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Article

Access_open What Does it Mean to Justify Basic Rights?

Reply to Düwell, Newey, Rummens and Valentini

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2016
Authors Rainer Forst
AbstractAuthor's information

    In this paper, I reply to the four comments on my paper ‘The Justification of Basic Rights: A Discourse-Theoretical Approach’ given by Laura Valentini, Marcus Düwell, Stefan Rummens and Glen Newey.


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

Access_open Frankfurt Goes Kantian – But How Does It Work?

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2016
Keywords Human dignity, Transcendental arguments, Discourse ethics, Kantian ethics, Human rights
Authors Marcus Düwell
AbstractAuthor's information

    The paper discusses Forst’s discourse- theoretical adaption of the Kantian heritage. If Forst sees a Kantian concept of human dignity as the basis of his approach, he cannot rely on Habermas’ (quasi-)transcendental argument. It is furthermore questionable why Forst proposes that the content of human rights can only be determined in a procedural way. An alternative would be to determine the content from the normative starting point of human dignity.


Marcus Düwell
Marcus Düwell is professor of Philosophical Ethics and director of the Ethics Institute, Utrecht University.
Article

Access_open Two Sides of the Same Coin

Unpacking Rainer Forst’s Basic Right to Justification

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2016
Authors Stefan Rummens
AbstractAuthor's information

    This paper makes two comments on Rainer Forst’s keynote contribution. It argues, first, that three important distinctions introduced by Forst are, in fact, all different versions of the more primary distinction between the a priori reconstruction of basic rights by philosophers and the discursive construction of basic rights by citizens. It proposes, secondly, an alternative discourse-theoretical reconstruction which makes a distinction between the basic right to justification and the basic right to choose your own ends as two different but inseparable rights – two sides of the same coin – which jointly provide the moral ground for our basic rights as citizens.


Stefan Rummens
Stefan Rummens is professor of Moral Philosophy at the Institute of Philosophy of KU Leuven.

    The article considers the role of the liberal public-private divide in protecting religious minorities against national-majoritarian assault. It links the defence of the public-private divide to liberal neutrality and argues that it rests on two distinct propositions: that the distinction between the ’public sphere’ and the ’private sphere’ is a meaningful way to cognize and structure modern pluralistic societies; and that there is a meaningful way to distinguish what is or ought to be ‘public’ from what is or ought to be ‘private.’ While the latter proposition cannot be defended on grounds of liberal neutrality, the former proposition provides the institutional framework for conducting liberal politics by enabling the negotiation of the public and the private between national majorities and religious minorities as members of the same political community.


Daniel Augenstein
Daniel Augenstein is Associate Professor at the Department of European and International Public Law at Tilburg University.

Raf Geenens
Raf Geenens is Assistant Professor at the Institute of Philosophy of the KU Leuven (Belgium).
Article

Access_open The Experience of Legal Injustice

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2014
Keywords legal injustice, legal subject, law and morality, Fuller, Arendt
Authors Wouter Veraart
AbstractAuthor's information

    This paper shows that Fuller and Arendt converge on a different point than the point Rundle focuses on. What Fuller and Arendt seem to share in their legal thoughts is not so much an interest in the experience of law-as-such (the interaction between responsible agency and law as a complex institution), but rather an interest in the junction of law and injustice. By not sufficiently focusing on the experience of legal injustice, Rundle overlooks an important point of divergence between Arendt and Fuller. In particular, Arendt differs from Fuller in her conviction that ‘injustice in a legal form’ is an integral part of modern legal systems.


Wouter Veraart
Wouter Veraart is Professor of Legal Philosophy and Director of Research at the Free University Amsterdam; w.j.veraart@vu.nl.
Article

Access_open Political Jurisprudence or Institutional Normativism? Maintaining the Difference Between Arendt and Fuller

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2014
Keywords Arendt, Fuller, Hobbes, political jurisprudence, political freedom, authority, legality
Authors Michael Wilkinson
AbstractAuthor's information

    Can jurisprudence fruitfully pursue a synthesis of Arendt’s political theory and Fuller’s normative legal philosophy? Might their ideas of the juridical person and the legal subject be aligned as a result of a shared concern for the value of legality, specifically of an institutional complex which is structured through the stability and predictability of the rule of law? It is doubtful that Arendt's concern for the phenomena of plurality, political freedom and action can usefully be brought into line with Fuller's normativist focus on legality, subjectivity and the inner morality of law. This doubt is explored by juxtaposing Arendt's theory of action and her remarks on the revolution, foundation and augmentation of power and authority with Fuller's philosophy that, however critical of its positivist adversaries, remains ultimately tied to a Hobbesian tradition which views authority and power in abstract, hierarchical and individualist terms.


Michael Wilkinson
Michael Wilkinson is Associate Professor of Law at the London School of Economics; m.wilkinson@lse.ac.uk
Article

Access_open Legal Subjects and Juridical Persons: Developing Public Legal Theory through Fuller and Arendt

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2014
Keywords Fuller, Arendt, legal subject, juridical person, public rule of law theory
Authors Kristen Rundle
AbstractAuthor's information

    The ‘public’ character of the kind of rule of law theorizing with which Lon Fuller was engaged is signalled especially in his attention to the very notion of being a ’legal subject’ at all. This point is central to the aim of this paper to explore the animating commitments, of substance and method alike, of a particular direction of legal theorizing: one which commences its inquiry from an assessment of conditions of personhood within a public legal frame. Opening up this inquiry to resources beyond Fuller, the paper makes a novel move in its consideration of how the political theorist Hannah Arendt’s reflections on the ‘juridical person’ might aid a legal theoretical enterprise of this kind.


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

Access_open Lawyers Doing Philosophy

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2014
Keywords human agency, legal doctrine, command theory of law, Fuller, Arendt
Authors Pauline Westerman
AbstractAuthor's information

    Rundle criticizes the command conception of law by means of Fuller’s and Arendt’s concept of human agency. However, neither of these two authors derive law from human agency, as Rundle seems to think. Instead they stress that personhood can only be attributed to physical human beings on the basis of law. Moreover, their theories cannot be understood as answers to Rundle’s question – whatever that may be – but as answers to their own questions and concerns. In the case of Arendt and Fuller, these concerns were so different that the enterprise to reconcile them seems futile. Rundle’s approach can be understood as the attempt to deal with philosophy as if it were legal doctrine.


Pauline Westerman
Pauline Westerman is Professor of Philosophy of Law at the University of Groningen; p.c.westerman@rug.nl
Article

Access_open Liberalism and Societal Integration: In Defence of Reciprocity and Constructive Pluralism

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2014
Keywords societal integration, liberalism, conflict, constructive pluralism, citizenship, national communities
Authors Dora Kostakopoulou PhD
AbstractAuthor's information

    Communities can only be dynamic and projective, that is, oriented towards new and better forms of cooperation, if they bring together diverse people in a common, and hopefully more equal, socio-political life and in welfare. The latter requires not only back-stretched connections, that is, the involvement of co-nationals and naturalized persons, but also forward-starched connections, that is, the involvement of citizens in waiting. Societal integration is an unhelpful notion and liberal democratic polities would benefit from reflecting critically on civic integration policies and extending the norm of reciprocity beyond its assigned liberal national limits. Reciprocity can only be a comprehensive norm in democratic societies - and not an eclectic one, that is, either co-national or co-ethnic.


Dora Kostakopoulou PhD
Dora Kostakopoulou is currently Professor of European Union Law, European Integration and Public Policy at Warwick University. Her research interests include European public law, free movement of persons and European Union citizenship, the area of freedom, security and justice, migration law and politics, citizenship, multiculturalism and integration, democracy and legitimacy in the EU, law and global governance, political theory and constructivism, and, fairly recently, equality law.
Article

Access_open The Public Conscience of the Law

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2014
Keywords Hobbes, reciprocity, rule of Law, conscience, legality, liberty
Authors David Dyzenhaus PhD
AbstractAuthor's information

    I focus on Hobbes’s claim that the law is ’the publique Conscience, by which [the individual] (…) hath already undertaken to be guided.’ This claim is not authoritarian once it is set in the context of his complex account, which involves three different relationships of reciprocity: the contractarian idea that individuals in the state of nature agree with one another to institute a sovereign whose prescriptions they shall regard as binding; the vertical, reciprocal relationship between ruler and ruled; and the horizontal relationship between individuals in the civil condition, made possible by the existence of the sovereign who through enacting laws dictates the terms of interaction between his subjects. The interaction of these three relationships has the result that subjects relate to each other on terms that reflect their status as free and equal individuals who find that the law enables them to pursue their own conceptions of the good.


David Dyzenhaus PhD
David Dyzenhaus is a Professor of Law and Philosophy at the University of Toronto, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. His books include Hard Cases in Wicked Legal Systems: South African Law in the Perspective of Legal Philosophy (now in its second edition) and Legality and Legitimacy: Carl Schmitt, Hans Kelsen, and Hermann Heller in Weimar.
Article

Access_open Idealized versus Real-Life Reciprocity: How to Strike the Balance?

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2014
Keywords norm of reciprocity, moral obligation, gift exchange, hospitality, intergenerational relations
Authors Mrs. Aafke Elisabeth Komter PhD
AbstractAuthor's information

    Rawls’s ’idealized’ notion of reciprocity is compared with the ’real-life’ concept of reciprocity as it has been developed in social scientific theory. The two perspectives appear to differ significantly as concerns dimensions related to equality, human motivation, the temporal aspects of reciprocity, and the supposed mental origin of reciprocity. Whereas norms of obligation and feelings of moral indebtedness are constitutive for reciprocity in real-life encounters, equality, freedom and rationality are the basis for reciprocity in the hypothetical world of the ’conjectural account’. Rather than being fundamentally incompatible, the idealized and the real-life perspectives on reciprocity seem to apply to different spheres of social life, the first requiring greater formality and universality than the second, which allows for more variation and particularities.


Mrs. Aafke Elisabeth Komter PhD
Aafke Komter is Emeritus Professor of Social Sciences and a Visiting Researcher at the Department of Sociology of the Erasmus University of Rotterdam. She has published many articles on (family) solidarity, reciprocity and the social and cultural meaning of the exchange of gifts.

Wout Cornelissen PhD
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.
Article

Access_open The Right to Have Rights as the Right to Asylum

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2014
Keywords Arendt, asylum, refugeeship, right to have rights, statelessness de facto and de jure
Authors Nanda Oudejans
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article argues that the right to have rights, as launched by Hannah Arendt, is relative to refugee displacement and hence translates as a right to asylum. It takes issue with the dominant view that the public/private divide is the locus classicus of the meaning of this primordial right. A different direction of thought is proposed, proceeding from Arendt’s recovery of the spatiality of law. The unencompassibility of place in matters of rights, freedom and equality brings this right into view as a claim at the behest of those who have lost a legal place of their own. This also helps us to gain better understanding of Arendt’s rebuttal of the sharp-edged distinction between refugees and stateless persons and to discover the defiant potential of the right to have rights to illuminate the refugee’s claim to asylum as a claim to an own place where protection can be enjoyed again.


Nanda Oudejans
Nanda Oudejans is an independent researcher in philosophy of law and political philosophy.
Article

Access_open Presumption of Innocence Versus a Principle of Fairness

A Response to Duff

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2013
Keywords rules, principles, fairness, PoI
Authors Magnus Ulväng
AbstractAuthor's information

    In my response to Duff I focus mainly on the following two issues. Firstly, I examine what kind of a norm the presumption of innocence (PoI) really is and how it ontologically differs from other types of rules, principles, rationales, etc. My tentative conclusion is that a PoI does not suffice the requirement of being a dogmatic rule and, thus, has less weight than what Duff perhaps assumes.
    Secondly, I examine what role the concept of innocence plays in the debate on fundamental (moral and legal) principles and the underlying rationales of a criminal law system. Although I am sympathetic to much of what Duff purports in his plea for civic trust and a parsimonious use of criminal law, I am reluctant to believe that it is really a broader version of a PoI that warrants the kind of morally decent criminal law system that he suggests normatively ought to be. In my view, most of what Duff wants to ascribe to the PoI can be derived from a principle of fairness which, in my view, is already embedded in the fundamentals of criminal law doctrine.


Magnus Ulväng
Magnus Ulväng is Professor of Criminal Law at Uppsala University.
Article

Access_open Juridical Acts and the Gap between Is and Ought

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2013
Keywords naturalistic fallacy, duty, obligation, is/ought, contract, promise
Authors Jaap Hage
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article addresses the possibility of deriving ought from is. To that purpose it casts doubt on the very distinction between is and ought; distinguishes between duties, obligations, being obligated and owing to do something; revitalises Searle’s famous derivation of ought from is by replacing promises with contracts; and discusses some of the traditional objections against this derivation. The conclusions are that it is not problematic at all to ‘derive’ the existence of obligations from solely is-premises, and that it is not very problematic to ‘derive’ an ought from the existence of an obligation. The quotes around ‘derive’ signal that the nature of derivation also plays a role in this discussion.


Jaap Hage
Jaap Hage holds the chair for Jurisprudence at Maastricht University.
Article

Access_open Recht als human condition

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2013
Keywords homo faber, homo agens, human condition, participatory judgment, law-linked justice, existence-linked justice
Authors Peter van Schilfgaarde
AbstractAuthor's information

    This paper concentrates on the dynamic tension between law as it is ‘made’ by legal professionals, functioning as homo faber, and law as it is experienced by citizens, functioning as homo agens. In between those two worlds, law develops as a human condition, a term borrowed from Hannah Arendt. It is argued that, in regard to law development and administration of justice, the function of homo agens should have priority over the function of homo faber. The two basic faculties that connect the two worlds are judgment and speech. This leads to further thoughts on the character of judgment as ‘participatory judgment,’ the function of ‘middle terms’ in legal language and the concept of ‘shared responsibility.’


Peter van Schilfgaarde
Peter van Schilfgaarde is an Attorney at Law at the Supreme Court of The Netherlands in The Hague and former Professor of Corporate Law at the Universities of Groningen and Utrecht.

Carel Smith
Carel Smith is Associate Professor of Legal Philosophy at Leiden University.

Derk Venema
Derk Venema is Assistant Professor of Legal Philosophy at Radboud University, Nijmegen.
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