Criticising the Use of Original Intent in Judicial Decision Making: An Application of Dworkin and American Legal Realism

I. Introduction: The Intentionalist Position* Richard Posner, noted that: “[A Judge], should try to think his way  as best he can into the minds of the enacting legislators and imagine how they  would have wanted the statute applied to the case at bar.”[1]This position advocates that a Judge must interpret statutes bearing in mind the… More Criticising the Use of Original Intent in Judicial Decision Making: An Application of Dworkin and American Legal Realism

Re-reading David Kennedy’s ‘Turning to Market Democracy’ as a Critique of Ideology

Introduction What does an epochal event do to political and legal theory, and vice versa? None of the theories of international relations have predicted the end of the Cold War. For the very reason that the Cold War stood for a political and territorial separation on the basis of ideology, it was – at least… More Re-reading David Kennedy’s ‘Turning to Market Democracy’ as a Critique of Ideology

The shaky philosophical foundation of state subsidised cultural institutions

“We are our choices”, declared Jean-Paul Sartre. Attractive as that may seem, Joseph Raz would alter this aphorism to read: we are our choices if we have arrived at them autonomously – requiring minimum rationality, independence from coercion, and importantly, an adequate range of options to choose from.[1] Admittedly a mouthful, this redefinition is crucial… More The shaky philosophical foundation of state subsidised cultural institutions

Anarchism and Obedience to Law: On Systemic Incoherences

The anarchist Mikhail Bakunin in his work God and the State famously stated: “The liberty of man consists solely in this, that he obeys the laws of nature because he has himself recognised them as such, and not because they have been imposed upon him externally by any foreign will whatsoever, human or divine, collective… More Anarchism and Obedience to Law: On Systemic Incoherences

Into the Promised Land of Authority?

Man has long searched for a Promised Land in which the law could perfectly and impeccably reside. This pursuit is encapsulated in one question – “What is law?”[1] Thomas Hobbes, the father of the social contract tradition, attempted an answer with a sweeping dictum: “auctoritas non veritas facit legem” (authority, not truth makes the law).[2]… More Into the Promised Land of Authority?

Anarchism and Obedience to Law: On the Problem of Objectivity

“The liberty of man consists solely in this, that he obeys the laws of nature because he has himself recognized them as such, and not because they have been imposed upon him externally by any foreign will whatsoever, human or divine, collective or individual.” (Mikhail Bakunin – Dieu et L’État) In the course of this… More Anarchism and Obedience to Law: On the Problem of Objectivity

Can Hart’s ‘middle way’ between Moralism and Reductivism be rescued? A Character-based attempt at social normativity

Hart’s The Concept of Law has left positivism uneasy with the philosophical divide between moralism and reductivism. The Hobbesian notion of moral chaos, from which positivism is derived, requires that the law be understood independently from subjective moral values, and the rejection of moralist accounts. A reductivist legal theory, Hart argues, is insufficient in that… More Can Hart’s ‘middle way’ between Moralism and Reductivism be rescued? A Character-based attempt at social normativity

The Social Dimension of Ethics: A Comparative Analysis

Prolegomena How do we reach a conclusion that an act is morally right? Do we take other people into account when performing a morally right act? And what does this imply about our relations with other people? Moral philosophy addresses this interrelated array of questions concerning the social implications of ethics. Here I shall employ… More The Social Dimension of Ethics: A Comparative Analysis

On Aspects of Legal Romanticism: Either-Or-Mentality

Legal Romanticism, Part 2 of 6 The judge – such is a common view – in deciding what is right, determines what is wrong, too. Similar to field researchers observing natural phenomena, e.g. biologists, the judge ought to look at legal disputes as an unattached spectator. She or he should ideally represent the neutral perspective… More On Aspects of Legal Romanticism: Either-Or-Mentality