Whether examining election outcomes, the legal status of terrorism suspects, or if (or how) people can be sentenced to death, a judge in a modern democracy assumes a role that raises some of the most contentious political issues of our day. But do judges even have a role beyond deciding the disputes before them under law? What are the criteria for judging the justices who write opinions for the United States Supreme Court or constitutional courts in other democracies? These are the questions that one of the world's foremost judges and legal theorists, Aharon Barak, poses in this book. In fluent prose, Barak sets forth a powerful vision of the role of the judge. He argues that this role comprises two central elements beyond dispute resolution: bridging the gap between the law and society, and protecting the constitution and democracy. The former involves balancing the need to adapt the law to social change against the need for stability; the latter, judges' ultimate accountability, not to public opinion or to politicians, but to the "internal morality" of democracy. Barak's vigorous support of "purposive interpretation" (interpreting legal texts--for example, statutes and constitutions--in light of their purpose) contrasts sharply with the influential "originalism" advocated by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. As he explores these questions, Barak also traces how supreme courts in major democracies have evolved since World War II, and he guides us through many of his own decisions to show how he has tried to put these principles into action, even under the burden of judging on terrorism.
Law, politics, and society in the modern West have been marked by the increasing power of the judge: the development of constitutional justice, the evolution of international judiciaries, and judicial systems that extend even further into social life. Judges make decisions that not only enforce the law, but also codify the values of our times. In the summer of 2000, an esteemed group of judges and legal scholars met in Provence, France, to consider the role of the judge in modern society. They included Robert Badinter, former president of the Constitutional Council in France; Stephen Breyer, Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States; Antonio Cassese, the first president of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia; Dieter Grimm, former vice president of the Constitutional Court of Germany; Gil Carlos Rodriguez, president of the Court of Justice of the European Union; and Ronald Dworkin, formerly of Oxford University, now professor of philosophy and law at the New York University Law School. What followed was an animated discussion ranging from the influence of the media on the judiciary to the development of an international criminal law to the judge's consideration of the judge's own role. Judges in Contemporary Democracy offers a rare and intimate glimpse into the powers and the role of judges in today's society.
Through an extensive exploration of comparative constitutional endeavours past and present, near and far, Ran Hirschl shows how attitudes towards engagement with the constitutive laws of others reflect tensions between particularism and universalism as well as competing visions of who 'we' are as a political community. Drawing on insights from social theory, religion, history, political science, and public law, Hirschl argues for an interdisciplinary approach tocomparative constitutionalism that is methodologically and substantively preferable to merely doctrinal accounts. The future of comparative constitutional studies, he contends, lies in relaxing thesharp divide between constitutional law and the social sciences.
In a globalized world, an interdisciplinary dialogue on ethics and human rights is possible, necessary and fruitful for jurisprudence. Human rights can be understood as formalized ethics, and ethics can thus serve as a foundation for human rights. They are the framework for a communication of rights, and this communication is the context in which wrongs can be transformed into rights. Ethics do however also shape existing (recognized) human rights. Human rights are ethics in action. The enforcement of human rights, especially in international criminal law, as well as the implementation structures bring the ideas and principles of rights to life in a globalized world. Thus it is advisable to take an interdisciplinary approach to participation rights, social rights and human rights in general, in private and in public life.This work contains articles that were presented at an international and interdisciplinary conference on Ethics and Human Rights in a Globalized World in Jerusalem in the fall of 2008. Young researchers from Israel and Germany, who work in the fields of law, philosophy, political science and theology, deal with the foundation of human rights, the conflict between varying human rights and effective implementation structures. The part played by the World Bank in implementing human rights is highlighted, as is the significance of local cultural backgrounds. Other articles deal with the correlation of international criminal law and human rights. The book also contains an article by Aharon Barak, former Chief Justice of the Israel Supreme Court.
Whereas previous studies of legitimacy and trust have mostly dealt with procedural justice and the police, this book focuses on other crucial understudied aspects of legitimacy within criminal law, policy and criminal justice. The chapters expand and develop current criminological, legal and socio-legal research by addressing conceptions of legitimacy linked to criminal law norms, criminalisation and sanctioning; by examining EU legal and policy aspects of the phenomenon; and by exploring some specific court-related issues of legitimacy and trust, hitherto neglected. With contributions from across the EU, this interdisciplinary collection presents a valuable discussion on the importance of trust in legal institutions of modern democracies and suggests ideas for future research in this area to challenge ways of thinking about legitimacy.
The essays in this volume offer a groundbreaking comparative analysis of religious education, and state policies towards religious education in seven different countries and in the European Union as a whole. They pose a crucial question: can religious education contribute to a shared public sphere and foster solidarity across different ethnic and religious communities? In many traditional societies and even in what are largely secular European societies, our place in creation, the meaning of good and evil, and the definition of the good life, virtue, and moral action, are all primarily addressed in religious terms. It is in fact hard to come to grips with these issues without recourse to religious language, traditions, and frames of reference. Yet, religious languages and identities divide as much as unite, and provide a site of contestation and strife as much as a sense of peace and belonging Not surprisingly, different countries approach religious education in dramatically different ways. Religious Education and the Challenge of Pluralism addresses a pervasive problem: how can religious education provide a framework of meaning, replete with its language of inclusion and community, without at the same time drawing borders and so excluding certain individuals and communities from its terms of collective membership and belonging? The authors offer in-depth analysis of such pluralistic countries as Bulgaria, Israel, Malaysia, and Turkey, as well as Cyprus - a country split along lines of ethno-religious difference. They also examine the connection between religious education and the terms of citizenship in the EU, France, and the USA, illuminating the challenges of educating our citizenry in an age of religious resurgence and global politics.
The Oxford Handbook of Criminal Law reflects the continued transformation of criminal law into a global discipline, providing scholars with a comprehensive international resource, a common point of entry into cutting edge contemporary research and a snapshot of the state and scope of the field. To this end, the Handbook takes a broad approach to its subject matter, disciplinarily, geographically, and systematically. Its contributors include current and future research leaders representing a variety of legal systems, methodologies, areas of expertise, and research agendas. The Handbook is divided into four parts: Approaches & Methods (I), Systems & Methods (II), Aspects & Issues (III), and Contexts & Comparisons (IV). Part I includes essays exploring various methodological approaches to criminal law (such as criminology, feminist studies, and history). Part II provides an overview of systems or models of criminal law, laying the foundation for further inquiry into specific conceptions of criminal law as well as for comparative analysis (such as Islamic, Marxist, and military law). Part III covers the three aspects of the penal process: the definition of norms and principles of liability (substantive criminal law), along with a less detailed treatment of the imposition of norms (criminal procedure) and the infliction of sanctions (prison or corrections law). Contributors consider the basic topics traditionally addressed in scholarship on the general and special parts of the substantive criminal law (such as jurisdiction, mens rea, justifications, and excuses). Part IV places criminal law in context, both domestically and transnationally, by exploring the contrasts between criminal law and other species of law and state power and by investigating criminal law's place in the projects of comparative law, transnational, and international law.
The contributors to this volume treat pluralism as a concept that is historically and ideologically produced or, put another way, as a doctrine that is embedded within a range of political, civic, and cultural institutions. Their critique considers how religious difference is framed as a problem that only pluralism can solve. Working comparatively across nations and disciplines, the essays in After Pluralism explore pluralism as a "term of art" that sets the norms of identity and the parameters of exchange, encounter, and conflict. Contributors locate pluralism's ideals in diverse sites Broadway plays, Polish Holocaust memorials, Egyptian dream interpretations, German jails, and legal theories and demonstrate its shaping of political and social interaction in surprising and powerful ways. Throughout, they question assumptions underlying pluralism's discourse and its influence on the legal decisions that shape modern religious practice. Contributors do more than deconstruct this theory; they tackle what comes next. Having established the genealogy and effects of pluralism, they generate new questions for engaging the collective worlds and multiple registers in which religion operates.
The Judge as Political Theorist examines opinions by constitutional courts in liberal democracies to better understand the logic and nature of constitutional review. David Robertson argues that the constitutional judge's role is nothing like that of the legislator or chief executive, or even the ordinary judge. Rather, constitutional judges spell out to society the implications--on the ground--of the moral and practical commitments embodied in the nation's constitution. Constitutional review, in other words, is a form of applied political theory. Robertson takes an in-depth look at constitutional decision making in Germany, France, the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Canada, and South Africa, with comparisons throughout to the United States, where constitutional review originated. He also tackles perhaps the most vexing problem in constitutional law today--how and when to limit the rights of citizens in order to govern. As traditional institutions of moral authority have lost power, constitutional judges have stepped into the breach, radically altering traditional understandings of what courts can and should do. Robertson demonstrates how constitutions are more than mere founding documents laying down the law of the land, but increasingly have become statements of the values and principles a society seeks to embody. Constitutional judges, in turn, see it as their mission to transform those values into political practice and push for state and society to live up to their ideals.