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Article

Access_open Transnational Fundamental Rights: Horizontal Effect?

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2011
Keywords fundamental rights, societal constitutionalism, inclusionary and exclusionary effects, anonymous matrix
Authors Gunther Teubner
AbstractAuthor's information

    Violations of human rights by transnational corporations and by other ‘private’ global actors raise problems that signal the limits of the traditional doctrine of ‘horizontal effects’. To overcome them, constitutional law doctrine needs to be complemented by perspectives from legal theory and sociology of law. This allows new answers to the following questions: What is the validity basis of human rights in transnational ‘private’ regimes – extraterritorial effect, colère public or external pressures on autonomous law making in global regimes? Do they result in protective duties of the states or in direct human rights obligations of private transnational actors? What does it mean to generalise state-directed human rights and to respecify them for different social spheres? Are societal human rights limited to ‘negative’ rights or is institutional imagination capable of developing ‘positive’ rights – rights of inclusion and participation in various social fields? Are societal human rights directed exclusively against corporate actors or can they be extended to counteract structural violence of anonymous social processes? Can such broadened perspectives of human rights be re-translated into the practice of public interest litigation?


Gunther Teubner
Gunther Teubner is Professor of Private Law and Legal Sociology and Principal Investigator of the Excellence Cluster ‘The Formation of Normative Orders’ at the Goethe-University, Frankfurt/Main. He is also Professor at the International University College, Torino, Italy.
Article

Access_open Over de klassieke oorsprong van de rechten van de mens

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2011
Keywords human rights, natural law, perfectionism, Stoa, Cicero
Authors René Brouwer
AbstractAuthor's information

    In this article I reconstruct the contribution of some central Hellenistic political thinkers to a theory of human rights. Starting point is the traditional Stoic conception of the law of nature as a power in which only perfect human beings actively participate. In the 2nd century BC the Stoic Panaetius adjusted this traditional high-minded theory by also allowing for a lower level of human excellence. This second-rate human excellence can be achieved just by following ‘proper functions’, which are derived from ordinary human nature and can be laid down in rules. From here, it was only a small, yet decisive step – presumably to be attributed to one of Cicero’s teachers – to discard the highest level of human perfection altogether. This step, I argue, paved the way for an understanding of the rules of natural law in terms of human rights.


René Brouwer
René Brouwer is Lecturer in Legal Theory at the University of Utrecht.
Article

Access_open Legitimiteit, gemeenschap en rechtvaardigheid

Een kritiek op Dworkins verklaring voor legitimiteit

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2011
Keywords legitimacy, associative obligations, justice, community, Dworkin
Authors Thomas Decreus
AbstractAuthor's information

    In Law’s Empire Ronald Dworkin offers a specific answer to the age old question of political legitimacy. According to Dworkin, legitimacy originates in a ‘true community’ that is able to generate associative obligations among its members. In this article I illustrate how this answer contrasts with the moral and political principle of justice. The question remains how a conceptual link can be found between a community-based view on legitimacy and a more universal demand for justice. I try to answer this question by offering a close reading of Law’s Empire and other basic essays in Dworkin’s philosophy of law. In my attempt to solve this problem I propose an alternative view on community and legitimacy. In opposition to Dworkin I claim that legitimacy is prior to the community.


Thomas Decreus
Thomas Decreus is PhD student in political philosophy at the KULeuven Institute of Philosophy.
Article

Access_open Law in the twilight of environmental Armageddon

A response to Han Somsen

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2011
Keywords environmental catastrophe, legitimacy, geo-engineering, phenomenology
Authors Luigi Corrias
AbstractAuthor's information

    This paper argues that Somsen’s article, though brave in approach and daring in ideas, suffers from some fundamental flaws. First of all, it remains unclear how Somsen conceptualises the relationship between legitimacy and effectiveness, and what this means for his position towards the argument of a state of exception. Secondly, a plea for regulation by code has serious consequences for the claim to attain justice. Finally, geo-engineering poses some profound difficulties, both because of its consequences and because of its presuppositions.


Luigi Corrias
Luigi Corrias is Assistant Professor of Legal Philosophy at VU University, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Article

Access_open When regulators mean business

Regulation in the shadow of environmental Armageddon

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2011
Keywords ecological catastrophe, regulatory legitimacy, regulatory effectiveness, geo-engineering
Authors Han Somsen
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article considers the question how knowledge of an impending ecological catastrophe is likely to impact on regulatory legitimacy and regulatory effectiveness. If the ultimate aim to safeguard meaningful human life on earth is in acute danger, this is likely to translate into zero tolerance towards non-compliance with environmental rules designed to avert catastrophe. This, in turn, will persuade regulators to employ normative technologies that do not engage with the moral reason of regulatees at all, but leave no option but to comply. In addition, regulators may turn to panoptic surveillance techniques that allow no breaches of rules to remain undetected. Finally, it is argued that if and to the extent that impending ecological catastrophe marks the end of maintaining the status quo as a plausible policy goal, regulators will be more sympathetic towards potentially apocalyptic technologies that carry greater promise for future gain than otherwise would be the case.


Han Somsen
Han Somsen is Professor of Regulation & Technology at the Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology and Society, and Dean of Research of Tilburg Law School.
Article

Access_open Burgerlijk procesrecht en ideologie

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2011
Keywords civil procedure, ideology, principles of procedural law
Authors Remme Verkerk
AbstractAuthor's information

    This contribution offers a partial explanation of the differences between procedural systems. In most jurisdictions, civil procedural regulations constitute a carefully designed system. Generally, a number of underlying principles, guidelines, theories and objectives can be identified that clarify and justify more specific rules of procedure. It will be argued that the main differences between legal systems flow from different political and theoretical views of those who determine and shape the form of the legal process. This contribution identifies the ideological influences on the rules of procedure in a number of influential jurisdictions.


Remme Verkerk
Remme Verkerk was Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law of Maastricht University. Presently he practices law at Houthoff Buruma.
Article

Access_open Techno-regulation and law: rule, exception or state of exception?

A comment to Han Somsen and Luigi Corrias

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2011
Keywords code, citizenship, trans-generational justice, agency, ethics and politics
Authors Oliver W. Lembcke
AbstractAuthor's information

    Luigi Corrias challenged Han Somsen’s plea for an effective regulation in the wake of an impending ecological catastrophe. This article takes up some of the arguments that have been exchanged: First, the paper criticises Corrias’s call for an ‘eco-logos’ as an ethical evasion of the political dimension that regulations aiming at a radical policy change necessarily entail. Secondly, it disputes the assumption that Somsen’s argument invites the notion of Carl Schmitt’s state of exception. Thirdly, the paper discusses the possible effects that code law might have on the concepts of agency (lack of autonomy) and citizenship (loss of justice).


Oliver W. Lembcke
Oliver W. Lembcke is Associate Professor of Political Theory at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena.
Article

Access_open De halve waarheid van het populisme

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2011
Keywords populism, self-inclusion, vitalism, democracy, Lefort
Authors Bert Roermund
AbstractAuthor's information

    Does populism add value to the political debate by showing that the ideals of Enlightenment are too abstract and rationalist to understand politics in democratic terms? The paper argues two theses, critically engaging Lefort’s work: (i) instead of offering valuable criticism, populism feeds on the very principle that Enlightenment has introduced: a polity rests on self-inclusion with reference to a quasi-transcendent realm; (ii) populism’s appeal to simple emotions feeds on the vitalist (rather than merely institutionalist) pulse in any polity. Both dimensions of politics are inevitable as well as elusive. In particular with regard to the vitalist pulse we have no response to the half-truths of populism, as both national and constitutional patriotism seem on the wrong track.


Bert Roermund
Bert van Roermund has held the Chair in Legal Philosophy at Tilburg University and is currently Professor of (Political) Philosophy at the same University as well as 2010-2011 Visiting Professor at K.U. Leuven.
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