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Article

Access_open Liberal Democracy and the Judeo-Christian Tradition

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue Pre-publications 2020
Keywords national identity, historical narratives, universal values, equal citizenship
Authors Tamar de Waal
AbstractAuthor's information

    Increasingly often, it is stated that the universal values underpinning Western liberal democracies are a product of a ‘Judeo-Christian’ tradition. This article explores the legitimacy of this claim from the perspective of liberal-democratic theory. It argues that state-endorsed claims about the historical roots of liberal-democratic values are problematic (1) if they are promoted as though they are above democratic scrutiny and (2) if they insinuate that citizens who belong to a particular (majority) culture remain the ‘cultural owners’ of the core values underpinning the state. More pragmatically, the paper suggests that the claim carries the risk of failing to facilitate all citizens becoming or remaining committed to nurturing fundamental rights and a shared society based on norms of democratic equality.


Tamar de Waal
Tamar de Waal is Assistant Professor of Legal Philosophy at the Amsterdam Law School of the University of Amsterdam.
Article

Access_open De blinde vlek in praktijk en discussie rond orgaandonatie

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue Pre-publications 2020
Keywords organ donation, ethics of organ donation, symbolic nature of the human body, ethics and ritual, symbolic legislation theory
Authors Herman De Dijn
AbstractAuthor's information

    In countries like Belgium and The Netherlands, there seems to be overwhelming public acceptance of transplantation and organ donation. Yet, paradoxically, part of the public refuses post-mortal donation of their own organs or of those of family members. It is customary within the transplantation context to accept the refusal of organ donation by family members “in order to accommodate their feelings”. I argue that this attitude does not take seriously what is really behind the refusal of donation by (at least some) family members. My hypothesis is that even in very secularized societies, this refusal is determined by cultural-symbolic attitudes vis-à-vis the (dead) human body (and some of its parts). The blind spot for this reality, both in the practice of and discussions around organ donation, prevents understanding of what is producing the paradox mentioned.


Herman De Dijn
Herman De Dijn is emeritus hoogleraar wijsbegeerte aan de KU Leuven.

Irawan Sewandono
Irawan Sewandono is universitair docent staats- en bestuursrecht aan de Open Universiteit.
Article

Access_open Legal and Political Concepts as Contextures

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue Pre-publications 2020
Keywords Concepts, Contextualism, Essentially Contested Concepts, Legal Theory, Freedom
Authors Dora Kostakopoulou
Abstract

    Socio-political concepts are not singularities. They are, instead, complex and evolving contextures. An awareness of the latter and of what we need to do when we handle concepts opens up space for the resolution of political disagreements and multiplies opportunities for constructive dialogue and understanding. In this article, I argue that the concepts-as-contextures perspective can unravel conceptual connectivity and interweaving, and I substantiate this by examining the ‘contexture’ of liberty. I show that the different, and seemingly contested, definitions of liberty are the product of mixed articulations and the development of associative discursive links within a contexture.


Dora Kostakopoulou
Article

Access_open Recht en politiek in de klimaatzaken

Een sleutelrol voor het internationaal recht in de argumentatie van de nationale rechter

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue Pre-publications 2020
Authors Vincent Dupont
AbstractAuthor's information

    Ever since it was published in 2015, the judgment of the The Hague court in the so-called Urgenda-case, and the subsequent decisions of the appellate and cassation courts confirming it, have been met with repeated and vivid critiques. By recognizing the necessity of the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and furthermore imposing a certain reduction level on the Dutch state, the judgments in the cases at hand gave rise to many questions concerning the position of the judiciary in the matter, and in Dutch society as a whole. This article attempts in the first place to situate the positions of the different actors intervening in the Urgenda-case within a legal-theoretical framework. The contribution subsequently explores the strategic possibilities that an alternative understanding of law could offer to the judges, focusing specifically on the use of legal instruments stemming from international law, brought into the reasoning of the national judge.


Vincent Dupont
Vincent Dupont studeerde in 2017 af als Master of Laws aan de KU Leuven en volgt momenteel een opleiding sociologie aan de Université libre de Bruxelles, Unicamp in São Paulo en de École des hautes études en sciences sociales in Parijs.

    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.
Discussion

Access_open Naar een kritische en relevante rechtstheorie

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2019
Keywords grondslagen, normatief systeem, buitenstaanderperspectief, empirisch perspectief
Authors Pauline Westerman
AbstractAuthor's information

    Een pleidooi om de eeuwige zoektocht naar abstracte normatieve grondslagen te staken en op zoek te gaan naar de voorwaarden voor het ontstaan en voortbestaan van normatieve systemen vanuit een buitenstaandersperspectief dat conceptuele anayse verbindt met historische en sociologische inzichten.


Pauline Westerman
Pauline Westerman is hoogleraar Rechtsfilosofie aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen.
Discussion

Access_open Tegen academische reservaten. Pleidooi voor een ‘leesbare’ rechtsfilosofie

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2019
Keywords interdisciplinariteit, wijsbegeerte van het recht, wetenschapspolitiek, rechtsfilosofie, rechtenstudie
Authors Niels Graaf
AbstractAuthor's information

    De wijsbegeerte van het recht, ooit koningin der rechtswetenschap, is onderdeel geworden van de juridische ‘perspectiefvakken’. Daarmee is het risico ontstaan dat uiteindelijk het ‘perspectiefvak’ dat het beste aansluit bij de wetenschap van het positieve recht (institutioneel) zegeviert. Academische l’art pour l’art in de zin dat een subdiscipline als de wijsbegeerte van het recht zich in een afgeschermde traditie opsluit, moet daarom worden voorkomen. Tegelijkertijd is het zaak dat perspectiefvakken niet alleen hun argumentatie verrijken en schrijven voor een groter lezerspubliek, maar zich ook duidelijker naar de buitenwereld presenteren als niet inwisselbaar, maar complementair.


Niels Graaf
Niels Graaf is promovendus Rechtstheorie aan de Universiteit Utrecht.
Article

Access_open Broken rules, ruined lives

Een verkenning van de normativiteit van de onrechtservaring

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2019
Keywords onrecht, Slachtofferrechten, Benjamin, Shklar
Authors Nanda Oudejans and Antony Pemberton
AbstractAuthor's information

    Hoewel de rechtspositie van slachtoffers de afgelopen decennia verstevigd lijkt, blijft de relatie tussen slachtoffer en strafrecht ongemakkelijk. Rechtswetenschappers tonen zich bezorgd dat de toenemende aandacht voor de belangen van slachtoffers uitmondt in ‘geïnstitutionaliseerde wreedheid.’ Deze zorg wordt echter gevoed door een verkeerd begrip van slachtofferschap en heeft slecht begrepen wat het slachtoffer nu eigenlijk van het recht verlangt. Deze bijdrage probeert de vraag van het slachtoffer aan het recht tot begrip te brengen. Wij zullen de onrechtservaring van het slachtoffer conceptualiseren als een ontologisch alleen en verlaten zijn van het slachtoffer. Het aanknopingspunt om de relatie tussen slachtoffer en recht opnieuw te denken zoeken wij in deze verlatenheid. De kern van het betoog is dat het slachtoffer (mede) in het recht beschutting zoekt tegen deze verlatenheid, maar ook altijd onvermijdelijk tegen de grenzen van het recht aanloopt. Van een rechtssysteem dat zich volledig uitlevert aan de noden van slachtoffers kan dan ook geen sprake zijn. Integendeel, het recht moet zijn belang voor slachtoffers deels zien in de onderkenning van zijn eigen beperkingen om onrecht te keren, in plaats van de onrechtservaring van het slachtoffer weg te moffelen, te koloniseren of ridiculiseren.


Nanda Oudejans
Nanda Oudejans is universitair docent rechtsfilosofie aan de Universiteit Utrecht.

Antony Pemberton
Antony Pemberton is hoogleraar victimologie aan Tilburg University.
Article

Access_open Philosophy and Law in Ancient Rome

Traces of Stoic Syllogisms and Ontology of Language in Proculus’s Jurisprudence

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2019
Keywords Stoicism, Roman Law, Theory of Language, Syllogisms, Classical Jurisprudence
Authors Pedro Savaget Nascimento
AbstractAuthor's information

    This paper uses Stoic theory of language to gain more insight into Roman lawyer Proculus’s legal opinions on the meaning and understanding of ambiguous testaments, wills and dowries. After summarizing Stoic theory of language, the paper discusses its reception in Roman jurisprudence and situates Proculus in a Stoic legal/philosophical context. The meat of the article lies in the re-examination of Proculus’s legal opinions on ambiguities in light of Stoic theory of language, through: (1) the analysis of a case demonstrating that Proculus’s embeddedness in Stoic doctrine went beyond his technical competence in propositional syllogisms, going into the territory of Stoic physical materialism and, (2) the investigation of four cases that reveal how his approach to problems of ambiguity in unilateral legal acts converges with the Stoic conception of the parallelism between speech and thought.


Pedro Savaget Nascimento
Pedro Savaget Nascimento holds a PhD in Law and Language from the University of Birmingham (UK) and currently works as Research Designer in Belo Horizonte (Brazil).

Laura M Henderson
Article

Access_open Mobile Individualism: The Subjectivity of EU Citizenship

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2019
Keywords Individualism, EU Citizenship, Depoliticisation, Mobile Individualism, Citizenship and Form of Life
Authors Aristel Skrbic
AbstractAuthor's information

    The central aim of this article is to analyse the manner in which the legal structure of EU citizenship subjectifies Union citizens. I begin by explicating Alexander Somek’s account of individualism as a concept which captures EU citizenship and propose to update his analysis by coining the notion of mobile individualism. By looking at a range of CJEU’s case law on EU citizenship through the lens of the purely internal rule and the transnational character of EU citizenship, I suggest that movement sits at the core of EU citizenship. In order to adequately capture this unique structure of citizenship, we need a concept of individualism which takes movement rather than depoliticisation as its central object of analysis. I propose that the notion of mobile individualism can best capture the subjectivity of a model EU citizen, a citizen who is a-political due to being mobile.


Aristel Skrbic
Aristel Skrbic is a PhD candidate and teaching and research assistant at the Institute of Philosophy at the KU Leuven.
Article

Access_open ‘Cruel Men Can Do Kind Things and Kind Men Can Do Cruel Things’

Reconsidering the Enemy of Humanity in Contemporary International Criminal Trial Discourse

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2018
Keywords humanity, international criminal justice, opening statements, trial discourse, perpetrators
Authors Sofia Stolk
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article discusses empirical examples from international trial transcripts to see if and why there is a need to use the ‘enemy of all humanity’ label in contemporary international criminal justice discourse. It shows an absence of explicit uses of the concept and an ambiguous set of implicit references; the hosti generis humani concept is simultaneously too precise and too broad for ICJ discourse. Based on these findings, the article challenges David Luban’s suggestion that the term can be undone from its dehumanizing potential and used adequately in the ICJ context.


Sofia Stolk
Sofia Stolk is researcher at T.M.C. Asser Instituut/University of Amsterdam and research fellow at the Centre for the Politics of Transnational Law, Amsterdam.
Article

Access_open On the Humanity of the Enemy of Humanity

A Response to My Critics

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2018
Keywords hostis generis humani, humanity, International criminal justice, piracy
Authors David Luban
AbstractAuthor's information

    Antony Duff, Marc de Wilde, Louis Sicking, and Sofia Stok offer several criticisms of my “The Enemy of All Humanity,” but central to all of them is concern that labeling people hostis generis humani dehumanizes them, and invites murder or extrajudicial execution. In response I distinguish political, legal, and theoretical uses of the ancient label. I agree with the critics that the political use is toxic and the legal use is dispensable. However, the theoretical concept is crucial in international criminal law, which rests on the assumptions that the moral heinousness of core crimes makes them the business of all humanity. Furthermore, far from dehumanizing their perpetrators, calling them to account before the law recognizes that they are no different from the rest of humanity. This response also offers rejoinders to more specific objections raised by the critics.


David Luban
David Luban is University Professor in Law and Philosophy at Georgetown University.
Article

Access_open Enemy of All Humanity

The Dehumanizing Effects of a Dangerous Concept

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2018
Keywords enemy of all humanity, hostis humani generis, piracy, international criminal law, Luban
Authors Marc de Wilde
AbstractAuthor's information

    In his contribution to this special issue, David Luban proposes to revive the age-old concept of ‘the enemy of all humanity.’ On his view, this concept supports the aims of international criminal justice by emphasizing that atrocity and persecution crimes are ‘radically evil’ and therefore ‘everyone’s business.’ Criticizing Luban’s proposal, this paper shows that in the past, the ‘enemy of all humanity’ concept has often served to establish parallel systems of justice, depriving these ‘enemies’ of their rights as suspects under criminal law and as lawful combatants under the laws of war. Thus, even if the ‘enemy of all humanity’ concept is used with the intention to bring today’s perpetrators of ‘radical evil’ to justice, it risks undermining, rather than protecting, the rule of law.


Marc de Wilde
Marc de Wilde is Professor of Jurisprudence at the University of Amsterdam.
Editorial

Access_open The Hostis Generis Humani: A Challenge to International Law

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2018
Keywords Luban, humanity, dehumanization, Radbruch, Arendt
Authors Luigi Corrias and Wouter Veraart
AbstractAuthor's information

    Introducing the special issue, we point out how the notion of an ‘enemy of all humanity’ challenges the very foundations of international (criminal) law. We also give an overview of the other contributions.


Luigi Corrias
Luigi Corrias is Assistant Professor of Legal Philosophy at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Wouter Veraart
Wouter Veraart is Professor of Legal Philosophy at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
Article

Access_open The Enemy of All Humanity

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2018
Keywords hostis generis humani, piracy, crimes against humanity, universal jurisdiction, radical evil
Authors David Luban
AbstractAuthor's information

    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.

Lukas van den Berge
Lukas van den Berge is assistant professor of legal theory at the Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Article

Access_open The substance of citizenship: is it rights all the way down?

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2018
Keywords Citizenship, Political Membership, Citizenship Rights
Authors Chiara Raucea
AbstractAuthor's information

    This paper examines how the distribution of social goods within a political community relates to decisions on membership boundaries. The author challenges two renowned accounts of such a relation: firstly, Walzer’s account according to which decisions on membership boundaries necessarily precede decisions on distribution; secondly, Benhabib’s account, according to which membership boundaries can be called into question on the basis of universalist claims. Departing from both accounts, the author concludes that actual changes in the pool of participants in practices of creation and exchange of social goods pressure a political community to redefine its distributive patterns and, accordingly, the boundaries of its formal political membership. This claim will be supported by the analysis of threshold cases decided by the EU Court of Justice, in which EU citizenship is invoked with the atypical purpose of granting rights to a specific group of non-formal members.


Chiara Raucea
Chiara Raucea is lecturer at Tilburg Law School. A longer version of her article is included in her doctoral dissertation Citizenship Inverted: From Rights To Status?, defended in December 2017 at Tilburg University.
Article

Access_open Personhood and legal status: reflections on the democratic rights of corporations

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2018
Keywords Corporations, democracy, legal personality, personhood, inclusion
Authors Ludvig Beckman
AbstractAuthor's information

    Corporations can have rights but whether they should also have democratic rights depends among other things on whether they are the kind of entities to which the democratic ideal applies. This paper distinguishes four different conceptions of “the person” that can have democratic rights. According to one view, the only necessary condition is legal personality, whereas according to the other three views, democratic inclusion is conditioned also by personhood in the natural sense of the term. Though it is uncontroversial that corporations can be legal persons, it is plausible to ascribe personhood in the natural sense to corporations only if personhood is conceptualized exclusively in terms of moral agency. The conclusion of the paper is that corporations can meet the necessary conditions for democratic inclusion but that it is not yet clear in democratic theory exactly what these conditions are.


Ludvig Beckman
Ludvig Beckman is professor of political science at Stockholm University.
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