determined by it. There is no causal chain between power and validity, as suggested by the legal positivists. The relation between power and law is interpretive, not causal. It follows that the circularity of law and the constitution, namely the fact that the law makes the constitution and the constitution makes the law, is not a vicious circle. It is part of an ordinary process of deliberation.


Pavlos Eleftheriadis
Pavlos Eleftheriadis is Associate Professor of Law and Fellow in Law at Mansfield College, University of Oxford.
Article

Access_open The Justification of Basic Rights

A Discourse-Theoretical Approach

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2016
Keywords Basic rights, Right to justification, Discourse theory, Non-domination, Kant
Authors Rainer Forst
AbstractAuthor's information

    In this paper, I suggest a discourse theory of basic legal rights that is superior to rival approaches, such as a will-based or an interest-based theory of rights. Basic rights are reciprocally and generally justifiable and binding claims on others (agents or institutions) that they should do (or refrain from doing) certain things determined by the content of these rights. We call these rights basic because they define the status of persons as full members of a normative order in such a way that they provide protection from severe forms of legal, political and social domination. The very ground of these rights is the status of persons as free and equal normative authorities within the order they are subject to. In other words, these rights are grounded in a fundamental moral right to justification.


Rainer Forst
Rainer Forst is professor of Political Theory and Philosophy at the Goethe Universität, Frankfurt am Main.

Csaba Varga
Professor Emeritus at the Pázmány Péter Catholic University Institute for Legal Philosophy & Research Professor Emeritus at the Institute for Legal Studies of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

    The paper aims at justifying an interpretation of Dworkin’s theory of Law as Integrity that brings it closer to philosophical pragmatism despite his rejection of legal pragmatism. In order to achieve this aim, this work employs a classification of philosophical commitments that define pragmatism in a broad and in a narrow sense and shows that legal pragmatism follows the main thinkers of pragmatism in the narrow sense in committing to instrumentalism. The attribution of a pragmatist character to Dworkin’s theory of law rests on the idea that the adoption of a commitment to instrumentalism is not implicated by its adoption of other pragmatist commitments.


Thiago Lopes Decat
Thiago Lopes Decat, Ph.D., is Adjunct Professor at the Department of Propedeutic and Critical Disciplines of the Faculdade de Direito Milton Campos, Nova Lima, Brazil.

    When discussing O. W. Holmes’s answer to the question What constitutes the law? Morton White underlines the fact that Holmes’s inquiry didn’t focus on developing the concept of law. White states: '…Holmes said little in The Path of the Law about the notion of legal authority, perhaps because he was interested not in what he called a "useless quintessence of all legal systems" but in "an accurate anatomy of one"'. Such ambition (or lack of ambition) is characteristic of many pragmatic enterprises in the field of jurisprudence. However, sometimes the opposition between legal pragmatism and other legal theories is built upon a reference to the notion of the 'nature' or 'essence' of law. Many legal philosophers who aim to reveal the very 'nature of law' (or 'the concept of law' as H. L. A. Hart did) try to interpret Holmes and other pragmatists as offering a competitive view to their own. I will follow White’s early intuition that such a construal of the controversy is simply wrong. Afterwards I will sketch a portrait of legal pragmatism in the context of White’s own inquiry and his version of 'holistic pragmatism'; thirdly, I will present in brief the main reasons for exploring the concept of law in the contemporary analytic philosophy of law. Then I will show that traditionally 'pragmatic' and 'analytic' efforts in legal theory are situated on different levels of generality and conceptuality. However, these efforts can be, at least to some extent, reordered under the aegis of holistic pragmatism.


Adam Michał Dyrda
Adjunct Professor, Department of Legal Theory, Faculty of Law, Jagiellonian University, Cracow, Poland. Contact: adam.dyrda@uj.edu.pl; http://jagiellonian.academia.edu/AdamDyrda.
Article

Access_open The Casuistry of International Criminal Law: Exploring A New Field of Research

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2015
Keywords international criminal law, judicial reasoning, casuistry, genocide
Authors Marjolein Cupido
AbstractAuthor's information

    International criminal courts have made an important contribution to the development of international criminal law. Through case law, the courts have fine-tuned and modernized outdated concepts of international crimes and liability theories. In studying this practice, scholars have so far focused on the judicial interpretation of statutory and customary rules, thereby paying little attention to the rules’ application in individual cases. In this article, I reveal the limitations of this approach and illustrate how insights from casuistry can advance international criminal law discourse. In particular, I use the example of genocide to show that casuistic case law analyses can help scholars clarify the meaning of the law and appraise the application of substantive legal concepts in individual cases. Based on these observations, I argue that scholars should complement their current research with studies into the casuistry of international criminal law.


Marjolein Cupido
Marjolein Cupido is Assistant Professor at the Department of Criminal Law at VU University Amsterdam and fellow of the Center for International Criminal Justice.

    The paper offers a legal theoretical analysis of the disciplinary character of the contemporary practice of legal scholarship. It is assumed that the challenges of interdisciplinary engagement are particularly revealing about the nature of legal scholarship. The paper argues for an understanding of legal scholarship that revolves around cultivating doctrinal knowledge about law. Legal scholarship is characterised as a normative and interpretive discipline that offers an internalist and non-instrumentalist perspective on law. The paper also argues that interdisciplinary engagement is sometimes necessary for legal scholars because some concepts and ideas built into the doctrinal structures of law cannot be made fully intelligible by way of pure normative legal analysis. This point is developed with the help of an epistemological clarification of doctrinal knowledge and anchored in an account of the practice of legal scholarship. The paper explores the implications of this account by way of analysing three paradigms of interdisciplinary engagement that respond to distinctive challenges facing legal scholarship: (1) understanding better the extra-legal origins of legal ideas, (2) managing discursive encounters that can generate frictions between disciplinary perspectives, and (3) building the knowledge base to handle challenge of validating policy initiatives that aim at changing the law. In different ways, all three challenges may require legal scholars to build competence in other disciplines. The third paradigm has particular relevance for understanding the methodological profile of legal scholarship. Legal scholarship is the only discipline with specific focus on how the social environment affects the doctrinal structures of law.


Matyas Bodig
Dr Matyas Bodig is Senior lecturer at the University of Aberdeen School of Law, Aberdeen, UK.

    In this article, I want to show that some doctrinal problems of legal interpretation and argumentation can be analysed in a more precise way than a standard doctrinal analysis, when we use insights from speech act theory and argumentation theory. Taking a discussion about the accusation of the criminal act insulting as a starting point, I will try to show that the doctrinal perspective on meaning of statutory norms and of the qualification of utterances as legal acts lacks the instruments to explain why discussions about these meanings and utterances are so complicated. In short, a doctrinal analysis focuses on word or sentence meaning, distinguishing between the literal or semantic meaning on the one hand and the meaning in context on the other. However, the analysis of this ‘meaning in context’ is often rather vague, especially in cases of indirect and strategic communication. It is the analysis of this meaning in context that can profit from insights from speech act theory. I do not want to ‘solve’ the problems of the interpretation of the norms concerning insulting. I only use this case in point as an exemplary example to discuss important (often implicit doctrinal) starting points about the related concepts meaning and intention (or commitment) in interpretative discussions.


Harm Kloosterhuis
Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam.

    The doctrinal methodology is in a period of change and transition. Realising that the scope of the doctrinal method is too constricting, academic lawyers are becoming eclectic in their use of research method. In this transitional time, legal scholars are increasingly infusing evidence (and methods) from other disciplines into their reasoning to bolster their reform recommendations.
    This article considers three examples of the interplay of the discipline of law with other disciplines in the pursuit of law reform. Firstly the article reviews studies on the extent of methodologies and reformist frameworks in PhD research in Australia. Secondly it analyses a ‘snapshot’ of recently published Australian journal articles on criminal law reform. Thirdly, it focuses on the law reform commissions, those independent government committees that play such an important role in law reform in common law jurisdictions.
    This examination demonstrates that while the doctrinal core of legal scholarship remains intact, legal scholars are endeavouring to accommodate statistics, comparative perspectives, social science evidence and methods, and theoretical analysis, within the legal research framework, in order to provide additional ballast to the recommendations for reform.


Terry Hutchinson
Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, QUT Law School (t.hutchinson@qut.edu.au); Marika Chang (QUT Law School) was the research assistant on this project.
Article

Access_open Reply

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2014
Keywords Fuller, Arendt, normativism, methodology, the rule of law
Authors Kristen Rundle
AbstractAuthor's information

    Author’s reply to four commentaries on ‘Legal Subjects and Juridical Persons: Developing Public Legal Theory through Fuller and Arendt.’


Kristen Rundle
Kristen Rundle is Senior Lecturer of Law at the University of New South Wales; k.rundle@unsw.edu.au
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