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Article

Access_open Restraint as a Source of Judicial ‘Apoliticality’

A Functional Reconstruction

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2020
Keywords Urgenda, Miller v. Secretary of State, Norm of judicial apoliticality, Ronald Dworkin, Judicial restraint
Authors Maurits Helmich
AbstractAuthor's information

    Few legal theorists today would argue that the domain of law exists in isolation from other normative spheres governing society, notably from the domain of ‘politics’. Nevertheless, the implicit norm that judges should not act ‘politically’ remains influential and widespread in the debates surrounding controversial court cases. This article aims to square these two observations. Taking the Miller v. Secretary of State and Urgenda cases as illustrative case studies, the article demonstrates that what it means for judges to adjudicate cases ‘apolitically’ is itself a matter of controversy. In reflecting on their own constitutional role, courts are forced to take a stance on substantive questions of political philosophy. Nevertheless, that does not mean that the ‘norm of judicial apoliticality’ should therefore be rejected. The norm’s coherence lies in its intersocial function: its role in declaring certain modes of judicial interpretation and intervention legitimate (‘legal’/‘judicial’) or illegitimate (‘political’).


Maurits Helmich
Maurits Helmich is promovendus aan de afdeling Sociologie, Theorie en Methodologie van het Recht aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.
Article

Access_open The Justification of Basic Rights

A Discourse-Theoretical Approach

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2016
Keywords Basic rights, Right to justification, Discourse theory, Non-domination, Kant
Authors Rainer Forst
AbstractAuthor's information

    In this paper, I suggest a discourse theory of basic legal rights that is superior to rival approaches, such as a will-based or an interest-based theory of rights. Basic rights are reciprocally and generally justifiable and binding claims on others (agents or institutions) that they should do (or refrain from doing) certain things determined by the content of these rights. We call these rights basic because they define the status of persons as full members of a normative order in such a way that they provide protection from severe forms of legal, political and social domination. The very ground of these rights is the status of persons as free and equal normative authorities within the order they are subject to. In other words, these rights are grounded in a fundamental moral right to justification.


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

Access_open The Justification of Basic Rights

A Response to Forst

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2016
Keywords Basic rights, Justification, Kant
Authors Glen Newey
AbstractAuthor's information

    This paper responds to Rainer Forst’s article ‘The Justification of Basic Rights’. I argue that Forst's main thesis is difficult to pin down, partly because it is formulated in significantly distinct ways at numerous points. I offer a possible formulation of the argument but note that this encapsulates a fallacy; I further argue that his inference of the basic rights seems to imply an over-moralisation of social life and that his argument does not distinguish rights with discretionary and non-discretionary content. Then I query Forst’s claim that a right to justification is a condition of engaging in justificatory discourse. This leads to the conclusion that what goes into the process of justification, including who figures in the discursive community, are irreducibly political questions, whose answers cannot be convincingly specified antecedently by a form of moral legislation. I argue that actual discursive processes allow for considerably more contingency and contextual variability than Forst’s construction acknowledges. This extends, as I suggest in conclusion, to the idea that content can be specified via the Kantian notion that acceptability requires the ‘containment’ of an actor's ends by another, such as an affected party.


Glen Newey
Glen Newey is professor of Political Philosophy and Ethics at Leiden University.
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.

    In this article I develop a political realist notion of public reason. It may be thought that a notion of public reason is simply incompatible with the position of the political realist. But this article claims that a realist notion of public reason, different from the familiar political liberal idea of public reason, can be reconstructed from ancient texts on rhetoric and dialectic, particularly Aristotle's. The specification of this notion helps us understand the differences between contemporary liberal and realist positions.


Bertjan Wolthuis
Bertjan Wolthuis is Assistant Professor of Legal Theory at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
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 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.

Dr. Bertjan Wolthuis PhD
Discussion

Access_open ‘We Are Also Here.’ Whose Revolution Will Democracy Be?

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2012
Keywords democracy, public sphere, civil society, Arab Spring, feminism
Authors Judith Vega
AbstractAuthor's information

    Steven Winter’s argument is premised on a sharp contrast of individualist and social revolutions. I elaborate my doubts about his argument on three accounts, involving feminist perspectives at various points. First, I take issue with Winter’s portrayal of liberal theory, redirecting the focus of his concern to economic libertarianism rather than liberalism, and arguing a more hospitable attitude to the Kantian pith in the theory of democracy. Secondly, I discuss his conceptualization of democracy, adding the conceptual distinction of civil society and public sphere. Thirdly, I question his normative notion of socially situated selves as having an intrinsic relation to social freedom. I moreover consult cultural history on the gendered symbolics of market and democracy to further problematize Winter’s take on either’s meaning for social freedom.


Judith Vega
Judith Vega is Lecturer in Social and Political Philosophy at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands.
Discussion

Access_open ‘Nothing Spells Freedom Like a Hooters Meal’

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2012
Keywords Enlightenment universalism, self-governance, freedom, moral point of view, political participation
Authors Ronald Tinnevelt
AbstractAuthor's information

    Winter’s criticism of the conventional account of freedom and democracy is best understood against the background of the history of Enlightenment critique. Winter claims that our current misunderstanding of freedom and self-governance is the result of the strict dichotomy between subject and object. This paper critically reconstructs Winter’s notion of freedom and self-governance which does not adequately address (a) the details of his anti-collectivist claim, and (b) the necessary conditions for the possibility of a moral point of view. This makes it difficult to determine how Winter can distinguish between freedom and lack of freedom, and to assess the limited or radical nature of his critique of Enlightenment universalism.


Ronald Tinnevelt
Ronald Tinnevelt is Associate Professor Philosophy of Law at Radboud University, Nijmegen.

    In this reply, Steven L. Winter adresses his critics.


Steven L. Winter
Article

Access_open Globalization as a Factor in General Jurisprudence

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2012
Keywords general jurisprudence, globalization, global legal pluralism, legal positivism, analytical jurisprudence
Authors Sidney Richards
AbstractAuthor's information

    Globalization is commonly cited as an important factor in theorising legal phenomena in the contemporary world. Although many legal disciplines have sought to adapt their theories to globalization, progress has been comparatively modest within contemporary analytical jurisprudence. This paper aims to offer a survey of recent scholarship on legal theory and globalization and suggests various ways in which these writings are relevant to the project of jurisprudence. This paper argues, more specifically, that the dominant interpretation of globalization frames it as a particular form of legal pluralism. The resulting concept – global legal pluralism – comes in two broad varieties, depending on whether it emphasizes normative or institutional pluralism. This paper goes on to argue that these concepts coincide with two central themes of jurisprudence, namely its concern with normativity and institutionality. Finally, this paper reflects on the feasibility of constructing a ‘general’ and ‘descriptive’ jurisprudence in light of globalization.


Sidney Richards
Sidney Richards is Doctoral candidate in Law at Pembroke College at the University of Cambridge.
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
Article

Access_open Morality Incorporated? Some Peculiarities of Legal Thinking

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2009
Keywords responsibility, accountability, imputation, liability
Authors prof. Bert van Roermund and prof. Jan Vranken
AbstractAuthor's information

    Responsibility disappears into the background of private law as it deals with imputation of liability. Fitness to be held liable is determined by normative viewpoints different from moral ones, in particular by convictions on how society ought to be organized so as to avoid or end conflict between private citizens. Modes of discursive control are geared to making authoritative decisions in view of the same end, and corporate agency is created, restricted or enlarged to undercut or to impose individual liability.


prof. Bert van Roermund
Bert Van Roermund is Professor of Philosophy at the Department of Philosophy of Tilburg University.

prof. Jan Vranken
Jan Vranken is Professor of Private Law at the Faculty of Law of Tilburg University and former Advocate General at the Dutch Supreme Court.
Article

Access_open Collective Responsibility, National Peoples, and the International Order

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2009
Keywords collective responsibility, international legitimacy, global justice
Authors prof. Ronald Tinnevelt
AbstractAuthor's information

    This paper critically scrutinizes Pettit’s defence of corporate and collective responsibility in the light three questions. First, does Pettit successfully argue the passage from corporate responsibility to the responsibility of embryonic group agents, in particular nations? Second, are representation and the authorial and editorial dimensions of democratic control sufficient to ensure that a state is under the effective and equally shared control of its citizens? Third, what kind of international order is required to prevent states from being dominated?


prof. Ronald Tinnevelt
Ronald Tinnevelt is Associate Professor of Legal Philosophy at the Faculty of Law of the Radboud University Nijmegen.
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