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Article

Access_open Wetenschappelijke rechtsgeleerdheid

Commentaar op het preadvies van Carel Smith

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2009
Keywords law and hermeneutics, law and normativity, one right answer thesis, legal jurisprudence, legal doctrine
Authors Prof. dr. Arend Soeteman
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article is a comment on Carel Smith’s paper. Smith rightly argues that the study of law has a hermeneutic character. But his interpretation of legal hermeneutics includes the thesis that in hard cases there is no right or true legal decision. This seems to have negative implications for the scholarly character of the study of law: in hard cases any solution goes. This paper argues, against Smith, that the study of law defends right answers for hard cases. It is also normative in another sense: legal answers, in easy cases as well as in hard cases, always presuppose a normative interpretation of the legal sources. This contributes to the differences of opinion under lawyers. But it is no obstacle to the scholarly character of the study of law, as long as a rational debate about these legal answers and the underlying values and principles is possible. Smith’s rejection of the right answer thesis, however, prevents the possibility of such a rational debate.


Prof. dr. Arend Soeteman
Arend Soeteman is professor at the Faculty of Law, VU University Amsterdam.
Article

Access_open Lettres Persanes 14

Oorlog is natuurlijk erger dan een zoekgeraakte koffer. Staking, geweld en rechtsorde

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2009
Keywords law and politics, right to strike, exceptionalism, Benjamin, political action
Authors Dr. mr. Klaas Tindemans
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article discusses the right to strike, with special regard to Belgium. Referring to Walter Benjamin, Tindemans argues that strikes are rechtsetzend rather than rechtserhaltend; they constitute a legal order rather than preserve one. Strikes are exceptional phenomena within any legal system, as they do not fit normal criteria of legal validity. According to Tindemans, strikes are to be considered primarily as extralegal phenomena, as means in a political struggle, confronting the “police” of the core institutions of the state and the legal order. Strikes are political actions, moments of collective aspiration towards political equality, and as such threaten the “pureness” of the legal order in favour of a fragmented politics.


Dr. mr. Klaas Tindemans
Klaas Tindemans is Doctor of Laws and a playwright. He teaches at the RITS, school for audiovisual and performing arts, Erasmushogeschool Brussels.
Article

Access_open Nussbaum’s Capabilities Approach: In Need of a Moral Epistemology?

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2009
Keywords Martha Nussbaum, Capabilities Approach, moral epistemology, objectivity, residues of justice, Bernard Williams, political moralism
Authors Mr. Iris van Domselaar
AbstractAuthor's information

    Although Nussbaum’s “Capabilities Approach” (CA) clearly expresses a commitment to objectivity, this article argues that this commitment is rather ambiguous due to the conception of public reason it endorses. In particular, the CA cannot account for an objective justification of public reason, given certain characteristics of public reason. As a result, the CA jeopardizes the substantive aim it has set itself: to provide an objective justification for public choices regarding human capabilities and their specifications.


Mr. Iris van Domselaar
Iris van Domselaar is a Ph.D-student and lecturer at the Department of General Jurisprudence, Faculty of Law, University of Amsterdam. The subject of her thesis is “Residues of Justice and Tragic Legal Choice in a Liberal Rule of Law”.
Article

Access_open Over de wetenschappelijkheid van de rechtswetenschap

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2009
Keywords legal science, empirical science, law and astronomy, mathematical logic, game theory
Authors Mr. Boudewijn de Bruin
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article provides an outsider perspective on the scientificity of legal studies. First, I argue that the presence of controversies does not mean that legal studies lack the status of a genuine science. Astronomy, mathematics, and economics have their controversies, too. Second, I show that non-empirical, non-normative research is no less scientific than empirical research. This is illustrated by work in mathematical logic. Third, I demonstrate the same claim for non-empirical, normative research.Here the example is research on social contract theories by means of gametheoretic models.


Mr. Boudewijn de Bruin
Boudewijn de Bruin is assistant professor in the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Groningen.
Article

Access_open Het normatieve karakter van de rechtswetenschap: recht als oordeel

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2009
Keywords legal theory, science, methodology, normativity, knowledge
Authors Prof. mr. Carel Smith
AbstractAuthor's information

    Propositions of law are based upon normative judgement. The interpretation and application of legal provisions rest upon a judgement that determines which weight must be attributed to some point of view or perspective. In this respect, legal theory has a normative character. Its normative character does not preclude legal theory from being a scientific discipline. The scientific character of legal theory is not located in the possibility of testing the correctness of its theories. Rather, legal theory owes it scientific character to the shared standards of production and evaluation of legal arguments: the grammar of justice.


Prof. mr. Carel Smith
Carel Smith is associate professor at the Department of Metajuridica, Faculty of Law, Leiden University.
Article

Access_open Corporate Responsibility Revisited

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2009
Keywords individual responsibility, collective responsibility, legal liability, responsibility and politics
Authors prof. Philip Pettit
Abstract

    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
Article

Access_open On the Enactment of Corporate Arrangements

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2009
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.
Article

Access_open Morality Incorporated? Some Peculiarities of Legal Thinking

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2009
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.
Article

Access_open Collective Responsibility, National Peoples, and the International Order

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2009
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.
Article

Access_open Collective Criminal Responsibility: Unfair or Redundant

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2009
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.
Article

Access_open Lettres Persanes 13

Res publica en rechtsstaat: vrijheid in een onvolmaakte samenleving – Pleidooi voor een functionele (niet te bevlogen) grondwet

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2009
Keywords Vlaanderen, constitutie, Grondwet, fundamentele vrijheden
Authors Matthias Storme
AbstractAuthor's information

    In light of the possibility that Belgium could fall apart in coming years this contribution argues that it is time to reflect on a constitution for Flanders: What are the characteristics of a good constitution? A good constitution would entrench fundamental freedoms, which are historically rooted in society. Moreover, it obliges the government to maintain and enforce the laws, preventing abuse of power and corruption. Finally, a functioning constitution stands above temporary interests of partisan politics, and should not be used as a means to encumber future generations with our ideological choices.


Matthias Storme
Matthias Storme is advocaat aan de balie van Brussel en buitengewoon hoogleraar aan de Katholieke Universiteit Leuven en aan de Universiteit Antwerpen.
Article

Access_open ‘The Soviet Union did not have a legal system’

An interview with Jeremy Waldron on the methodology debate, historic injustice and the citation of foreign law

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2009
Keywords normative positivism, historic injustice, restitution of property rights, citation of foreign law, methodology debate
Authors Kees Quist and Wouter Veraart
AbstractAuthor's information

    This interview with Jeremy Waldron covers three topics. Firstly, we dealt with the methodology debate, that is, the discussion about how to proceed in analyzing the nature of law. Does the question ‘What is law?’ require a descriptive analysis of the concept of law or, rather, a normative exercise in political philosophy? Secondly, we spoke about the role of law in response to historic injustice, especially in relation to the restitution of property rights. On this topic Waldron vindicates the ‘supersession-thesis’, the idea that, due to changed circumstances and the passage of time, historic injustices become superseded. The third section of the interview is devoted to Waldron’s perspective on the citation of foreign law by national judges.


Kees Quist
Kees Quist is junior lecturer and PhD fellow at Utrecht Law School.

Wouter Veraart
Wouter Veraart is professor of Legal Philosophy at the VU University Amsterdam.
Article

Access_open Autonomie als voorwaarde tot legaliteit

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2009
Keywords autonomie, legaliteit, Brouwer, Fuller, certificering
Authors Pauline Westerman
AbstractAuthor's information

    Brouwer defended the view that the autonomy of the individual citizen is furthered by articulated, precise and clear legislation. The question arises whether all kinds of rules can be said to enhance such autonomy. It is argued that a distinction should be drawn between rules that dictate desirable outcomes, on the one hand, and rules that determine the way the game is played, on the other. Rules of the game often reflect the way they were drafted and can be seen as the embodiment of power relations between rule-makers. Rules that dictate outcomes, on the other hand, are often drafted by experts who analyse the goals to be reached. The view is defended that only rules of the game – potentially – enhance the autonomy of the citizen, whereas outcome-rules are potentially manipulative, tending to exclude those who are ill-equipped to realize the prescribed outcomes. The virtues of rules therefore do not merely reside in their clear and precise nature, but are largely derived from their capacity to regulate the relations amongst citizens who were included in the process of rulemaking.


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

Access_open Op de bres voor rechtszekerheid

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2009
Keywords rechtszekerheid, in dubio pro libertate, Brouwer, rechtspositivisme, constructivisme
Authors Marc Loth
AbstractAuthor's information

    This paper addresses the principle of legal certainty, which was central in the work of Bob Brouwer. He both regretted and disputed the decline of this principle in the theory and practice of law, trying to defend it against the spirit of the time. I argue that this attempt was in vain, because it opposes recent developments in law, as is illustrated by a notorious case of the European Court of Human Rights. Moreover, these developments invoke a constructivist account of legal certainty, which opposes Brouwer’s legal positivist account. Additionally, this meta-level shows that legal certainty in its classical form is indefensible, which – of course – does not mean that it is senseless altogether. On the contrary, the principle of legal certainty does have meaning in current legal systems, and it is the task of new generations of young scholars to try to get a grip on it. In doing so, they will undoubtedly make use of Brouwer’s work, which excels both in the depth of thinking and the clarity of writing.


Marc Loth
Marc Loth is raadsheer in de Hoge Raad der Nederlanden.
Article

Access_open Rechtsbeginselen en positivisme!?

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2009
Keywords rechtsbeginselen, rechtspositivisme, Brouwer, Dworkin, soft positivism
Authors Arend Soeteman
AbstractAuthor's information

    In this contribution I argue that Brouwer’s legal positivism suffers from an internal tension that is not easily solved. This tension stems from the combination of two strands in Brouwer’s thought. The first is that Brouwer wants to stick to the legal positivist view that the law is fixed by convention. The second is that there can be exceptions to the application of legal rules, based on legal principles. The combination of these two strands is, I argue, problematic, because the conventional basis for legal principles will usually be lacking in hard cases. One may then argue, as Brouwer does, that where conventions are lacking there is no law and the judge is not bound by the law. But then exceptions to rules are also allowed where there are no conventional principles to justify these exceptions. This contradicts Brouwer’s starting point that exceptions to the application of rules are possible on the basis of legal principles.


Arend Soeteman
Arend Soeteman is hoogleraar Encyclopedie en Rechtsfilosofie aan de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
Article

Access_open Recht als sociaal feit en recht als praktische rede

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2009
Keywords recht als sociaal verschijnsel, recht en praktische rede, recht en moraal, Brouwer
Authors Jaap Hage
AbstractAuthor's information

    Brouwer argued against a vision of the law in which moral considerations partly determine the contents of the law. He did this for moral reasons, mainly because of the uncertainty such a vision would cause. This seems a strange view because it means that the nature of the law would depend on moral considerations concerning legal certainty. Most of the present paper is devoted to exploring two conceptions of the law, law as social fact and law as practical reason. It is argued that a view like Brouwer’s fits in the law as practical reason conception and is therefore not so strange as might seem at first sight.


Jaap Hage
Jaap Hage is hoogleraar Algemene rechtsleer aan de Universiteit Maastricht en gasthoogleraar aan de Universiteit Hasselt.
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