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This new book advances a fresh philosophical account of the relationship between the legislature and courts, opposing the common conception of law, in which it is legislatures that primarily create the law, and courts that primarily apply it. This conception has eclectic affinities with legal positivism, and although it may have been a helpful intellectual tool in the past, it now increasingly generates more problems than it solves. For this reason, the author argues, legal philosophers are better off abandoning it. At the same time they are asked to dismantle the philosophical and doctrinal infrastructure that has been based on it and which has been hitherto largely unquestioned. In its place the book offers an alternative framework for understanding the role of courts and the legislature; a framework which is distinctly anti-positivist and which builds on Ronald Dworkin's interpretive theory of law. But, contrary to Dworkin, it insists that legal duty is sensitive to the position one occupies in the project of governing; legal interpretation is not the solitary task of one super-judge, but a collaborative task structured by principles of institutional morality such as separation of powers which impose a moral duty on participants to respect each other's contributions. Moreover this collaborative task will often involve citizens taking an active role in their interaction with the law.
In this book Dimitrios Kyritsis advances an original account of constitutional review of primary legislation for its compatibility with human rights. Key to it is the value of separation of powers. When the relationship between courts and the legislature realizes this value, it makes a stronger claim to moral legitimacy. Kyritsis steers a path between the two extremes of the sceptics and the enthusiasts. Against sceptics who claim that constitutional review is an affront to democracy he argues that it is a morally legitimate institutional option for democratic societies because it can provide an effective check on the legislature. Although the latter represents the people and should thus be given the initiative in designing government policy, it carries serious risks, which institutional design must seek to avert. Against enthusiasts he maintains that fundamental rights protection is not the exclusive province of courts but the responsibility of both the judiciary and the legislature. Although courts may sometimes be given the power to scrutinize legislation and even strike it down, if it violates human rights, they must also respect the legislature's important contribution to their joint project. Occasionally, they may even have a duty to defer to morally sub-optimal decisions, as far as rights protection is concerned. This is as it should be. Legitimacy demands less than the ideal. In turn, citizens ought to accept discounts on perfect justice for the sake of achieving a reasonably just and effective political order overall.
Zwischen Rechtsverständnissen, nach denen es nur juridische, nicht aber moralische Rechte geben kann, und einem individualethischen Ansatz, nach dem Personen moralische Rechte haben, gibt es einen anhaltenden Streit. Im Kontext mit der Bestimmung des Verhältnisses von Recht und Moral gibt es darüber hinaus ein zweites Spannungsfeld: die Frage, ob das Recht einer Begründung durch Moral bedarf, wenn es nicht nur auf Legalität, sondern auch auf Legitimität Anspruch erheben will. Die Beiträge dieses Bandes sind - kontrovers - Differenzierungen zwischen Recht, Moral und Ethik und den Fragen gewidmet, wie sich Moral und Recht zueinander verhalten und ob moralische Ansprüche als Rechte verstanden werden können. Weitere Themen sind Gründe für die Transformation moralischer Ansprüche in positives Recht, der moralische Inhalt und die positiv-rechtliche Form der Menschen- und Grundrechte und philosophische Wege zu Ethik und Recht am Beispiel der gegenwärtigen arabisch-islamischen Philosophie. Inhalt: Hans Jörg Sandkühler: Moral und Recht? Recht oder Moral? Zur Einführung -.- Dietmar von der Pfordten: Zur Differenzierung von Recht, Moral und Ethik -.- Georg Mohr: Gibt es moralische Rechte? -.- Dagmar Borchers: Moralische Rechte - wie steht der Utilitarismus heute dazu? -.- Sarhan Dhouib: Philosophische Wege zu Ethik und Recht. Beispiele aus derarabisch-islamischen Philosophie der Gegenwart -.- Georg Lohmann: Die moralische und die juridische Dimension der Menschenrechte -.- Heiner Bielefeldt: Menschenwürde: der Grund der Menschenrechte -.- Herlinde Pauer-Studer: Verletzung von Menschenrechten.
Die von Hans Kelsen im Jahre 1934 vorgelegte "Reine Rechtslehre" gehört zu den rechtstheoretischen Schlüsselschriften des 20. Jahrhunderts. In ihr entwickelt Kelsen erstmals systematisch seine einerseits das Recht von der Moral, andererseits die Norm vom Faktum konsequent scheidende, ideologiekritische Rechtstheorie. Wer auf der Höhe der Zeit über Struktur und Geltung von Recht und die Eigenart von Rechtswissenschaft, kurz: wer über das Rechtliche am Recht nachdenken will, kommt an der "Reine[n] Rechtslehre" nicht vorbei. Die Erstauflage der "Reine[n] Rechtslehre", die weltweit in rund ein Dutzend Sprachen übersetzt worden ist, wurde in deutscher Sprache mehrfach nachgedruckt, ist indes derzeit vergriffen. Sie wird hier in Gestalt einer Studienausgabe vorgelegt, die am Recht Interessierte zum Hineinlesen ermutigen und zum kritischen Nach- und Weiterdenken einladen möchte.
This volume offers different perspectives on judicial practice in the European and American contexts, both arguably characterized in the last decades by the emergence of novel normative and even policy arguments by judges. The central question deserving the attention of the contributors concerns the degree in which judicial exercises in practical reasoning may amount to forms of judicial usurpation of the legislative function by courts. Since different views as to the nature and scope of legal reasoning lead to different degrees of tolerance regarding what should be admissible to courts, that same nature and scope is thoroughly debated. The main disciplinary approach is that of general jurisprudence, but the contributions take stock of other disciplines in which judicial activism has been addressed, namely positive theories of judicial behavior. Accordingly, the book also explores the development of interdisciplinary dialogue about the theme.
This handbook addresses legal reasoning and argumentation from a logical, philosophical and legal perspective. The main forms of legal reasoning and argumentation are covered in an exhaustive and critical fashion, and are analysed in connection with more general types (and problems) of reasoning. Accordingly, the subject matter of the handbook divides in three parts. The first one introduces and discusses the basic concepts of practical reasoning. The second one discusses the general structures and procedures of reasoning and argumentation that are relevant to legal discourse. The third one looks at their instantiations and developments of these aspects of argumentation as they are put to work in the law, in different areas and applications of legal reasoning.
‘This is an outline of a coherence theory of law. Its basic ideas are: reasonable support and weighing of reasons. All the rest is commentary.’ These words at the beginning of the preface of this book perfectly indicate what On Law and Reason is about. It is a theory about the nature of the law which emphasises the role of reason in the law and which refuses to limit the role of reason to the application of deductive logic. In 1989, when the first edition of On Law and Reason appeared, this book was ground breaking for several reasons. It provided a rationalistic theory of the law in the language of analytic philosophy and based on a thorough understanding of the results, including technical ones, of analytic philosophy. That was not an obvious combination at the time of the book’s first appearance and still is not. The result is an analytical rigor that is usually associated with positivist theories of the law, combined with a philosophical position that is not natural law in a strict sense, but which shares with it the emphasis on the role of reason in determining what the law is. If only for this rare combination, On Law and Reason still deserves careful study. On Law and Reason also foreshadowed and influenced a development in the field of Legal Logic that would take place in the nineties of the 20th century, namely the development of non-monotonic (‘defeasible’) logics for the analysis of legal reasoning. In the new Introduction to this second edition, this aspect is explored in some more detail.

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