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Editorial

Access_open Solidarity and COVID-19: An Introduction

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2021
Authors Wouter Veraart, Lukas van den Berge and Antony Duff
Author's information

Wouter Veraart
Wouter Veraart is Professor of Legal Philosophy at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Lukas van den Berge
Lukas van den Berge is Assistant Professor of Legal Theory at Utrecht University.

Antony Duff
Antony Duff is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Stirling and Emeritus Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota.
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 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.
Article

Access_open Populism, the Kingdom of Shadows, and the Challenge to Liberal Democracy

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2021
Keywords Populism, Liberal democracy, Political representation, Société du spectacle, Theatrocracy
Authors Massimo La Torre
AbstractAuthor's information

    Populism is a somehow intractable notion, since its reference is much too wide, comprising phenomena that are indeed in conflict between them, and moreover blurred, by being often used in an instrumental, polemical way. Such intractability is then radicalized through the two alternative approaches to populism, one that is more or less neutral, rooting in the political science tradition, and a second one, fully normative, though fed by political realism, founding as it does on a specific political theory and project. In the article an alternative view is proposed, that of populism as the politics that is congruent with the increasing role played by ‘screens’, icons, and images in social relationships and indeed in political representation. In this way populism is approached as the specific way politics is done within the context of a digitalized société du spectacle.


Massimo La Torre
Massimo La Torre is Professor of Philosophy of Law, ‘Magna Graecia’ University of Catanzaro, Italy, and Visiting Professor of European Law, University of Tallinn, Estonia.
Article

Access_open Living with Others in Pandemics

The State’s Duty to Protect, Individual Responsibility and Solidarity

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2021
Keywords SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, The state’s duty to protect, Duty to rescue, Responsibility, Solidarity
Authors Konstantinos A Papageorgiou
AbstractAuthor's information

    The article discusses a range of important normative questions raised by anti-COVID-19 measures and policies. Do governments have the right to impose such severe restrictions on individual freedom and furthermore do citizens have obligations vis-à-vis the state, others and themselves to accept such restrictions? I will argue that a democratic state may legitimately enforce publicly discussed, properly enacted and constitutionally tested laws and policies in order to protect its citizens from risks to life and limb. Even so, there is a natural limit, factual and normative, to what the state or a government can do in this respect. Citizens will also need to take it upon themselves not to harm and to protect others and in the context of a pandemic this means that endorsement of restrictions or other mandatory measures, notably vaccination, is not to be seen as a matter of personal preference concerning the supposedly inviolable sovereignty of one’s own body.


Konstantinos A Papageorgiou
Konstantinos A Papageorgiou is Professor of the Philosophy of Law at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, School of Law.
Article

Access_open What Solidarity?

A Look Behind the Veil of Solidarity in ‘Corona Times’ Contractual Relations

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2021
Keywords Mechanical solidarity, Organic solidarity, Contract, Good faith, Punishment
Authors Candida Leone
AbstractAuthor's information

    The article uses three prominent examples from the Dutch context to problematize the relationship between contractual and social solidarity during the coronavirus crisis. The social science ideal types of ‘mechanical’ and ‘organic’ solidarity, and their typified correspondence with legal modes of punishment and compensation, are used to illuminate the way in which solidarity language in private relationships can convey and normalize assumptions about the public interest and economic order.


Candida Leone
Candida Leone is Assistant Professor at the, Amsterdam Centre for Transformative Private Law.
Article

Access_open Solidarity and COVID-19

A Foucauldian analysis

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2021
Keywords Solidarity, COVID-19 epidemic, Foucault, Social cohesion, Practicing
Authors Marli Huijer
AbstractAuthor's information

    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, most governments in Europe have imposed disciplinary and controlling mechanisms on their populations. In the name of solidarity, citizens are pressed to submit to lockdowns, social distancing or corona apps. Building on the historical-philosophical studies of Michel Foucault, this article shows that these mechanisms are spin-offs of health regimes that have evolved since the seventeenth century. In case of COVID-19, these regimes decreased the infection, morbidity and mortality rates. But, as a side-effect, they limited the opportunities to act together and practice solidarity. This negatively affected the social cohesion and public sphere in already highly individualistic societies. To prevent the further disappearing of solidarity – understood as something that is enacted rather than as a moral value or political principle – governments and citizens need to invest in the restoral of the social conditions that enable and facilitate the practicing of solidarity after the epidemic.


Marli Huijer
Marli Huijer is Emeritus Professor of Public Philosophy at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Article

Access_open Suffering from Vulnerability

On the Relation Between Law, Contingency and Solidarity

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2021
Keywords Vulnerability, Contingency, Freedom and Anxiety, Solidarity, Legal concept of inclusion
Authors Benno Zabel
AbstractAuthor's information

    The COVID-19 crisis has produced or amplified disruptive processes in societies. This article wants to argue for the fact that we understand the meaning of the COVID-19 crisis only if we relate it to the fundamental vulnerability of modern life and the awareness of vulnerability of whole societies. Vulnerability in modernity are expressions of a reality of freedom that is to some extent considered contingent and therefore unsecured. It is true that law is understood today as the protective power of freedom. The thesis of the article, however, boils down to the fact that the COVID-19 crisis has resulted in a new way of thinking about the protection of freedom. This also means that the principle of solidarity must be assigned a new social role. Individual and societal vulnerability refer thereafter to an interconnectedness, dependency, and a future perspective of freedom margins that, in addition to the moral one, can also indicate a need for legal protection. In this respect, law has not only a function of delimitation, but also one of inclusion.


Benno Zabel
Benno Zabel is Professor of Criminal Law and Philosophy of Law at the University of Bonn.
Article

Access_open Sick and Blamed

Criminal Law in the Chilean Response to COVID-19

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2021
Keywords Solidarity, Punishment, Legitimacy, Inequality, COVID-19
Authors Rocío Lorca
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Chilean government called upon ideas of social solidarity to fight the pandemic of SARS-CoV-2 and it relied heavily on the criminal law in order to secure compliance with sanitary restrictions. However, because restrictions and prosecutorial policy did not take into account social background and people’s ability to comply with the law, prosecutions soon created groups of people who were being both over-exposed to disease and death, and over-exposed to control, blame and punishment. The configuration of this overpoliced and underprotected group became so visibly unjust that appealing to social solidarity to justify the criminal enforcement of sanitary restrictions became almost insulting. This forced the Fiscal Nacional to develop a ‘socially sensitive’ prosecutorial strategy, something that we have not often seen despite Chile’s inequalities. The changes in policy by the Fiscal Nacional suggest that perhaps, at times, penal institutions can be made accountable for acting in ways that create estrangement rather than cohesion.


Rocío Lorca
Rocío Lorca is Assistant Professor at Universidad de Chile’s School of Law.
Editorial

Access_open Where Were the Law Schools?

On Legal Education as Training for Justice and the Rule of Law (Against the ‘Dark Sides of Legality’)

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2021
Authors Iris van Domselaar
Author's information

Iris van Domselaar
Iris van Domselaar is associate professor in legal philosophy and legal ethics at the Amsterdam Law School, University of Amsterdam.
Article

Access_open Addressing Problems Instead of Diagnoses

Reimagining Liberalism Regarding Disability and Public Health

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2021
Keywords Vulerability Theory, Liberalism, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), Public Health, Capabilities Approach
Authors Erwin Dijkstra
AbstractAuthor's information

    The public health systems of liberal states systematically fail to meet the goals and obligations of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which aims to facilitate full societal participation and independent life choices by all impaired persons, as well as the unburdening of their private caretakers. This failure does not stem from a lack of money or effort by governments and other societal institutions, but flaws in the anatomy of these systems. As these systems confine institutional assistance to the needs of persons with certain delineated disabilities, they neglect the needs of other persons, whose disabilities do not fit this mould. The responsibility for the latter group thus falls to their immediate social circle. These private caretakers are in turn seldom supported. To remedy this situation, I will present the alternative paradigm of vulnerability theory as the possible foundation for a more inclusive approach to public health.


Erwin Dijkstra
Erwin Dijkstra LLM MA is lecturer and researcher at the Department of Jurisprudence of the Leiden Law School of Leiden University.
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 Crimes Against Humanity and Hostes Generis Humani

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2018
Keywords hostis generis humani, Luban, crimes against humanity, political community, international criminal law
Authors Antony Duff
AbstractAuthor's information

    In ‘The Enemy of All Humanity’, David Luban provides an insightful and plausible account of the idea of the hostis generis humani (one that shows that the hostis need not be understood to be an outlaw), and of the distinctive character of the crimes against humanity that the hostis commits. However, I argue in this paper, his suggestion that the hostis is answerable to a moral community of humanity (in whose name the ICC must thus claim to speak) is not tenable. Once we recognize the intimate connection between criminal law and political community, we can see that the hostis should answer to the local, domestic political community in and against which he commits his crimes; and that the proper role of the International Criminal Court, acting in the name of the community of nations, is to provide a second-best substitute for such answering when the local polity cannot or will not hold him to account.


Antony Duff
Antony Duff is Professor Emeritus at the University of Stirling.
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 On the Humanity of the Enemy of Humanity

A Response to My Critics

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2018
Keywords hostis generis humani, humanity, International criminal justice, piracy
Authors David Luban
AbstractAuthor's information

    Antony Duff, Marc de Wilde, Louis Sicking, and Sofia Stok offer several criticisms of my “The Enemy of All Humanity,” but central to all of them is concern that labeling people hostis generis humani dehumanizes them, and invites murder or extrajudicial execution. In response I distinguish political, legal, and theoretical uses of the ancient label. I agree with the critics that the political use is toxic and the legal use is dispensable. However, the theoretical concept is crucial in international criminal law, which rests on the assumptions that the moral heinousness of core crimes makes them the business of all humanity. Furthermore, far from dehumanizing their perpetrators, calling them to account before the law recognizes that they are no different from the rest of humanity. This response also offers rejoinders to more specific objections raised by the critics.


David Luban
David Luban is University Professor in Law and Philosophy at Georgetown University.
Article

Access_open Enemy of All Humanity

The Dehumanizing Effects of a Dangerous Concept

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2018
Keywords enemy of all humanity, hostis humani generis, piracy, international criminal law, Luban
Authors Marc de Wilde
AbstractAuthor's information

    In his contribution to this special issue, David Luban proposes to revive the age-old concept of ‘the enemy of all humanity.’ On his view, this concept supports the aims of international criminal justice by emphasizing that atrocity and persecution crimes are ‘radically evil’ and therefore ‘everyone’s business.’ Criticizing Luban’s proposal, this paper shows that in the past, the ‘enemy of all humanity’ concept has often served to establish parallel systems of justice, depriving these ‘enemies’ of their rights as suspects under criminal law and as lawful combatants under the laws of war. Thus, even if the ‘enemy of all humanity’ concept is used with the intention to bring today’s perpetrators of ‘radical evil’ to justice, it risks undermining, rather than protecting, the rule of law.


Marc de Wilde
Marc de Wilde is Professor of Jurisprudence at the University of Amsterdam.
Article

Access_open The Enemy of All Humanity

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2018
Keywords hostis generis humani, piracy, crimes against humanity, universal jurisdiction, radical evil
Authors David Luban
AbstractAuthor's information

    Trationally, the term “enemy of all humanity” (hostis generis humani) referred to pirates. In contemporary international criminal law, it refers to perpetrators of crimes against humanity and other core. This essay traces the evolution of the concept, and then offers an analysis that ties it more closely to ancient tyrants than to pirates. Some object that the label is dehumanizing, and justifies arbitrary killing of the “enemy of humanity.” The essay admits the danger, but defends the concept if it is restricted to fair trials. Rather than dehumanizing its target, calling the hostis generis humani to account in a court of law is a way of recognizing that radical evil can be committed by humans no different from any of us.


David Luban
David Luban is University Professor in Law and Philosophy at Georgetown University.
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.
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