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Arend Soeteman
Arend Soeteman is emeritus hoogleraar Encyclopedie der Rechtswetenschappen en rechtsfilosofie, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
Discussion

Access_open Drones, Targeted Killings and the Politics of Law

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2015
Keywords drone warfare, politics of international law, humanitarian law, targeted killing
Authors Wouter G. Werner
AbstractAuthor's information

    In this article I discuss one of the latest reports on the practice of drone warfare, the UN SRCT Drone Inquiry. I use the report to illustrate some of the specific forms of legal politics that surround drone warfare today. In the first place, I focus on the tension between the capacity of drones to target more precisely and the never-ending critique that drone warfare victimizes civilian populations. Secondly, I focus on the call for more objective legal rules that can be found in many debates on drone warfare.


Wouter G. Werner
Wouter G. Werner is co-founder of the Centre for the Politics of Transnational Law, VU University Amsterdam.

Wouter G. Werner
Wouter G. Werner is co-founder of the Centre for the Politics of Transnational Law, VU University Amsterdam.
Article

Access_open Kelsen, Secular Religion, and the Problem of Transcendence

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2015
Keywords Kelsen, secular religion, Voegelin, Schmitt, transcendence
Authors professor Bert van Roermund
AbstractAuthor's information

    An alleged ‘return to religion’ in contemporary western politics (and science) prompted the Trustees of the Hans Kelsen Institut to posthumously publish Kelsen’s critique of the concept of ‘secular religion’ advanced by his early student Eric Voegelin. This paper identifies, firstly, what concept of transcendence is targeted by Kelsen, and argues that his analysis leaves scope for other conceptions. It does so in two steps: it summarizes the arguments against ‘secular religion’ (section 2) and it gives an account of the differences between Voegelin’s and Schmitt’s conception of transcendence – both under attack from Kelsen (section 3). It then submits an alternative account of the relationship between politics and religion in Modernity, building on the concept of a ‘civil religion’ as found in Rousseau’s Social Contract. Giving a Rousseauist slant to Claude Lefort’s analysis of political theology (section 4) it concludes that a thin concept of transcendence is part and parcel of every, in particular a democratic, account of politics. It should be a stronghold against any resurgence of religion that feeds on hypostatized transcendence. In closing (section 5), it is argued that two key concepts in Kelsen’s legal philosophy may well be understood as paradigms of thin transcendence, namely ‘the people’ and ‘the Grundnorm’.


professor Bert van Roermund
Bert van Roermund is professor (em.) of philosophy at Tilburg Law School and international correspondent of the Hans Kelsen Institute in Vienna.

Derk Venema
Derk Venema is docent Algemene Rechtswetenschap, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen.

    I will argue that it is possible to give a neutral or antiperfectionist legitimation for state support for religion, which I consider a perfectionist good that is not in the common interest. I will argue that state support for perfectionist goods (and thus also for religion) can, in some circumstances and under certain conditions, be allowed as a second-best option in order to guarantee an adequate range of valuable options to choose among - and this range of options is a necessary condition for autonomy. Subsequently, I will argue that the bottom line - which is also the limit - for support is a sufficient range of valuable options. Furthermore, I will argue that state support for religion is only allowed if there is a democratic consensus about the value of that particular perfectionist good. Finally, I will claim that state support for religion is only allowed under certain conditions.


Leni Franken
Leni Franken is als doctor-assistente verbonden aan het Centrum Pieter Gillis (Universiteit Antwerpen), waar zij levensbeschouwing doceert in de faculteiten Rechten en Toegepaste Ingenieurswetenschappen.

    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.

    How best to account for moral quality in adjudication? This article proposes a six-pack of judicial virtues as part of a truly virtue-centred approach to adjudication. These virtues are presented as both constitutive and indispensible for realizing moral quality in adjudication. In addition, it will be argued that in order to honour the inherent relational dimension of adjudication a judge should not only possess these judicial virtues to a sufficient degree, he should also have the attitude of a civic friend. The Aristotelian concept of civic friendship will be proposed as an important complement to a virtue-ethical approach to adjudication.


Iris van Domselaar
Iris van Domselaar is Assistant Professor and Executive Director of the Amsterdam Centre on the Legal Professions (ACLP), Department of Law, University of Amsterdam.

    In this article, we inquire the merits of criminalizing blasphemy. We argue that religious views do not warrant a separate treatment compared to nonreligious ones. In addition, freedom of speech must be balanced against the interest of those who may be aggrieved by blasphemous remarks. We conclude that penalizing blasphemy is undesirable. It is fortunate, in that light, that acts of blasphemy have recently been decriminalized in The Netherlands by removing blasphemy as an offense from the Criminal Code. Still, other provisions appear to leave enough room to reach the same result, making the removal a possibly virtually aesthetic change. In the international context, it would be regrettable for The Netherlands to forgo the opportunity to take a leading role.


Jasper Doomen
Jasper Doomen is verbonden als docent/onderzoeker aan de afdeling Encyclopedie van de Rechtswetenschap van de Faculteit Rechtsgeleerdheid, Universiteit Leiden.

Mirjam van Schaik
Mirjam van Schaik is verbonden als docent/onderzoeker aan de afdeling Encyclopedie van de Rechtswetenschap van de Faculteit Rechtsgeleerdheid, Universiteit Leiden.

Bertjan Wolthuis
Bertjan Wolthuis is Assistant Professor at the department of Legal Theory and Legal History at VU University Amsterdam.

Luigi Corrias
Luigi Corrias is Assistant Professor at the Department of Legal Theory and Legal History at VU University Amsterdam.

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.

Sanne Taekema
Sanne Taekema is Professor of Jurisprudence, Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University of Rotterdam. Her current research is oriented to the rule of law in a global context and to methodological and conceptual issues pertaining to interdisciplinary rule of law.

Bart van Klink
Bart van Klink is Professor of Legal Methodology at the VU University Amsterdam.
Article

Access_open Reply

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2014
Keywords Fuller, Arendt, normativism, methodology, the rule of law
Authors Kristen Rundle
AbstractAuthor's information

    Author’s reply to four commentaries on ‘Legal Subjects and Juridical Persons: Developing Public Legal Theory through Fuller and Arendt.’


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

Access_open Fuller and Arendt: A Happy Marriage? Comment on Rundle

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2014
Keywords Fuller, Arendt, Radbruch, legal certainty
Authors Thomas Mertens
AbstractAuthor's information

    In her paper, Rundle seeks to develop a normative legal theory that is distinctively public. Building on her book, Forms Liberate, she seeks to bring Fuller’s legal theory into conversation with Arendt’s political theory. In this comment, I present some hesitations with regard to the fruitfulness of this conversation. It concludes with the suggestion to explore how Radbruch’s ‘idea of law’ could be fruitful for the overall jurisprudential project Rundle seeks to develop in her work.


Thomas Mertens
Thomas Mertens is Professor of Philosophy of Law at Radboud University Nijmegen; t.mertens@jur.ru.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

    Introduction to this special issue of NJLP.


Morag Goodwin
Morag Goodwin is Associate Professor of International Law at Tilburg University; m.e.a.goodwin@uvt.nl.

Michiel Besters
Michiel Besters is a Ph.D. researcher in Legal Philosophy at Tilburg University; m.besters@uvt.nl.

Rudolf Rijgersberg
Rudolf Rijgersberg is Assistant Professor of Foundation and Methods of Law at Maastricht University; rudolf.rijgersberg@maastrichtuniversity.nl.
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
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