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Article

Access_open Addressing Problems Instead of Diagnoses

Reimagining Liberalism Regarding Disability and Public Health

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2021
Keywords Vulerability Theory, Liberalism, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), Public Health, Capabilities Approach
Authors Erwin Dijkstra
AbstractAuthor's information

    The public health systems of liberal states systematically fail to meet the goals and obligations of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which aims to facilitate full societal participation and independent life choices by all impaired persons, as well as the unburdening of their private caretakers. This failure does not stem from a lack of money or effort by governments and other societal institutions, but flaws in the anatomy of these systems. As these systems confine institutional assistance to the needs of persons with certain delineated disabilities, they neglect the needs of other persons, whose disabilities do not fit this mould. The responsibility for the latter group thus falls to their immediate social circle. These private caretakers are in turn seldom supported. To remedy this situation, I will present the alternative paradigm of vulnerability theory as the possible foundation for a more inclusive approach to public health.


Erwin Dijkstra
Erwin Dijkstra LLM MA is lecturer and researcher at the Department of Jurisprudence of the Leiden Law School of Leiden University.
Article

Access_open Moet de strafrechter ook de scheidsrechter zijn van het publieke debat?

De scheiding der machten in het licht van de vrijheid van meningsuiting voor volksvertegenwoordigers

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2020
Keywords Freedom of speech, Separation of powers, Criminal law, Hate speech, Legal certainty
Authors Jip Stam
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article contains a critical review of the provisions in the Dutch penal code regarding group defamation and hate speech. It is argued that not only these provisions themselves but also their application by the Dutch supreme court, constitutes a problem for the legitimacy and functioning of representative democracy. This is due to the tendency of the supreme court to employ special constraints for offensive, hateful or discriminatory speech by politicians. Because such a special constraint is not provided or even implied by the legislator, the jurisprudence of the supreme court is likely to end up in judicial overreach and therefore constitutes a potential – if not actual – breach in the separation of powers. In order to forestall these consequences, the protection of particularly political speech should be improved, primarily by a revision of the articles 137c and 137d of the Dutch penal code or the extension of parliamentary immunity.


Jip Stam
Jip Stam is onderzoeker en docent bij de afdeling Encyclopedie van de rechtswetenschap aan de Leidse rechtenfaculteit.
Article

Access_open Liberal Democracy and the Judeo-Christian Tradition

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 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 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 1 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.

Gustavo Arosemena
Gustavo Arosemena is lecturer at Maastricht University.
Article

Access_open Belgium and Democratic Constitution-Making: Prospects for the Future?

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2017
Keywords constitutional change, democracy, participation, Belgium
Authors Ronald Van Crombrugge
Abstract

    How constitutions are changed – and more importantly: how they should be changed – is the subject of ongoing debate. There seems to be a growing consensus, however, that in order for a constitution to be considered legitimate it is required that it was created through a democratic process. This growing consensus stands in sharp contrast with the Belgian experience of constitutional change as an essentially elite-led process that takes place behind closed doors. This article seeks to explore the possibilities for more democratic forms of constitutional change in Belgium. It does so by evaluating and comparing two examples of democratic constitution-making, namely the constitution-making processes In South Africa (1996) and Iceland (2012). On the basis of these two examples, several concrete suggestions will be made, which are not only relevant for the Belgian case but can be applied more broadly to other countries as well.


Ronald Van Crombrugge

    This paper interprets the presumption of innocence as a conceptual antidote for sacrificial tendencies in criminal law. Using Girard’s philosophy of scapegoat mechanisms and sacrifice as hermeneutical framework, the consanguinity of legal and sacrificial order is explored. We argue that some legal concepts found in the ius commune’s criminal system (12th-18th century), like torture, infamy, or punishment for mere suspicion, are affiliated with scapegoat dynamics and operate, to some extent, in the spirit of sacrifice. By indicating how these concepts entail more or less flagrant breaches of our contemporary conception of due process molded by the presumption of innocence, an antithesis emerges between the presumption of innocence and sacrificial inclinations in criminal law. Furthermore, when facing fundamental threats like heresy, the ius commune’s due process could be suspended. What emerges in this state of exception allowing for swift and relentless repression, is elucidated as legal order’s sacrificial infrastructure.


Rafael Van Damme
Rafael Van Damme is PhD-student in philosophy.

Stefan Rummens
Stefan Rummens is Professor of Moral Philosophy at the Institute of Philosophy of the KU Leuven, Belgium.

Roland Pierik
Roland Pierik is Associate Professor of Legal Philosophy at the University of Amsterdam Law School.
Article

Access_open Freedom of Religion, Inc.: Whose Sovereignty?

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2015
Keywords accommodation, freedom of religion, political theology, liberalism, liberty of conscience
Authors Jean L. Cohen
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article focuses on an expansive conception of religious freedom propagated by a vocal group of American legal scholars – jurisdictional pluralists – often working with well-funded conservative foundations and influencing accommodation decisions throughout the US. I show that the proliferation of ‘accommodation’ claims in the name of church autonomy and religious conscience entailing exemption from civil regulation and anti-discrimination laws required by justice have a deep structure that has little to do with fairness or inclusion or liberal pluralism. Instead they are tantamount to sovereignty claims, involving powers and immunities for the religious, implicitly referring to another, higher law and sovereign than the constitution or the people. The twenty-first century version of older pluralist ‘freedom of religion’ discourses also rejects the comprehensive jurisdiction and scope of public, civil law – this time challenging the ‘monistic sovereignty’ of the democratic constitutional state. I argue that the jurisdictional pluralist approach to religious freedom challenges liberal democratic constitutionalism at its core and should be resisted wherever it arises.


Jean L. Cohen
Jean L. Cohen is the Nell and Herbert M. Singer Professor of Political Thought and Contemporary Civilization at the Department of Political Science of Columbia University (New York) and will be the Emile Noel Fellow at the Jean Monet Center of the NYU Law School from January till June 2016.
Article

Access_open Group Pluralism versus Group Accommodation

A Commentary on Jean Cohen

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2015
Keywords group pluralism, multiculturalism, religious accommodation
Authors Avigail Eisenberg
AbstractAuthor's information

    In this paper, I sharply distinguish between religious group-based pluralism and religious accommodation, which are each reflected in the cases examined in Jean Cohen’s paper and thereby provide a clearer understanding of different kinds of challenges to protecting religious freedom today and explain how these two approaches sometimes pull interpretations of religious freedom in different directions.


Avigail Eisenberg
Avigail Eisenberg is Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Victoria, Canada.
Article

Access_open Racial Profiling and the Presumption of Innocence

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2014
Keywords racial profiling, stop-and-frisk, presumption of innocence, communicative theories of criminal law, social inequality and criminal law
Authors Peter DeAngelis
AbstractAuthor's information

    I argue that a compelling way to articulate what is wrong with racial profiling in policing is to view racial profiling as a violation of the presumption of innocence. I discuss the communicative nature of the presumption of innocence as an expression of social trust and a protection against the social condemnation of being undeservingly investigated, prosecuted, and convicted for committing a crime. I argue that, given its communicative dimension, failures to extend the presumption of innocence are an expression of disrespect. I take the New York Police Department’s stop-and-frisk policy as an example of racial profiling and argue that its use of race-based forms of suspicion as reasons for making stops is a violation of the presumption of innocence. I maintain that this systemic failure to extend the presumption of innocence to profiled groups reveals the essentially disrespectful nature of the NYPD policy.


Peter DeAngelis
Peter DeAngelis is Ph.D. Candidate in Philosophy at Villanova University.
Article

Access_open What Makes Age Discrimination Special? A Philosophical Look at the ECJ Case Law

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2014
Keywords age discrimination, intergenerational justice, complete-life view, statistical discrimination, anti-discrimination law
Authors Axel Gosseries
AbstractAuthor's information

    This paper provides an account of what makes age discrimination special, going through a set of possible justifications. In the end, it turns out that a full understanding of the specialness of age-based differential treatment requires that we consider together the ‘reliable proxy,’ the ‘complete-life neutrality,’ the ‘sequence efficiency’ and the ‘affirmative egalitarian’ accounts. Depending on the specific age criteria, all four accounts may apply or only some of them. This is the first key message of this paper. The second message of the paper has to do with the age group/birth cohort distinction. All measures that have a differential impact on different cohorts also tend to have a differential impact on various age groups during the transition. The paper points at the practical implications of anti-age-discrimination law for differential treatment between birth cohorts. The whole argument is confronted all along with ECJ cases.


Axel Gosseries
Axel Gosseries is a permanent research fellow at the Belgian FRS-FNRS and a Professor at the University of Louvain (UCL, Belgium) where he is based at the Hoover Chair in Economic and Social Ethics.

    This paper explores the roles that the presumption of innocence (PoI) can play beyond the criminal trial, in other dealings that citizens may have with the criminal law and its officials. It grounds the PoI in a wider notion of the civic trust that citizens owe each other, and that the state owes its citizens: by attending to the roles that citizens may find themselves playing in relation to the criminal law (such roles as suspect, defendant, convicted offender and ‘ex-offender’), we can see both how a PoI protects us, beyond the confines of the trial, against various kinds of coercion, and how that PoI is modified or qualified as we acquire certain roles. To develop and illustrate this argument, I pay particular attention to the roles of defendant (both during the trial and while awaiting trial) and of ‘ex-offender,’ and to the duties that such roles bring with them.


Antony Duff
Antony Duff holds the Russell M and Elizabeth M Bennett Chair in the University of Minnesota Law School, and is a Professor Emeritus of the Department of Philosophy, University of Stirling.
Article

Access_open Transnational Fundamental Rights: Horizontal Effect?

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2011
Keywords fundamental rights, societal constitutionalism, inclusionary and exclusionary effects, anonymous matrix
Authors Gunther Teubner
AbstractAuthor's information

    Violations of human rights by transnational corporations and by other ‘private’ global actors raise problems that signal the limits of the traditional doctrine of ‘horizontal effects’. To overcome them, constitutional law doctrine needs to be complemented by perspectives from legal theory and sociology of law. This allows new answers to the following questions: What is the validity basis of human rights in transnational ‘private’ regimes – extraterritorial effect, colère public or external pressures on autonomous law making in global regimes? Do they result in protective duties of the states or in direct human rights obligations of private transnational actors? What does it mean to generalise state-directed human rights and to respecify them for different social spheres? Are societal human rights limited to ‘negative’ rights or is institutional imagination capable of developing ‘positive’ rights – rights of inclusion and participation in various social fields? Are societal human rights directed exclusively against corporate actors or can they be extended to counteract structural violence of anonymous social processes? Can such broadened perspectives of human rights be re-translated into the practice of public interest litigation?


Gunther Teubner
Gunther Teubner is Professor of Private Law and Legal Sociology and Principal Investigator of the Excellence Cluster ‘The Formation of Normative Orders’ at the Goethe-University, Frankfurt/Main. He is also Professor at the International University College, Torino, Italy.
Miscellaneous

Access_open Elusive normativity

Stefano Bertea, The Normative Claim of Law

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2011
Authors Jaap Hage
AbstractAuthor's information

    Book review of Stefano Bertea, The Normative Claim of Law


Jaap Hage
Jaap Hage holds the Chair of Jurisprudence at Maastricht University.
Article

Access_open Constitutionalism and the Incompleteness of Democracy: An Iterative Relationship

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2010
Keywords constitutionalism, globalization, democracy, modernity, postnational
Authors Neil Walker
AbstractAuthor's information

    The complexity of the relationship between democracy and modern constitutionalism is revealed by treating democracy as an incomplete ideal. This refers both to the empirical incompleteness of democracy as unable to supply its own terms of application – the internal dimension – and to the normative incompleteness of democracy as guide to good government – the external dimension. Constitutionalism is a necessary response to democratic incompleteness – seeking to realize (the internal dimension) and to supplement and qualify democracy (the external dimension). How democratic incompleteness manifests itself, and how constitutionalism responds to incompleteness evolves and alters, revealing the relationship between constitutionalism and democracy as iterative. The paper concentrates on the iteration emerging from the current globalizing wave. The fact that states are no longer the exclusive sites of democratic authority compounds democratic incompleteness and complicates how constitutionalism responds. Nevertheless, the key role of constitutionalism in addressing the double incompleteness of democracy persists under globalization. This continuity reflects how the deep moral order of political modernity, in particular the emphasis on individualism, equality, collective agency and progress, remains constant while its institutional architecture, including the forms of its commitment to democracy, evolves. Constitutionalism, itself both a basic orientation and a set of design principles for that architecture, remains a necessary support for and supplement to democracy. Yet post-national constitutionalism, even more than its state-centred predecessor, remains contingent upon non-democratic considerations, so reinforcing constitutionalism’s normative and sociological vulnerability. This conclusion challenges two opposing understandings of the constitutionalism of the global age – that which indicts global constitutionalism because of its weakened democratic credentials and that which assumes that these weakened democratic credentials pose no problem for post-national constitutionalism, which may instead thrive through a heightened emphasis on non-democratic values.


Neil Walker
Neil Walker is Regius Professor of Public Law and the Law of Nature and Nations at the University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom.
Discussion

Access_open Constitutionalism and the Incompleteness of Democracy

A Reply to Four Critics

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2010
Keywords constitutionalism, globalization, democracy, modernity, postnational
Authors Neil Walker
AbstractAuthor's information

    This reply to critics reinforces and further develops a number of conclusions of the original paper. First, it answers the charge that it is biased in its discussion of the relative standing of constitutionalism and democracy today, tending to take the authority of the former for granted and concentrating its critical attention unduly on the incompleteness of democracy, by arguing that contemporary constitutionalism is deeply dependent upon democracy. Secondly, it reiterates and extends the claim of the original paper that the idea and practice of democracy is unable to supply its own resources in the development of just forms of political organization. Thirdly, it defends its key understanding of the overall relationship between democracy and constitutionalism as a ‘double relationship’, involving both mutual support and mutual tension. A fourth and last point is concerned to demonstrate how the deeper philosophical concerns raised by the author about the shifting relationship between democracy and constitutionalism and the conceptual reframing they prompt are important not just as an explanatory and evaluative window on an evolving configuration of political relations but also as an expression of that evolution, and to indicate how this new conceptual frame might condition how we approach the question of a democracy-sensitive institutional architecture for the global age.


Neil Walker
Neil Walker is Regius Professor of Public Law and the Law of Nature and Nations at the University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom.

    Peter van Schilfgaarde, book review of Amartya Sen, The Idea of Justice


Peter van Schilfgaarde
Peter van Schilfgaarde is emeritus professor of corporate law at the law faculties of Utrecht University and the University of Groningen and currently publishes in the field of legal theory.
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 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
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