Search result: 29 articles

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Year 2011 x
Discussion

Access_open Hybrid Constitutionalism, Fundamental Rights and the State

A Response to Gunther Teubner

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2011
Keywords societal constitutionalism, Gunther Teubner, system theory, fundamental rights
Authors Gert Verschraegen
AbstractAuthor's information

    This contribution explores how much state is necessary to make societal constitutionalism work. I first ask why the idea of a global societal constitutionalism ‘beyond the state-and-politics’ might be viewed as a significant and controversial, but nonetheless justified innovation. In the second part I discuss what Teubner calls ‘the inclusionary effects of fundamental rights’. I argue that Teubner underplays the mediating role of the state in guaranteeing inclusion or access, and in a way presupposes well-functioning states in the background. In areas of limited statehood there is a problem of enforcing fundamental rights law. It is an open question whether, and under which conditions, constitutional norms within particular global social spheres can provide enough counter-weight when state constitutional norms are lacking.


Gert Verschraegen
Gert Verschraegen is Assistant Professor of Theoretical Sociology at the University of Antwerp, Belgium.
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.
Discussion

Access_open Against the ‘Pestilential Gods’

Teubner on Human Rights

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2011
Keywords semiosphera, paranomia, Drittwirkung, matrix argument
Authors Pasquale Femia
AbstractAuthor's information

    Examining the function of human rights in the semiosphere requires a strategy of differentiation: the dissolution of politics into political moments (politics, it is argued, is not a system, but a form of discourse); the distinction between discourse and communication; the concept of systemic paranomic functionings. Paranomia is a situation generated by the pathological closure of discourses, in which knowledge of valid and observed norms obscures power. Fundamental rights are the movement of communication, claims about redistributing powers, directed against paranomic functionings. Rethinking the debate about the third party effect implies that validity and coherence must be differentiated for the development of the ‘matrix argument’.


Pasquale Femia
Pasquale Femia is Professor of Private Law at the Faculty of Political Studies of the University of Naples II, Italy.
Discussion

Access_open The Destruction and Reconstruction of the Tower of Babel

A Comment to Gunther Teubner’s Plea for a ‘Common Law Constitution’

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2011
Keywords global society, constitutionalism, social systems theory, Teubner, law and order
Authors Bart van Klink
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article presents some critical comments concerning the conceptual, normative and institutional foundations of Teubner’s plea for a ‘common law constitution’. My comments question the desirability of the means chosen for attaining this objective as well as their efficacy. In particular, I have difficulties with the ambivalent role that is assigned to man, either as a person or as a human being; with the reduction of social problems to problems of communication; and, finally and most importantly, with the attempt to conceive of law and politics beyond established legal and political institutions, which in my view is doomed to fail. The conclusion offers some tentative suggestions for an alternative approach.


Bart van Klink
Bart van Klink is Professor of Legal Methodology at the Faculty of Law of the VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Diane Howard
McGill University, Montreal

Christopher Johnson
International Institute of Space Law, United Kingdom and United States of America, johnson.c@gmail.com

José Monserrat Filho
Brazilian Association of Air and Space Law (SBDA), Brazilian Society for the Advancement of Science (SBPC), jose.monserrat.filho@gmail.com
Article

Access_open Over de klassieke oorsprong van de rechten van de mens

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2011
Keywords human rights, natural law, perfectionism, Stoa, Cicero
Authors René Brouwer
AbstractAuthor's information

    In this article I reconstruct the contribution of some central Hellenistic political thinkers to a theory of human rights. Starting point is the traditional Stoic conception of the law of nature as a power in which only perfect human beings actively participate. In the 2nd century BC the Stoic Panaetius adjusted this traditional high-minded theory by also allowing for a lower level of human excellence. This second-rate human excellence can be achieved just by following ‘proper functions’, which are derived from ordinary human nature and can be laid down in rules. From here, it was only a small, yet decisive step – presumably to be attributed to one of Cicero’s teachers – to discard the highest level of human perfection altogether. This step, I argue, paved the way for an understanding of the rules of natural law in terms of human rights.


René Brouwer
René Brouwer is Lecturer in Legal Theory at the University of Utrecht.

Marco Ferrazzani
European Space Agency, ESA Legal Counsel and Head of Legal Department, marco.ferrazzani@esa.int
Article

Access_open Legitimiteit, gemeenschap en rechtvaardigheid

Een kritiek op Dworkins verklaring voor legitimiteit

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2011
Keywords legitimacy, associative obligations, justice, community, Dworkin
Authors Thomas Decreus
AbstractAuthor's information

    In Law’s Empire Ronald Dworkin offers a specific answer to the age old question of political legitimacy. According to Dworkin, legitimacy originates in a ‘true community’ that is able to generate associative obligations among its members. In this article I illustrate how this answer contrasts with the moral and political principle of justice. The question remains how a conceptual link can be found between a community-based view on legitimacy and a more universal demand for justice. I try to answer this question by offering a close reading of Law’s Empire and other basic essays in Dworkin’s philosophy of law. In my attempt to solve this problem I propose an alternative view on community and legitimacy. In opposition to Dworkin I claim that legitimacy is prior to the community.


Thomas Decreus
Thomas Decreus is PhD student in political philosophy at the KULeuven Institute of Philosophy.
Article

Access_open Law in the twilight of environmental Armageddon

A response to Han Somsen

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2011
Keywords environmental catastrophe, legitimacy, geo-engineering, phenomenology
Authors Luigi Corrias
AbstractAuthor's information

    This paper argues that Somsen’s article, though brave in approach and daring in ideas, suffers from some fundamental flaws. First of all, it remains unclear how Somsen conceptualises the relationship between legitimacy and effectiveness, and what this means for his position towards the argument of a state of exception. Secondly, a plea for regulation by code has serious consequences for the claim to attain justice. Finally, geo-engineering poses some profound difficulties, both because of its consequences and because of its presuppositions.


Luigi Corrias
Luigi Corrias is Assistant Professor of Legal Philosophy at VU University, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Professor Dr Maureen Williams
University of Buenos Aires / CONICET (Argentina), Chair ILA Space Law Committee (HQ, London), maureenw777@yahoo.co.uk

Adv. Lulekwa Makapela LLB, LLM.
Deputy Director, Advanced Manufacturing-Space Affairs, Department of Trade & Industry, South Africa, lmakapela@thedti.gov.za

Ms Jo-Ansie Van Wyk
Politics, University of South Africa, wykjak@unisa.ac.za

P.J. Blount
National Center for Remote Sensing, Air, and Space Law, University of Mississippi School of Law, United States, pjblount@olemiss.edu
Article

From Uneasy Compromises to Democratic Partnership

The Prospects of Central European Constitutionalism

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2011
Keywords Central Europe, parliamentarism, freedom of religion, Roma people, discrimination
Authors Gábor Attila Tóth
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Central European constitutional democracies were created by the political and constitutional transition of 1989. However, twenty years later, in the light of antidemocratic, authoritarian and intolerant tendencies, it is far from clear whether the negotiated revolution is a story of success or failure. This paper first outlines the constitutional background of revolutionary transition. It shows that the achieved structures and rules do not prevent political communities from realizing the full promise of democracy. Second, this analysis attempts to explore how the century-old historical circumstances, the social environment, and the commonly failed practice of constitutional institutions interact. This section focuses on the constitutional features of presidential aspirations, the privileges of churches and certain ethnic tensions. Finally, the paper argues that the chances of success of liberal democracies depend significantly on extraconstitutional factors. It seems that Hungary is in a more depressing and dangerous period of its history than for example Poland.


Gábor Attila Tóth
Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Debrecen, former senior adviser, Constitutional Court of Hungary. The author welcomes comments via email: tga818@law.unideb.hu.
Article

Methods and Materials in Constitutional Law

Some Thoughts on Access to Government Information as a Problem for Constitutional Theory and Socio-Legal Studies

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2011
Keywords Citizenship, democracy, government information, representative government, secrecy
Authors Barry Sullivan
AbstractAuthor's information

    To be subject to law, Hobbes argued, is to be deprived of liberty, as we understand it. In this respect, democratic governments are no different from others. Hobbes’s insight has not caused us to abandon our commitments to democracy, but it still challenges us to think hard about the nature of representative government, the nature of citizenship in a democratic society, and the conditions necessary for fulfilling the promise of democratic citizenship. Two recent trends are evident. Some citizens have embraced a more active sense of citizenship, which necessarily entails a more insistent need for information, while governments have insisted on the need for greater concentration of governmental power and a higher degree of secrecy. Much is to be learned from the approaches that various national and transnational regimes have taken with respect to this problem. This essay will consider the problem of access to government information from a comparative perspective and as a problem for constitutional theory and socio-legal studies.


Barry Sullivan
Cooney & Conway Chair in Advocacy and Professor of Law, Loyola University Chicago School of Law.
Article

The Problems and Promises of a Legal Constitution

The Constitutional State and History

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2011
Keywords constitutional state, legitimacy, progressive history, legal constitution, political constitution
Authors Davit Zedelashvili
AbstractAuthor's information

    Nowadays, in the West, especially on the European Continent, the legitimacy of the modern state is once again subject to multifarious challenges. Against this background, the article revives one of the most important, though often overlooked themes of the constitutional theory, the relevance of the concept of progressive history for the legitimacy of the constitutional state. It is suggested, that the reappearance of the progressive history brings the supposedly forgotten themes of the objectivist metaphysics, back into the constitutional theory. The conclusion points that, only the accounts of a legal constitution, which reject the connection with progressive history, have the potential to deal with the problematic consequences that the reemergence of the metaphysically charged concept of progressive history may entail, given the contemporary socio-political conditions, characterized by the value and ideological pluralism.


Davit Zedelashvili
SJD Candidate in Comparative Constitutional Law, Central European University, Budapest.
Article

Investor Protection v. State Regulatory Discretion

Definitions of Expropriation and Shrinking Regulatory Competence

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2011
Keywords regulatory freeze, expropriation, investor protection, economic governance, environmental protection
Authors Ioannis Glinavos
AbstractAuthor's information

    The purpose of this paper is to offer support to the idea that the contemporary international legal framework offers opportunities to investors to challenge and control government action via what has been described as a ‘regulatory freeze’. This regulatory freeze is the consequence of government reluctance to legislate/regulate in areas where claims of expropriation may be brought. The paper presents evidence from investment-treaty dispute resolution mechanisms, national and supranational judicial processes from both sides of the Atlantic. The paper concludes by suggesting that the potential for expanded definitions of expropriation is having a greater impact than actual case outcomes, as states seek to preempt any adverse developments by shying away from regulations that may provide fertile grounds for challenge. This effect is significant, as it is contrary to expectations of greater state involvement in economic management bred by the financial crisis.


Ioannis Glinavos
Dr. Ioannis Glinavos is Lecturer in Law at the University of Reading, School of Law, i.glinavos@reading.ac.uk.
Article

The Combination of Negative with Positive Constitutionalism in Europe

The Quest of a ‘Just Distance’ between Citizens and the Public Power

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2011
Keywords democracy, constitutionalism, totalitarism, fundamental rights, judicial review
Authors Cesare Pinelli
AbstractAuthor's information

    The article is focused on European constitutionalism as resulting from the transformations following the experiences of totalitarian states. The notion of democracy was then significantly re-shaped, to the extent that democratic devices (federalism and sometimes referendum) were introduced with a view to balance the excesses of a purely representative democracy. The recognition of social rights and of human dignity reacted against totalitarism and, on other hand, against the individualistic notion of rights affecting the XIX century’s constitutionalism. Constitutional review of legislation was introduced, thus overriding the myth of parliamentary sovereignty, particularly the idea of parliament as the sole authority capable of granting fundamental rights.


Cesare Pinelli
Cesare Pinelli is Professor of Constitutional Law in the Faculty of Law, La Sapienza University of Rome.
Article

Comparative Aspects on Constitutions

Theory and Practice

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2011
Keywords Constitutions, EU legal order, EU member states, EU enlargement
Authors Alfred E. Kellermann
AbstractAuthor's information

    This paper will investigate for the influence of international legal developments on the drafting and implementation of constitutions, especially the impact of the European Union on the texts of the national constitutions of the EU Member States and its acceding countries.
    We will look also at:

    1. the influence of history (EU Enlargement) and tradition in the drafting and implementation of constitutions;

    2. assessment (especially in the case of the Netherlands) of whether constitutional texts actually serve to achieve the practical implementation of expressed purposes.


Alfred E. Kellermann
Senior Legal and Policy Advisor, Visiting Professor in the Law of the EU, T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague.
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