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Article

Access_open Global Solidarity and Collective Intelligence in Times of Pandemics

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2021
Keywords Global solidarity, Pandemics, Global Existential Threats, Collective Intelligence, CrowdLaw
Authors José Luis Martí
AbstractAuthor's information

    Some of the existential threats we currently face are global in the sense that they affect us all, and thus matter of global concern and trigger duties of moral global solidarity. But some of these global threats, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, are global in a second, additional, sense: discharging them requires joint, coordinated global action. For that reason, these twofold global threats trigger political – not merely moral – duties of global solidarity. This article explores the contrast between these two types of global threats with the purpose of clarifying the distinction between moral and political duties of global solidarity. And, in the absence of a fully developed global democratic institutional system, the article also explores some promising ways to fulfill our global political duties, especially those based on mechanisms of collective intelligence such as CrowdLaw, which might provide effective solutions to these global threats while enhancing the democratic legitimacy of public decision-making.


José Luis Martí
José Luis Martí is Associate Professor of Legal and Political Philosophy, Department of Law, Pompeu Fabra University of Barcelona.
Article

Access_open Welcoming the Other in a Pandemic Society

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2021
Keywords Discourse, Solidarity, Poststructuralism, Levinas, Derrida
Authors Thomas Jacobus de Jong and Carina van de Wetering
AbstractAuthor's information

    This contribution explores the meaning and scope of solidarity with the emergence of the coronavirus discourse as formulated by politicians in order to make sense of the virus. It offers a poststructuralist account drawing on discourse theory together with insights from Levinas and Derrida. This leads to a critical reflection on the prevailing view of solidarity as secondary and derivative to corona policies, because solidarity is often subjugated to hegemonic meanings of efficiency. Instead, the argument is made that solidarity refers to the unique responsibility to which the other as wholly other commands me. This appeal for responsibility, that is presented in the face of the other, is to be assumed in the distance between the rules and the singularity of the situation. Accordingly, solidarity is described as a paradox of dependence (calculability) and independence (beyond calculation), that appears in a moment of undecidability, for it can never be overcome.


Thomas Jacobus de Jong
Thomas Jacobus de Jong is senior parketsecretaris at the Netherlands Public Prosecution Service (OM).

Carina van de Wetering
Carina van de Wetering is Lecturer in International Relations at the Institute of Political Science at Leiden University.
Article

Access_open The Exceptionality of Solidarity

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2021
Keywords Solidarity, COVID-19, Crisis, Normalcy, Exceptionality
Authors Amalia Amaya Navarro
AbstractAuthor's information

    In times of crisis, we witness exceptional expressions of solidarity. Why does solidarity spring in times of crisis when it wanes in normal times? An inquiry into what may explain the differences between the expression of solidarity in crisis vs. normalcy provides, as I will argue in this article, important insights into the conditions and nature of solidarity. Solidarity requires, I will contend, an egalitarian ethos and state action within and beyond the state. It is neither a momentary political ideal, nor an exclusionary one, which depends for its sustainment on formal, legal, structures. Transient, sectarian, and informal conceptions of solidarity unduly curtail the demands of solidarity by restricting its reach to times of crisis, to in-group recipients, and to the social rather than the legal sphere. The article concludes by discussing some aspects of the dynamics of solidarity and its inherent risks that the analysis of the exceptionality of solidarity helps bring into focus.


Amalia Amaya Navarro
Amalia Amaya Navarro is British Academy Global Professor of Legal Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh.
Article

Access_open Solidarity, Religious Freedom and COVID-19

The Case of the Ultra-Orthodox Sects in Israel

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2021
Keywords Social solidarity, COVID-19, Religious freedom, Cultural defence, Ultra-Orthodox sects in Israel
Authors Miriam Gur-Arye and Sharon Shakargy
AbstractAuthor's information

    The article discusses the tension between social solidarity and religious freedom as demonstrated by the refusal of the ultra-Orthodox sects in Israel to comply with COVID-19 regulations. The article provides a detailed description of the refusal to comply with the regulations restricting mass prayer services in synagogues and studying Torah in the yeshivas, thus interfering with the ultra-Orthodox religious life. The article suggests possible explanations for that refusal, based on either religious beliefs or a socio-political claim to autonomy, and discusses whether the polity should be willing to tolerate such a refusal on the basis of the cultural defence. The article concludes that despite the drastic restrictions on religious life caused by the social distancing regulations, and the special importance of freedom of religion, reducing the pandemic’s spread called for awarding priority to solidarity over religious freedom, and the enforcement of social solidarity legal duties – the social distancing regulations – on all.


Miriam Gur-Arye
Miriam Gur-Arye is the Judge Basil Wunsh Professor of Criminal Law, Faculty of Law, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Sharon Shakargy
Sharon Shakargy is a Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Law, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Article

Access_open Solidarity and Community

From the Politics of the Clan to Constituent Power

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2021
Keywords Solidarity, Community, COVID-19 pandemic, Humanity, Ethnocentrism
Authors Luigi Corrias
AbstractAuthor's information

    What is at stake in invoking solidarity in legal-political contexts? The guiding hypothesis of this article is that solidarity is always and necessarily linked to the concept of community. A plea for solidarity will, in other words, directly lead one to the question: solidarity with whom? On the one hand, solidarity may be understood as extending only to those who belong to the same community as us. In this reading, solidarity builds upon an already existing community and applies to members only. On the other hand, invoked by those who aim to question the status quo, solidarity also plays a key role in practices of contestation. In these contexts, it focuses on collective action and the reimagination of political community. The article ends by articulating how this second interpretation of solidarity might prove helpful in making sense of our current predicament of a global pandemic.


Luigi Corrias
Luigi Corrias is Assistant Professor of Legal Philosophy, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Gijs van Maanen
Gijs van Maanen is PhD researcher at Tilburg Law School.
Article

Access_open Liberal Democracy and the Judeo-Christian Tradition

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2020
Keywords national identity, historical narratives, universal values, equal citizenship
Authors Tamar de Waal
AbstractAuthor's information

    Increasingly often, it is stated that the universal values underpinning Western liberal democracies are a product of a ‘Judeo-Christian’ tradition. This article explores the legitimacy of this claim from the perspective of liberal-democratic theory. It argues that state-endorsed claims about the historical roots of liberal-democratic values are problematic (1) if they are promoted as though they are above democratic scrutiny and (2) if they insinuate that citizens who belong to a particular (majority) culture remain the ‘cultural owners’ of the core values underpinning the state. More pragmatically, the paper suggests that the claim carries the risk of failing to facilitate all citizens becoming or remaining committed to nurturing fundamental rights and a shared society based on norms of democratic equality.


Tamar de Waal
Tamar de Waal is assistant professor of legal philosophy at the Amsterdam Law School of the University of Amsterdam.
Article

Access_open Legal and Political Concepts as Contextures

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2020
Keywords Concepts, Contextualism, Essentially Contested Concepts, Legal Theory, Freedom
Authors Dora Kostakopoulou
AbstractAuthor's information

    Socio-political concepts are not singularities. They are, instead, complex and evolving contextures. An awareness of the latter and of what we need to do when we handle concepts opens up space for the resolution of political disagreements and multiplies opportunities for constructive dialogue and understanding. In this article, I argue that the concepts-as-contextures perspective can unravel conceptual connectivity and interweaving, and I substantiate this by examining the ‘contexture’ of liberty. I show that the different, and seemingly contested, definitions of liberty are the product of mixed articulations and the development of associative discursive links within a contexture.


Dora Kostakopoulou
Dora Kostakopoulou is a member of the Scientific Committee of the Fundamental Rights Agency of the EU and Professor of European Union Law, European Integration and Public Policy at Warwick University.
Article

Access_open Philosophy and Law in Ancient Rome

Traces of Stoic Syllogisms and Ontology of Language in Proculus’s Jurisprudence

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2019
Keywords Stoicism, Roman Law, Theory of Language, Syllogisms, Classical Jurisprudence
Authors Pedro Savaget Nascimento
AbstractAuthor's information

    This paper uses Stoic theory of language to gain more insight into Roman lawyer Proculus’s legal opinions on the meaning and understanding of ambiguous testaments, wills and dowries. After summarizing Stoic theory of language, the paper discusses its reception in Roman jurisprudence and situates Proculus in a Stoic legal/philosophical context. The meat of the article lies in the re-examination of Proculus’s legal opinions on ambiguities in light of Stoic theory of language, through: (1) the analysis of a case demonstrating that Proculus’s embeddedness in Stoic doctrine went beyond his technical competence in propositional syllogisms, going into the territory of Stoic physical materialism and, (2) the investigation of four cases that reveal how his approach to problems of ambiguity in unilateral legal acts converges with the Stoic conception of the parallelism between speech and thought.


Pedro Savaget Nascimento
Pedro Savaget Nascimento holds a PhD in Law and Language from the University of Birmingham (UK) and currently works as Research Designer in Belo Horizonte (Brazil).
Article

Access_open ‘Cruel Men Can Do Kind Things and Kind Men Can Do Cruel Things’

Reconsidering the Enemy of Humanity in Contemporary International Criminal Trial Discourse

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2018
Keywords humanity, international criminal justice, opening statements, trial discourse, perpetrators
Authors Sofia Stolk
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article discusses empirical examples from international trial transcripts to see if and why there is a need to use the ‘enemy of all humanity’ label in contemporary international criminal justice discourse. It shows an absence of explicit uses of the concept and an ambiguous set of implicit references; the hosti generis humani concept is simultaneously too precise and too broad for ICJ discourse. Based on these findings, the article challenges David Luban’s suggestion that the term can be undone from its dehumanizing potential and used adequately in the ICJ context.


Sofia Stolk
Sofia Stolk is researcher at T.M.C. Asser Instituut/University of Amsterdam and research fellow at the Centre for the Politics of Transnational Law, Amsterdam.
Article

Access_open Personhood and legal status: reflections on the democratic rights of corporations

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2018
Keywords Corporations, democracy, legal personality, personhood, inclusion
Authors Ludvig Beckman
AbstractAuthor's information

    Corporations can have rights but whether they should also have democratic rights depends among other things on whether they are the kind of entities to which the democratic ideal applies. This paper distinguishes four different conceptions of “the person” that can have democratic rights. According to one view, the only necessary condition is legal personality, whereas according to the other three views, democratic inclusion is conditioned also by personhood in the natural sense of the term. Though it is uncontroversial that corporations can be legal persons, it is plausible to ascribe personhood in the natural sense to corporations only if personhood is conceptualized exclusively in terms of moral agency. The conclusion of the paper is that corporations can meet the necessary conditions for democratic inclusion but that it is not yet clear in democratic theory exactly what these conditions are.


Ludvig Beckman
Ludvig Beckman is professor of political science at Stockholm University.
Article

Access_open Crisis in the Courtroom

The Discursive Conditions of Possibility for Ruptures in Legal Discourse

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2018
Keywords crisis discourse, rupture, counterterrorism, precautionary logic, risk
Authors Laura M. Henderson
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article addresses the conditions of possibility for the precautionary turn in legal discourse. Although the precautionary turn itself has been well-detailed in both legal and political discourse, insufficient attention has been paid to what made this shift possible. This article remedies this, starting by showing how the events of 9/11 were unable to be incorporated within current discursive structures. As a result, these discursive structures were dislocated and a new ‘crisis discourse’ emerged that succeeded in attributing meaning to the events of 9/11. By focusing on three important cases from three different jurisdictions evidencing the precautionary turn in legal discourse, this article shows that crisis discourse is indeed employed by the judiciary and that its logic made this precautionary approach to counterterrorism in the law possible. These events, now some 16 years ago, hold relevance for today’s continuing presence of crisis and crisis discourse.


Laura M. Henderson
Laura M. Henderson is a researcher at UGlobe, the Utrecht Centre for Global Challenges, at Utrecht University. She wrote this article as a Ph.D. candidate at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
Article

Access_open Sincere Apologies

The Importance of the Offender’s Guilt Feelings

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2017
Keywords Sincerity of emotions, Guilt, Feelings, Apology, Offender
Authors Margreet Luth-Morgan
AbstractAuthor's information

    This paper discusses the meaning and the importance of emotions, in particular the sincere guilt feelings of the offender. It is argued that the emotion of guilt reveals important information about the offender’s values and normative position. In the remainder of the paper, special consideration is awarded to the argument concerning ritual apologies, which might contain value even when insincere. This argument is rejected, on two grounds: 1. if the apology ritual does not aim for sincere guilt feelings, then the use of the symbol of apology is not fitting; and 2. if the apology ritual does aim for sincere guilt, then an insincere apology devalues the sincere expression.


Margreet Luth-Morgan
Margreet Luth-Morgan is universitair docent aan Erasmus School of Law, sectie Sociologie, Theorie en Methodologie, Rotterdam.
Article

Access_open Over verplichte excuses en spreekrecht

Wat is er mis met empirisch-juridisch onderzoek naar slachtoffers?

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2017
Keywords empirical legal studies, apologies, procedural justice, humiliation, victim rights
Authors Vincent Geeraets and Wouter Veraart
AbstractAuthor's information

    The central question in this article is whether an empirical-legal approach of victimhood and victim rights could offer a sufficient basis for proposals of legal reform of the legal system. In this article, we choose a normative-critical approach and raise some objections to the way in which part of such research is currently taking place in the Netherlands, on the basis of two examples of research in this field, one dealing with compelled apologies as a possible remedy within civil procedural law and the other with the victim’s right to be heard within the criminal legal procedure. In both cases, we argue, the strong focus on the measurable needs of victims can lead to a relatively instrumental view of the legal system. The legal system must then increasingly be tailored to the wishes and needs of victims. Within this legal-empirical, victim-oriented approach, there is little regard for the general normative principles of our present legal system, in which an equal and respectful treatment of each human being as a free and responsible legal subject is a central value. We argue that results of empirical-legal research should not too easily or too quickly be translated into proposals for legal reform, but first become part of a hermeneutical discussion about norms and legal principles, specific to the normative quality of legal science itself.


Vincent Geeraets
Vincent Geeraets is universitair docent aan de afdeling Rechtstheorie en rechtsgeschiedenis van de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Wouter Veraart
Wouter Veraart is hoogleraar rechtsfilosofie aan de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
Article

Access_open The Demos as a Plural Subject

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2017
Keywords democracy, demos, normativity, Margaret Gilbert, joint commitment
Authors Bas Leijssenaar
AbstractAuthor's information

    Existing conceptualizations of the demos fail to treat issues of composition and performativity consistently. Recent literature suggests that both aspects are required in a satisfactory account of the demos. An analysis of this literature suggests several desiderata that such an account must meet. I approach the definition of demos with a conceptual framework derived from Margaret Gilbert’s plural subject theory of social groups. I propose an account of demos as a plural subject, constituted by joint commitment. This account offers an improved and consistent understanding of normativity, composition, agency, and cohesion of demos.


Bas Leijssenaar
Bas Leijssenaar is PhD-candidate at the Institute of Philosophy, Centre for Social and Political Philosophy of the University of Leuven.
Article

Access_open The Erosion of Sovereignty

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2016
Keywords sovereignty, state, Léon Duguit, European Union, Eurozone
Authors Martin Loughlin
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article presents an account of sovereignty as a concept that signifies in jural terms the nature and quality of political relations within the modern state. It argues, first, that sovereignty is a politico-legal concept that expresses the autonomous nature of the state’s political power and its specific mode of operation in the form of law and, secondly, that many political scientists and lawyers present a skewed account by confusing sovereignty with governmental competence. After clarifying its meaning, the significance of contemporary governmental change is explained as one that, in certain respects, involves an erosion of sovereignty.


Martin Loughlin
Martin Loughlin is Professor of Public Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science and EURIAS Senior Fellow at the Freiburg Institute of Advanced Studies (FRIAS).
Article

Access_open E pluribus unum? The Manifold Meanings of Sovereignty

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2016
Keywords political sovereignty, power, legislative sovereignty, constitutive power, external sovereignty
Authors Raf Geenens
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article investigates and classifies the different meanings of the term sovereignty. What exactly do we try to convey when using the words “sovereign” or “sovereignty”? I will argue that, when saying that X is sovereign, we can mean five different things: it can mean that X holds the capacity to force everyone into obedience, that X makes the laws, that the legal and political order is created by X, that X holds the competence to alter the basic norms of our legal and political order, or that X is independently active on the international stage. These different usages of the term are of course related, but they are distinct and cannot be fully reduced to one another.


Raf Geenens
Raf Geenens is an assistant professor of Ethics and Legal Philosophy at the Institute of Philosophy, University of Leuven.
Article

Access_open Power and Principle in Constitutional Law

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2016
Keywords sovereignty, constitutional law, positivism, constructivism, common law
Authors Pavlos Eleftheriadis
AbstractAuthor's information

    Legal and sociological theories of sovereignty disagree about the role of legal and social matters in grounding state power. This paper defends a constructivist view, according to which the constitution is a judgment of practical reason. The paper argues that a constitution sets out a comprehensive institutional architecture of social life in terms of principles and official roles that are necessary for any legitimate scheme of social cooperation to exist. It follows that legal and sociological theories of sovereignty capture only part of the truth of sovereignty. Legal reasoning engages with political power, but it is not determined by it. There is no causal chain between power and validity, as suggested by the legal positivists. The relation between power and law is interpretive, not causal. It follows that the circularity of law and the constitution, namely the fact that the law makes the constitution and the constitution makes the law, is not a vicious circle. It is part of an ordinary process of deliberation.


Pavlos Eleftheriadis
Pavlos Eleftheriadis is Associate Professor of Law and Fellow in Law at Mansfield College, University of Oxford.

Thomas Riesthuis
Thomas Riesthuis is a PhD candidate at Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Article

Access_open Disaggregating Corporate Freedom of Religion

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2015
Keywords church autonomy, freedom of association, Jean Cohen, freedom of religion
Authors Sune Lægaard
AbstractAuthor's information

    The paper investigates arguments for the idea in recent American Supreme Court jurisprudence that freedom of religion should not simply be understood as an ordinary legal right within the framework of liberal constitutionalism but as an expression of deference by the state and its legal system to religion as a separate and independent jurisdiction with its own system of law over which religious groups are sovereign. I discuss the relationship between, on the one hand, ordinary rights of freedom of association and freedom of religion and, on the other hand, this idea of corporate freedom of religion, often called ‘church autonomy’. I argue that the arguments conflate different issues, elide important distinctions and equivocate over crucial terms. There is accordingly a need for disaggregation of the concerns raised under the heading of church autonomy. This significantly weakens the apparent case for church autonomy.


Sune Lægaard
Sune Lægaard is Associate Professor in Practical Philosophy at Roskilde University, Denmark.
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