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Article

Access_open The Meaning of the Presumption of Innocence for Pre-trial Detention

An Empirical Approach

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2013
Keywords pre-trial detention practice, presumption of guilt, incapacitation, presumption of innocence
Authors Lonneke Stevens
AbstractAuthor's information

    The presumption of innocence (PoI) is considered to be an important principle for regulating pre-trial detention. The idea is that pre-trial detention should be a last resort. However, pre-trial detention practice demonstrates that pre-trial detention does not function on the basis of a presumption of innocence but rather from a presumption of guilt and dangerousness. It must be concluded that, with regard to pre-trial detention, the PoI has a rather limited normative effect.


Lonneke Stevens
Lonneke Stevens is Associate Professor of Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure at VU University Amsterdam.
Article

Access_open There is Only One Presumption of Innocence

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 3 2013
Keywords burden of proof, German law, procedural rights, pretrial detention
Authors Thomas Weigend
AbstractAuthor's information

    Antony Duff proposes a comprehensive concept of the presumption of innocence, covering the period before, during and after a criminal process, both in an official (state vs. individual) and a non-official, civic sense. By that broad usage, the concept of presumption of innocence is getting blurred and risks losing its contours. I therefore suggest to keep separate matters separate. The presumption of innocence in the narrow sense that I suggest applies only where there exists a suspicion that an individual has committed a criminal offence. The important function of the presumption of innocence in that situation is to prevent an over-extension of state power against the individual under suspicion before that suspicion has been confirmed to be true beyond a reasonable doubt. A general presumption that all people abide by the law at all times is neither warranted nor necessary. It is not warranted because experience tells us that many people break some laws sometimes. And it is not necessary because a system of civil liberties is sufficient to protect us against official or social overreach based on a suspicion that we may commit crimes.


Thomas Weigend
Thomas Weigend is Professor of Criminal Law at the University of Cologne.
Article

Access_open Private law and ethical life

Honneth on legal freedom and its pathologies

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2013
Keywords Honneth, Hegel, social freedom, legal freedom, law, pathologies
Authors Jan Ph. Broekhuizen
AbstractAuthor's information

    In Das Recht der Freiheit Axel Honneth develops his concept of social freedom. In this article I discuss Honneth’s project and critique one of its crucial aspects: Honneth’s views on the disruptive role of legal freedom in our society and its dependent relation to the sphere of social freedom. I argue that in his attempt in Das Recht der Freiheit to reactualize Hegel’s discourse on the realization of freedom for our time, Honneth risks mistranslating Hegel’s discourse of ‘right’ by denying the sphere of legal relations a constitutive role for true freedom, and that because of this Honneth’s own theory of social freedom suffers: it becomes less clear whether it can still offer helpful insights into the proper place of legal freedom in our society.


Jan Ph. Broekhuizen
Jan Broekhuizen is an attorney (advocaat) in Amsterdam and a deputy judge at the Court of Appeals in Den Bosch (the Netherlands). He holds degrees in both law and philosophy.
Article

Access_open Absolute Positivism

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2013
Keywords jurisprudence, legal positivism, Hans Kelsen, pure theory of law
Authors Christoph Kletzer
AbstractAuthor's information

    The paper argues that we miss the point and strength of Kelsen’s Pure Theory of Law if we take it to drive a middle way between reductionism and moralism. Rather conversely, the Pure Theory is a radical theory. It tries to overcome the opposition between reductionism and moralism by making clear that both opponents rest on the same ill-conceived convictions about legal validity. Both take it that the law cannot be normative by itself. In contrast, the Pure Theory tries to find a new approach to the understanding of law that takes seriously the constitutive functions of law. It tries to understand the validity of law as resting in law itself. As such it is an attempt to find a philosophically satisfactory formulation of what can be called absolute positivism.


Christoph Kletzer
Christoph Kletzer is a Senior Lecturer at the Dickson Poon School of Law at King’s College in London.

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

Access_open Juridical Acts and the Gap between Is and Ought

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2013
Keywords naturalistic fallacy, duty, obligation, is/ought, contract, promise
Authors Jaap Hage
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article addresses the possibility of deriving ought from is. To that purpose it casts doubt on the very distinction between is and ought; distinguishes between duties, obligations, being obligated and owing to do something; revitalises Searle’s famous derivation of ought from is by replacing promises with contracts; and discusses some of the traditional objections against this derivation. The conclusions are that it is not problematic at all to ‘derive’ the existence of obligations from solely is-premises, and that it is not very problematic to ‘derive’ an ought from the existence of an obligation. The quotes around ‘derive’ signal that the nature of derivation also plays a role in this discussion.


Jaap Hage
Jaap Hage holds the chair for Jurisprudence at Maastricht University.
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