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Article

Access_open The Obligation of Judges to Uphold Rules of Positive Law and Possibly Conflicting Ethical Values in Context

The Case of Criminalization of Homelessness in Hungary

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2020
Keywords Judicial independence, Rule of law, Judicial ethics, Hungary, Criminalization of homelessness
Authors Petra Gyöngyi
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article examines the tension between the constitutional obligation of judges to uphold rules of positive law and possibly conflicting standards of conduct arising from professional-ethical values. The theoretical analysis will be illustrated by the case of Hungary, an EU member state experiencing rule of law challenges since 2010 and where the 2018-2019 criminalization of homelessness exemplifies the studied tension. Inspired by the theories of Philip Selznick and Martin Krygier, rule of law will be viewed as a value that requires progressive realization and context-specific implementation. By contextualizing the relevant Hungarian constitutional framework with the content of the judicial code of ethics and judicial practice, it will be shown how the legitimate space for Hungarian judges to distance themselves from legislation possibly in conflict with rule of law values is reduced. Theoretical suggestions for addressing such rule of law regressions will be made.


Petra Gyöngyi
Petra Gyöngyi is postdoctoral fellow aan de University of Oslo.

Elaine Mak
Elaine Mak is hoogleraar Rechtstheorie en Enclyopedie van de rechtswetenschappen aan de Universiteit Utrecht.

Anne Ruth Mackor
Anne Ruth Mackor is hoogleraar Hoogleraar professie-ethiek, in het bijzonder van juridische professies aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen.

Iris van Domselaar
Iris van Domselaar is universitair hoofddocent aan de Amsterdamse rechtenfaculteit.

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

    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.

    Book review of Ronald Dworkin, Justice for Hedgehogs


Iris van Domselaar
Iris van Domselaar is Researcher/Lecturer in Legal Philosophy and Legal Ethics at the Faculty of Law, University of Amsterdam.
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”.
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