25th IVR World Congress: Law, Science and Technology Frankfurt am Main 15–20 August 2011 ; Paper Series
25th IVR World Congress Law and technology Frankfurt am Main 15–20 August 2011 Paper Series
- Judicial review in the democratic system (2012)
- When judges are authorised to invalidate legal acts for being unconstitutional, the competence of the legislator is directly concerned. The question raises, if thus judges do not usurp legislative power. In the traditional doctrine of the separation of powers the parliament is the first power, based on its direct democratic legitimacy. Yet cancelling legal acts completely or partially does evoke more irritations in the public that could be expected. The people seem to have more confidence to the assumed impartiality of the judges than to the results of the parliamentary work which seems to be dominated by the struggles of the parties. The necessity of judicial review mainly is based on the consideration that individual rights even in an authentic democratic system may be violated by a legal act of the parliament. In this case constitutional courts have the very task to defend individual rights, principles of liberty and authentic equality. Therefore it is justified to speak of the “jurisdiction of liberty”, as the Italian constitutional expert Cappelletti has said. But also without such legitimacy in many countries the Courts intervene in the field of the legislator. The courts themselves discuss the limits of judicial interventions, emphasising themselves, that they have to respect the legislative decisions principally, but do not abide always by their own proclaimed principles. In Spanish recent publications it is spoken of the principle “in dubio pro legislatore”, (in case of doubt in favour the legislator), reminding of “in dubio pro reo”, in order to treat the legislative power not worse than the defendant in a criminal process..
- Updating democracy studies: outline of a research program (2012)
- Technologies carry politics since they embed values. It is therefore surprising that mainstream political and legal theory have taken the issue so lightly. Compared to what has been going on over the past few decades in the other branches of practical thought, namely ethics, economics and the law, political theory lags behind. Yet the current emphasis on Internet politics that polarizes the apologists holding the web to overcome the one-to-many architecture of opinion-building in traditional representative democracy, and the critics that warn cyber-optimism entails authoritarian technocracy has acted as a wake up call. This paper sets the problem – “What is it about ICTs, as opposed to previous technical devices, that impact on politics and determine uncertainty about democratic matters?” – into the broad context of practical philosophy, by offering a conceptual map of clusters of micro-problems and concrete examples relating to “e-democracy”. The point is to highlight when and why the hyphen of e-democracy has a conjunctive or a disjunctive function, in respect to stocktaking from past experiences and settled democratic theories. My claim is that there is considerable scope to analyse how and why online politics fails or succeeds. The field needs both further empirical and theoretical work.
- Macht oder Vernunft. Die Religion im öffentlichen Bereich. Zugleich ein Dialog über Habermas' postsäkulare Gesellschaft (2012)
- Der zweifache Urteilsspruch des Europäischen Gerichtshofs für Menschenrechte im Fall “Lautsi gegen Italien” hat sich zum Paradigma der Schwierigkeiten entwickelt, welche Europa bei der adäquaten Ansiedlung der Religion im öffentlichen Bereich erfährt. Die Lösung kann sich ändern, wenn, anstatt dem politischen Problem (wann ist die Ausübung von Macht erlaubt) einzuräumen, die Möglichkeit einer praktischen Vernunft und ihre Verträglichkeit mit dem religiösen Glauben zum Ausgangspunkt gemacht wird. Diese würde zweifelsfrei zu einer politischen Fragestellung zu einer Präsenz der Religion im öffentlichen Bereich einladen, die auf eine positive Laizität mehr Rücksicht nimmt, dabei den Laizismus ablehnt, der darauf drängt, die Rationalität zur Macht auch einen nicht kognitivistischen Code zu reduzieren.
- From human rights to person rights : legal reflections on posthumanism and human enhancement (2012)
- In the intersection between law, science and technology lies the debate on the overcoming of the boundaries of the biological structure of the human being and its implications on the idea of human rights, on the concept of person and on the conception of equality – being the latter a fundamental tenet of a democracy. Posthumanism assumes a biological inadequacy of the human body regarding the quantity, complexity and quality of information which it can muster. The same occurs with the needs of accuracy, speed or strength demanded by the contemporary environment. Under such perspective, the body is considered to be an inefficient structure, with a short lifespan, easy to break and hard to fix. The body, always seen as the locus for the definition of human, emerges as the object of a commodification process that seeks to exonerate men from their burden - by declination towards a virtual existence, totally free and rational - or to enhance them with bionic devices or drugs. This issue has already been the subject of attention by many scholars like Savulescu, Rodotà, Broston, Fukuyama and even Habermas. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to seek, by criticism and revision of the positions on the foreseen problems of this process, an adequate theoretical approach on issues like the concept of person and its connection with the idea of human rights in order to promote the fundamental statement that all men are equal without disregard to the values of diversity and personal identity.
- A co-original approach towards law-making in the internet age (2012)
- There is an increasing interest in incorporating significant citizen participation into the law-making process by developing the use of the internet in the public sphere. However, no well-accepted e-participation model has prevailed. This article points out that, to be successful, we need critical reflection of legal theory and we also need further institutional construction based on the theoretical reflection. Contemporary dominant legal theories demonstrate too strong an internal legal point of view to empower the informal, social normative development on the internet. Regardless of whether we see the law as a body of rules or principles, the social aspect is always part of people’s background and attracts little attention. In this article, it is advocated that the procedural legal paradigm advanced by Jürgen Habermas represents an important breakthrough in this regard. Further, Habermas’s co-originality thesis reveals a neglected internal relationship between public autonomy and private autonomy. I believe the co-originality theory provides the essential basis on which a connecting infrastructure between the legal and the social could be developed. In terms of the development of the internet to include the public sphere, co-originality can also help us direct the emphasis on the formation of public opinion away from the national legislative level towards the local level; that is, the network of governance.1 This article is divided into two sections. The focus of Part One is to reconstruct the co-originality thesis (section 2, 3). This paper uses the application of discourse in the adjudication theory of Habermas as an example. It argues that Habermas would be more coherent, in terms of his insistence on real communication in his discourse theory, if he allowed his judges to initiate improved interaction with the society. This change is essential if the internal connection between public autonomy and private autonomy in the sense of court adjudication is to be truly enabled. In order to demonstrate such improved co-original relationships, the empowering character of the state-made law is instrumental in initiating the mobilization of legal intermediaries, both individual and institutional. A mutually enhanced relationship is thus formed; between the formal, official organization and its governance counterpart aided by its associated ‘local’ public sphere. Referring to Susan Sturm, the Harris v Forklift Systems Inc. (1930) decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in the field of sexual harassment is used as an example. Using only one institutional example to illustrate how the co-originality thesis can be improved is not sufficient to rebuild the thesis but this is as much as can be achieved in this article. In Part Two, the paper examines, still at the institutional level, how Sturm develops an overlooked sense of impartiality, especially in the derivation of social norms; i.e. multi-partiality instead of neutral detachment (section 4). These two ideas should be combined as the criterion for impartiality to evaluate the legitimacy of the joint decision-making processes of both the formal official organization and ‘local’ public sphere. Sturm’s emphasis on the deployment of intermediaries, both institutional and individual, can also enlighten the discourse theory. Intermediaries are essential for connecting the disassociated social networks, especially when a breakdown of communication occurs due to a lack of data, information, knowledge, or disparity of value orientation, all of which can affect social networks. If intermediaries are used, further communication will not be blocked as a result of the lack of critical data, information, knowledge or misunderstandings due to disparity of value orientation or other causes. The institutional impact of the newly constructed co-originality thesis is also discussed in Part Two. Landwehr’s work on institutional design and assessment for deliberative interaction is first discussed. This article concludes with an indication of how the ‘local’ public sphere, through e-rulemaking or online dispute resolution, for example, can be constructed in light of the discussion of this article.
- The philosophy of European Law with "chaos out of order" set-up and functioning (2012)
- In reconsideration of the composition and operation of European law, it is the description of its underlying mentality that may cast best light on the query whether European law is the extension of domestic laws or a sui generis product. As to its action, European law is destructive upon the survival of traditions of legal positivism, for it recalls post modern clichés rather. Like a solar system with planets, it is two-centred from the beginning, commissioning both implementation and judicial check to member states. As part of global post modernism, a) European law stems from artificial reality construction freed from particular historical experience and, indeed, anything given hic et nunc. By its operation, b) it dynamises large structures and sets in motion that what is chaos itself. It is owing to reconstructive human intent solely that any outcome can at all be seen as fitting to some ideal of order, albeit neither operation nor daily management strives for implementing any systemicity. This is the way in which the European law becomes adequate reflection of the underlying (macro) economic basis, which it is to serve as superstructure. Accordingly, c) the entire construct is operated (as integrated into one well-working unit) within the framework of an artificially animated dynamism. With its “order out of chaos” philosophy it assures member states’ standing involvement and competition, achieving a flexibly self-adapting (and unprecedentedly high degree of) conformity.
- The new path of law : from theory of chaos to theory of law (2012)
- From chaos to chaos theory, from the primordial perception of the world as disorderly to the scientific research of disorder a long distance has been covered. This path implies openness of mind and scientific boldness which connect mythological perceptions of the world with philosophical and scientific interpretations of phenomena throughout the world in a quite distinctive way resting on the creation of a model and application of computing. Owing to this, for the first time instead of asking What awaits us in the future? we can ask What can be done in the future? and get a reliable scientific answer to the question.
- Answers of legal dogmatics to two important problems of the philosophy of law (2012)
- Introduction: aims and points of departure. 1. The problem of the knowledge of law: whether previous general rules may support a casuistic decision. 2. The problem of legal ethics: whether there are autonomous rights, which do not depend on positive law. 3. The ways of modern dogmatics to deal with these problems. 4. The question remains the same.
- Legal system, repression and human rights in contemporary Spain : some remarks about spanish transition to democracy (2012)
- As is well known, the 2nd Spanish Republic (1931-1936) was toppled by a military uprising which, after a cruel Civil War, set up an autocratic regime led by General Franco which lasted until his natural death in 1975. According to the contemporary theory of the legal system, a legal order exists on the sole condition that it is efficient in general terms and this was the case for both the Republic and the Dictatorship. In turn, the validity of the legal norms of all legal orders is based on its respective rules of recognition. Thus, neither the existence of the legal order nor the validity of its respective legal norms depends on moral considerations. In this paper, we call this affirmation into question on the base of the fact that the compensatory methods adopted from the Transition to Democracy show an evident concern to repair the damage of taking away a person’s basic rights (life, health, freedom, expression, association etc) although the Spanish Constitution, with its catalogue of fundamental rights was not in force at that time. But these measures would not have much sense if, as Raz says, there was no shared content which is common to all legal systems. Like Nino, we claim that one must discriminate between a democratic legal order and an autocratic one to establish the level of validity of its respective legal norms. Thus it can be assigned a presumption of justice to democratic norms. Finally, we state that the criteria to weigh up the justice or injustice of legal norms, as that of legal orders, takes root in the level of respect they show towards human rights.