Global Prescriptions scrutinizes the movement to export a U.S.-oriented version of the " rule of law," found in the activities of philanthropic foundations, the World Bank, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and several other developmental organizations. Yves Dezalay and Bryant G. Garth have brought together a group of scholars from a variety of disciplines--anthropology, economics, history, law, political science, and sociology--to create tools for understanding this movement. Comprised of two sections, the volume first develops theoretical perspectives key to an (...) understanding of the production and impact of new "global legal prescriptions." The second part shifts attention to the national importation of these legal orthodoxies. The scholars provide a diverse set of sophisticated approaches, both to the circumstances promoting the production of these prescriptions and to the limitations of the prescriptions in the different national settings. Thus, Global Prescriptions provides a unique treatment for readers interested in globalization generally or the potential spread of the "rule of law" in particular. This volume will intrigue scholars and students interested in a political science, economics, history, anthropology, law, and sociology. Contributors are Jeremy Adelman, Robert Boyer, Elizabeth Heger Boyle, Miguel Angel Centeno, Heinz Klug, Larissa Adler Lomnitz, John W. Meyer, Setsuo Miyazawa, Hiroshi Otsuka, Rodrigo Salazar, Kathryn Sikkink, Anne-Marie Slaughter, and Catalina Smulovitz. Yves Dezalay is Director of Research, National Center for Scientific Research, Paris. Bryant G. Garth is Director of the American Bar Foundation. (shrink)
A world of legal conflicts -- The limits of sovereigntist territoriality -- From universalism to cosmopolitanism -- Towards a cosmopolitan pluralist jurisprudence -- Procedural mechanisms, institutional designs, and discursive practices for managing pluralism -- The changing terrain of jurisdiction -- A cosmopolitan pluralist approach to choice of law -- Recognition of judgments and the legal negotiation of difference.
Machine generated contents note: Part I. Origins and Contours: 1. Historical perspectives on legal pluralism Lauren Benton; 2. The rule of law and legal pluralism in development Brian Z. Tamanaha; 3. Bendable rules: the development implications of human rights pluralism David Kinley; 4. Legal pluralism and legal culture: mapping the terrain Sally Engle Merry; 5. Towards equity in development when the law is not the law: reflections on legal pluralism in practice Daniel Adler and So (...) Sokbunthouen; Part II. Theoretical Foundations and Conceptual Debates: 6. Sustainable diversity in law H. Patrick Glenn; 7. Legal pluralism 101 William Twining; 8. The development 'problem' of legal pluralism: an analysis and steps towards solutions Gordon R. Woodman; 9. Institutional hybrids and the rule of law as a regulatory project Kanishka Jayasuriya; 10. Some implications of the application of legal pluralism to development practice Doug J. Porter; Part III. From Theory to Practice: 11. Legal pluralism and international development agencies: state building or legal reform Julio Faundez; 12. Access to property and citizenship: marginalization in a context of legal pluralism Christian Lund; 13. The publicity 'defect' of customary law Varun Gauri; 14. Unearthing pluralism: mining, multilaterals and the state Meg Taylor and Nicholas Menzies; 15. The problem with problematizing legal pluralism: lessons from the field Deborah H. Isser. (shrink)
Neutrality, liberalism, and islam integration in Europe and America -- Limits of excluding: the French burqa law of 2010 -- Limits of including: Germany's reticence to "cooperate" with organized Islam -- "Reasonable accommodation" and the limits of multiculturalism in Canada -- The dog that didn't bark: Islam and religious pluralism in the United States -- Islam and identity in the liberal state.
Bijural services as factors of production -- Commentary A on Breton and Salmon -- Commentary B on Breton and Salmon -- The challenge of incomplete law and how different legal systems respond -- Commentary C on Pistor and Xu -- Commentary D on Pistor and Xu -- Coevolution as an influence in the development of legal systems -- Commentary E on Breton and Des Ormeaux -- Commentary F on Breton and Des Ormeaux -- The demand for bijurally trained (...) Canadian lawyers -- Commentary G on Davis and Trebilcock -- Commentary H on Davis and Trebilcock. (shrink)
This book addresses conflicts involving how law relates normative orders. The assumption behind the book is that law no longer automatically claims supremacy, but that actors can pick and choose which code to follow.
O gás sarin no metrô de Tóquio, as 'balas perdidas' no Rio de Janeiro e os ataques terroristas às torres gêmeas em Nova York ou ao transporte coletivo em Madri e Londres revelam que nossa sociedade interdependente é muito vulnerável.
I examine the impact of the presence of anarchists among key legal officials upon the legal positivist theories of H.L.A. Hart and Joseph Raz. For purposes of this paper, an anarchist is one who believes that the law cannot successfully obligate or create reasons for action beyond prudential reasons, such as avoiding sanction. I show that both versions of positivism require key legal officials to endorse the law in some way, and that if a legal system (...) can continue to exist and function when its key officials reject the reason-giving character of law, then we have a reason to re-examine and amend legal positivism. (shrink)
In discussing the works of 16th-century theorists Francisco de Vitoria and Alberico Gentili, this article examines how two different conceptions of a global legal community affect the legal character of the international order and the obligatory force of international law. For Vitoria the legal bindingness of ius gentium necessarily presupposes an integrated character of the global commonwealth that leads him to as it were ascribe legal personality to the global community as a whole. But then its (...)legal status and its consequences have to be clarified. For Gentili on the other hand, sovereign states in their plurality are the pinnacle of the legal order(s). His model of a globally valid ius gentium then oscillates between being analogous to private law, depending on individual acceptance by states and being natural law, appearing in a certain sense as a form rather of morality than of law. (shrink)
Even good lawyers get a bad rap. One explanation for this is that the professional rules governing lawyers permit and even require behavior that strikes many as immoral. The standard accounts of legal ethics that seek to defend these professional rules do little to dispel this air of immorality. The revisionary accounts of legal ethics that criticize the professional rules inject a hearty dose of morality, but at the cost of leaving lawyers unrecognizable as lawyers. This article suggests (...) that the problem with both the professional rules and the extant accounts of legal ethics is that they treat the role of lawyer as largely uniform, whereas lawyers actually serve several importantly different roles in different contexts. The central insight of the article is that legal ethics must be fundamentally context-sensitive: what lawyers are morally permitted or required to do depends on the background context in which they are working. Additionally, by taking context into account, this article is the first to present a theory of legal ethics as appropriately shaped and constrained by normative political philosophy and norms of political legitimacy. -/- Specifically, the article argues that people act as lawyers in three different contexts: State v. Individual (situations in which the State seeks to apply some general law to a particular individual), Individual v. Individual (situations in which private individuals are engaged in a dispute), and Individual v. State (situations in which individuals object to State conduct on constitutional or other grounds unrelated to the question of whether a general law applies to their particular case); that the value of lawyers, qua lawyers, stems from a different source in each of these contexts; and that a theory of legal ethics must take into account both of these first two claims. This article develops one such theory - the Multi-Context View. To demonstrate how the theory applies in practice, the article applies the Multi-Context View to two significant issues in legal ethics: the ethical issues involved in deciding whether to represent a client and the moral permissibility of the use of tactical delay. (shrink)
The object of this essay is to explore the central role played by the ‘ethic of care’ in debates within and beyond feminist legal theory. The author claims that the ethic of care has attracted feminist legal scholars in particular, as a means of resolving the theoretical, political and strategic difficulties to which the perceived ‘crisis of subjectivity’ in feminist theory has given rise. She argues that feminist legal scholars are peculiarly placed in relation to this crisis (...) because of their reliance on the social ‘woman’ whose interests are the predominant concern of feminist legal engagement. With the problematisation of subjectivity, the object of feminist legal attention disappears and it is in attempts to deflect the negative political consequences of this that the ethic of care has been invoked, the author argues, unsuccessfully. The essay concludes with suggestions as to how the feminist project in law might proceed in the wake of the crisis of subjectivity and the failure of the ethic of care to resolve it. (shrink)
The literature, as is the intuitions of many, is skeptical as to the coherence of ‘legal rights to do legal wrong.’ A right to do wrong is a right against interference with wrongdoing. A legal right to do legal wrong is, therefore, a right against legal enforcement of legal duty. It is, in other words, a right that shields the right holder’s legal wrongdoing. The skeptics notwithstanding, the category of ‘legal right to (...) do legal wrong’ coheres with the concepts of ‘right’ and ‘legality.’ In fact, once the parameters and features of the category of ‘legal right to do legal wrong’ are clarified, it becomes apparent that positive law contains actual doctrines that have the structure of a right to do wrong. One example is the doctrine of diplomatic immunity. This, and other examples of normatively sound legal doctrines that constitute legal rights to do legal wrong, demonstrate that such rights are not only conceptually coherent, but at times are normatively valuable. Moreover, looking to the law helps detect a category of rights to do wrong that has thus far gone wholly undetected in the literature, which is immunity from liability for violation of duty. (shrink)
In this paper we trace the historical exclusion of women from the legal profession in Canada. We examine women’s efforts to gain entry to law practice and their progress through the last century. The battle to gain entry to this exclusive profession took place on many fronts: in the courts, government legislature, public debate and media, and behind the closed doors of the law societies. After formal barriers to entry were dismantled, women continued to confront formidable barriers through overt (...) and subtler forms of discrimination and exclusion. Today’s legal profession in Canada is a contested one. Women have succeeded with large enrolments in law schools and growing representation in the profession. However, women remain on the margins of power and privilege in law practice. Our analysis of contemporary official data on the Canadian legal profession demonstrates that women are under-represented in private practice, have reduced chances for promotion, and are excluded from higher echelons of authority, remuneration, and status in the profession. Yet, the contemporary picture of the legal profession also reveals that women are having an important impact on the profession of law in Canada by introducing policy reforms aimed at creating a more humane legal profession. (shrink)
In this article, we argue that feminist legal scholars should engage directly and explicitly with the question of evil. Part I summarises key facts surrounding the prosecution and life-long imprisonment of Myra Hindley, one of a tiny number of women involved in multiple killings of children in recent British history. Part II reviews a range of commentaries on Hindley, noting in particular the repeated use of two narratives: the first of these insists that Hindley is an icon of female (...) evil; the second, less popular one, seeks to position her as a victim. In Part III, the article broadens out and we explain why we think feminist legal scholars should look at the question of evil. In large part, the emphasis is on anticipating the range of possible objections to this argument, and on trying to answer these objections by showing how a focus on evil might benefit feminist legal thinking – specifically in relation to the categories of perpetrator and victim and, more generally, in relation to laws motivated by a desire to secure women’s human rights. (shrink)
In 2001, three non-Aboriginal men in their twenties were charged with the sexual assault of a twelve year old Aboriginal girl in rural Saskatchewan. Legal proceedings lasted almost seven years and included two preliminary hearings, two jury trials, two retrials with juries, and appeals to the provincial appeal court and the Supreme Court of Canada. One accused was convicted. The case raises questions about the administration of justice in sexual assault cases in Saskatchewan. Based on observation and analysis of (...) the record, this paper: (1) examines relationships between legal errors dealing with availability of the defence of “belief in consent” and interpretation of the “all reasonable steps” provision, the need for retrials, and apprehended race-gender-age bias and discrimination; and 2) proposes incremental and systemic remedies to address the weaknesses in police, prosecutorial and judicial policy and practice highlighted by this case. (shrink)
At the heart of this book is the age-old question of how law and morality are related. The legal positivist, insisting on the separation of the two, explicates the concept of law independently of morality. The author challenges this view, arguing that there are, first, conceptually necessary connections between law and morality and, second, normative reasons for including moral elements in the concept of law.
In this article, I argue that - despite the absence of any clear influence of one theory on the other - the legal theories of Dworkin and Hegel share several similar and, at times, unique positions that join them together within a distinctive school of legal theory, sharing a middle position between natural law and legal positivism. In addition, each theory can help the other in addressing certain internal difficulties. By recognizing both Hegel and Dworkin as proponents (...) of a position lying in between natural law and legal positivist jurisprudence, we can gain clarity in why their general legal theories seem to fit uncomfortably, if indeed they can be said to fit at all, within so many different camps - while fitting comfortably in no particular camp - as well as highlight what has been overlooked. (shrink)
This essay partly builds on and partly criticizes a striking idea of Dieter Henrich. Henrich argues that Kant's distinction in the first Critique between the question of fact (quid facti) and the question of law (quid juris) provides clues to the argumentative structure of a philosophical "Deduction". Henrich suggests that the unity of apperception plays a role analogous to a legal factum. By contrast, I argue, first, that the question of fact in the first Critique is settled by the (...) Metaphysical Deduction, which establishes the purity of origin of the Categories, and, second, that in the second Critique, the relevant factum is the Fact of Reason, which amounts to the fact that the Moral Law is pure in origin. (shrink)
David Luban is one of the world's leading scholars of legal ethics. In this collection of his most significant papers from the past twenty-five years, he ranges over such topics as the moral psychology of organisational evil, the strengths and weaknesses of the adversary system, and jurisprudence from the lawyer's point of view. His discussion combines philosophical argument, legal analysis and many cases drawn from actual law practice, and he defends a theory of legal ethics that focuses (...) on lawyers' role in enhancing human dignity and human rights. In addition to an analytical introduction, the volume includes two major previously unpublished papers, including a detailed critique of the US government lawyers who produced the notorious 'torture memos'. It will be of interest to a wide range of readers in both philosophy and law. (shrink)
This article deals with the relation between a theory of law and a theory of legal reasoning. Starting from a close reading of Chapter VII of H. L. A. Hart's The Concept of Law, it claims that a theory of law like Hart's requires a particular theory of legal reasoning, or at least a theory of legal reasoning with some particular characteristics. It then goes on to say that any theory of legal reasoning that satisfies those (...) requirements is highly implausible, and tries to show that this is the reason why not only Hart, but also writers like Neil MacCormick and Joseph Raz have failed to offer a theory of legal reasoning that is compatible with legal positivism as a theory of law. They have faced a choice between an explanation of legal reasoning that is incompatible with the core of legal positivism or else strangely sceptical, insofar as it severs the link between general rules and particular decisions that purport to apply them. (shrink)
Tom Campbell is well known for his distinctive contributions to legal and political philosophy over three decades. In emphasising the moral and political importance of taking a positivist approach to law and rights, he has challenged current academic orthodoxies and made a powerful case for regaining and retaining democratic control over the content and development of human rights. This collection of his essays reaches back to his pioneering work on socialist rights in the 1980s and forward from his seminal (...) book, The Legal Theory of Ethical Positivism (1996). An introductory essay provides an historical overview of Professor Campbell's work and argues for the continuing importance of 'democratic positivism' at a time when it is again becoming clear that courts are ineffective protectors of human rights. (shrink)
This paper argues that formal models of coherence are useful for constructing a legal epistemology. Two main formal approaches to coherence are examined: coherence-based models of belief revision and the theory of coherence as constraint satisfaction. It is shown that these approaches shed light on central aspects of a coherentist legal epistemology, such as the concept of coherence, the dynamics of coherentist justification in law, and the mechanisms whereby coherence may be built in the course of legal (...) decision-making. (shrink)
An enduring question in political and legal philosophy concerns whether we have a general moral obligation to follow the law. In this paper, I argue that Philip Soper’s intuitively appealing effort to give new life to the idea of legal obligation by characterising it as a duty of deference is ultimately unpersuasive. Soper claims that people who understand what a legal system is and admit that it is valuable must recognise that they would be morally inconsistent to (...) deny that they owe deference to state norms. However, if the duty of deference stemmed from people’s decision to regard the law as valuable as Soper argues, then people who do not admit the value of the state would have no duty as such to defer to its norms. And, more importantly, people who admit the value of the state would have a duty not to defer to particular norms, namely those norms which violate the values that ground their preference for a state. This critique of Soper operates within his parameters by accepting his claim that moral consistency generates reasons to act. Even on those terms, Soper’s defence of legal obligation as a duty of deference is unpersuasive. (shrink)
Examining legal ethics within the framework of modern practice, this book identifies two important ethical issues that all lawyers confront: the difference between the role of lawyers and the role of judges in pursuing justice, and the conflicting responsibilities lawyers have to their clients and to the legal system more broadly. In addressing these issues, Legal Ethics provides an explanation of the duties and dilemmas common to practicing lawyers in modern legal systems throughout the world. The (...) authors focus their analysis on lawyers in independent practice in modern capitalist constitutional regimes, including the United States, Japan, Europe, and Latin America, as well as the emerging legal systems in China and the former Soviet bloc, to develop connections between the legal profession and political systems based on the rule of law. They find that although ethical tension is inherent in the legal practice of all these societies, the legal profession is essential to stable political institutions. (shrink)
This collection of original papers from distinguished legal theorists offers a challenging assessment of the nature and viability of legal positivism, a branch of legal theory which continues to dominate contemporary legal theoretical debates. To what extent is the law adequately described as autonomous? Should law claim autonomy? These and other questions are addressed by the authors in this carefully edited collection, and it will be of interest to all lawyers and scholars interested in legal (...) philosophy and legal theory. (shrink)
This book develops a general philosophical theory about the nature of law and its relationship with morality called inclusive legal positivism. In addition to articulating and defending his own version of legal positivism, which is a refinement and development of the views of H.L.A. Hart as expressed in his classic book The Concept of Law, the author clarifies the terms of current jurisprudential debates about the nature of law. These debates are often clouded by failures to appreciate that (...) different theorists are offering different kinds of theories and attempting to answer different questions. The clarity of Waluchow's work will help to remove the confusion often present in jurisprudential debate. (shrink)
This is a slightly revised text of Jeffrie G. Murphyâs Presidential Address delivered to the American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division, in March 2006. In the essay the author reconsiders two positions he had previously defendedâthe liberal attack on legal moralism and robust versions of the retributive theory of punishmentâand now finds these positions much more vulnerable to legitimate attack than he had previously realized. In the first part of the essay, he argues that the use of Millâs liberal harm (...) principle against legal moralism cannot be cabined in such a way as to leave intact other positions that many liberals want to defendâin particular, certain fundamental constitutional rights and character retributivism in criminal sentencing. In the second part of the essay, he expresses serious doubtsâsome inspired by Nietzscheâabout the versions of character retributivism that he had once enthusiastically defended and now describes himself as no more than a reluctant retributivist. (shrink)
Hegel's legacy is particularly controversial, not least in legal theory. He has been classified as a proponent of either natural law, legal positivism, the historical school, pre-Marxism, postmodern critical theory, and even transcendental legal theory. To what degree has Hegel actually influenced contemporary legal theorists? This review article looks at Michael Salter's collection Hegel and Law. I look at articles on civil disobedience, contract law, feminism, and punishment. I conclude noting similarities between Hegel's legal theory (...) and that of Ronald Dworkin. I also criticize the volume's emphasis on Hegel's postmodern credentials, all of which I doubt. (shrink)
This book is an uncompromising defense of legal positivism that insists on the separability of law and morality. After distinguishing among three facets of morality, Kramer explores a variety of ways in which law has been perceived as integrally connected to each of those facets. The book concludes with a detailed discussion of the obligation to obey the law--a discussion that highlights the strengths of legal positivism in the domain of political philosophy as much as in the domain (...) of jurisprudence. (shrink)
This article delineates some of the main issues that are debated by philosophers of law. It explores the connections between legal philosophy and other areas of philosophy, while also seeking to specify the distinctiveness of many of the concerns that have preoccupied philosophers of law. It illustrates its abstract points with examples focused on the separability of law and morality, the nature of the rule of law, the nature of rights, justifications for the imposition of punishment, and the identification (...) of basic legal entitlements. (shrink)
Truth is a fundamental objective of adjudicative processes; ideally, substantive as distinct from formal legal truth. But problems of evidence, for example, may frustrate finding of substantive truth; other values may lead to exclusions of probative evidence, e.g., for the sake of fairness. Jury nullification and jury equity. Limits of time, and definitiveness of decision, require allocation of burden of proof. Degree of truth-formality is variable within a system and across systems.
The aim of the paper is that of discussing some recent antipositivist theses, with specific reference to the arguments that focus on the alleged incapability of legal positivism to understand and explain the complex normative structure of constitutional states. One of the central tenets of legal positivism (in its guise of ``methodological'' or ``conceptual'' positivism) is the theory of the separation between law and morality. On the assumption that in contemporary legal systems, constitutional law represents a point (...) of intersection between law and basic moral values, antipositivists contrast legal positivism with two main arguments. First, on a more general level, the positivist theory of the separation between law and morality is questioned; then, and consequently, the ``neutrality thesis'' in the juristic study of law is rejected. The author discusses both these antipositivist arguments, and offers a brief defence of methodological positivism. (shrink)
The problem of the legal person is a central issue in legal philosophy and the theory of law. In this article I examine the semantic meaning of the concept of the person in Russian philosophy at the turn of the twentieth century, considered to be the "Golden Age" of Russian legal thought. This provides an overview of the conception of the personality in the context of different legal approaches (theory of natural law, legal positivism, the (...) psychological legal doctrine, and the sociological school of law). I indicate a polemic among the theories of the person and attempts to create an integral concept of the legal subject. In addition I present an analysis of the relation between the concepts of the legal subject and the moral person, which personify fundamental features of law and morality. In order to demarcate the notions of individual and the legal subject, I focus on doctrines of the artificial person or the juridical person. (shrink)
This book represents a serious and philosophically sophisticated guide to modern American legal theory, demonstrating that legal positivism has been a misunderstood and underappreciated perspective through most of twentieth-century American legal thought. Anthony Sebok traces the roots of positivism through the first half of the twentieth century, and rejects the view that one must adopt some version of natural law theory in order to recognize moral principles in the law. On the contrary, once one corrects for the (...) mistakes of formalism and postwar legal process, one is left with a theory of legal positivism that takes moral principles seriously while avoiding the pitfalls of natural law. The broad scope of this book ensures that it will be read by philosophers of law, historians of law, historians of American intellectual life, and those in political science concerned with public law and administration. (shrink)
We present a computational model of dialectical argumentation that could serve as a basis for legal reasoning. The legal domain is an instance of a domain in which knowledge is incomplete, uncertain, and inconsistent. Argumentation is well suited for reasoning in such weak theory domains. We model argument both as information structure, i.e., argument units connecting claims with supporting data, and as dialectical process, i.e., an alternating series of moves by opposing sides. Our model includes burden of proof (...) as a key element, indicating what level of support must be achieved by one side to win the argument. Burden of proof acts as move filter, turntaking mechanism, and termination criterion, eventually determining the winner of an argument. Our model has been implemented in a computer program. We demonstrate the model by considering program output for two examples previously discussed in the artificial intelligence and legal reasoning literature. (shrink)
When laws or legal principles mention mental states such as intentions to form a contract, knowledge of risk, or purposely causing a death, what parts of the brain are they speaking about? We argue here that these principles are tacitly directed at our prefrontal executive processes. Our current best theories of consciousness portray it as a workspace in which executive processes operate, but what is important to the law is what is done with the workspace content rather than the (...) content itself. This makes executive processes more important to the law than consciousness, since they are responsible for channeling conscious decision-making into intentions and actions, or inhibiting action.We provide a summary of the current state of our knowledge about executive processes, which consists primarily of information about which portions of the prefrontal lobes perform which executive processes. Then we describe several examples in which legal principles can be understood as tacitly singling out executive processes, including principles regarding defendants’ intentions or plans to commit crimes and their awareness that certain facts are the case(for instance, that a gun is loaded), as well as excusatory principles which result in lesser responsibility for those who are juveniles, mentally ill, sleepwalking, hypnotized, or who suffer from psychopathy. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to critically discuss the plausibility of legal moralism with an emphasis on some central and recent versions. First, this paper puts forward and defends the thesis that recently developed varieties of legal moralism promoted by Robert P. George, John Kekes and Michael Moore are more plausible than Lord Devlin's traditional account. The main argument for this thesis is that in its more modern versions legal moralism is immune to some of the (...) forceful challenges made to Devlin by Hart, Dworkin and Feinberg among others. Second, however, the paper challenges the new generation of legal moralists and suggests some areas for further development. Although Devlin's position has been scrutinized thoroughly in the literature on the philosophy of law, there has, to my knowledge, been no comparable, systematic critique of these different proponents of legal moralism. (shrink)
This paper constitutes a critical exploration of the functional features underpinning the unconscious of institutional attachment—namely an attachment which is understood in terms of the subject-infant’s love for his institutional parent-power holder, and the indefinite need for a subject to remain within its infantile condition under the parenthood of the State. We venture beyond the Paternal metaphor and move towards the neglected metaphor of the Mother, so focal in the individual process of identification, assumption of language and the permanent attachment (...) to the space of prohibition and Law. A new position in Language is defined. To understand how the psychic space of the infant is artfully subjugated in the making of the Western culture and domination of the Western system of legal interpretation, an enquiry into the legal emblematic history of representations is necessary to map the process through which the subject learns its legal self and relationship with otherness through what Pierre Legendre coined as the Occidental Mirror and the triangular logic of reflexivity. A final enquiry interrogates the way the legal institution places itself in the position of the specular image that captivates the subject-infant within a procreated legal order, a law-giving and law abiding life starting from the laws of the familial structure reinforced by the role of the parents and by analogy, by the State assuming that role in the institutional life of the ad infinitum infant. (shrink)
The present paper aims at addressing a crucial legal conflict in the information society: i.e., the conflict between security and civil rights, which calls for a “fine and ethical balance”. Our purpose is to understand, from the legal theory viewpoint, how a fine ethical balance can be conceived and what the conditions for this balance to be possible are. This requires us to enter in a four-stage examination, by asking: (1) What types of conflict may be dealt with (...) by means of balancing? (2) What is meant by balancing? Is it a metaphor that hides and dissimulates discretionary powers and subjective decisions or a rational instrument that helps us cope with conflicts between fundamental values and interests? (3) What models of balancing are available to us? Are these models irreducible to each other? What can provide us with a common understanding of different models of balancing? (4) How can the crucial issues of rational controllability, predictability, and homogeneity of legal decisions be dealt with? Our paper will try to answer those questions by trying to reconstruct the act of balancing in terms of a rational legal reasoning, which relies upon information. In fact, every judicial decision contains some information that is delivered to the legal system: that information may serve as the basis for future evaluations, decisions, and actions, and thus influence the way we recognize and hence we protect our values, interests, and rights. In this perspective, our examination will attempt to understand those questions in informational terms. This informational treatment can provide us with a more universalistic understanding of those issues and offer us a novel way to conceptually deal with them. To this aim, we will avail yourself of Luciano Floridi’s philosophy of information: notably, we believe his constructionist conception of epistemology is crucial, based on the Maker’s Knowledge approach and his solution of the upgrading problem (i.e., from information to knowledge) in terms of a network theory of account. The informational approach will help us having a better understanding of the balance between competing interests. (shrink)
In this essay reviewing Brian Leiter’s recent book Naturalizing Jurisprudence, I focus on two positions that distinguish Leiter’s reading of the American legal realists from those offered in the past. The first is his claim that the realists thought the law is only locally indeterminate – primarily in cases that are appealed. The second is his claim that they did not offer a prediction theory of law, but were instead committed to a standard positivist theory. Leiter’s reading is vulnerable, (...) because he fails to discuss in detail those passages from the realists that inspired past interpretations. My goal is to see how Leiter’s reading fares when these passages are considered. I argue that Leiter is right that the realists’ indeterminacy thesis has only a local scope. Those passages that appear to claim that the law is globally indeterminate actually address three other topics: judicial supremacy, judges’ roles as finders of fact, and the moral obligation to adjudicate as the law commands. With respect to the prediction theory, however, I conclude that Leiter’s position cannot be defended. Indeed the realists offered two “prediction” theories of law. According to the first, which is best described as a decision theory, the law concerning an event is whatever concrete judgment a court will issue when the event is litigated. According to the second, the law is reduced, not to concrete judgments, but to regularities of judicial (and other official) behavior in a jurisdiction. I end this essay with the suggestion that the realists’ advocacy of the second prediction theory indirectly vindicates Leiter’s reading of the realists as prescient jurisprudential naturalists. (shrink)