Van onafhankelijk magistraat tot rechter-bureaucraat: factor van rechtsstatelijke (des)integratie?
PhD student: Mr B.H.R. Nelissen
Promotor: Prof B. Allemeersch
Duration: 15/5/2010 - 15/5/2016
PhD defence: Leuven, 12/1/2018
In order to (better) understand the so-called judicial condition, one has to - judges hitherto being persons - first render an acceptable account of the human condition.Judges in modern, pluralistic societies can no longer be merely considered as mere "bouche[s] de la loi" (Montesquieu). In fact, their apparently growing discretion enables them to use a panoply of legal instruments at their disposal in the light of personal beliefs and convictions about world, man and the so-called "good life". In our research, we would like to find out to what extent the Belgian system discounts these personal beliefs of candidate-judges prior to their appointment and whether this approach complies with international (juridico-philosophical) standards as to the Rule of Law.
To this end, a series of phenomena (e.g. judicial candor in and outside of the courtroom, (absence of) room for open dissent on the bench, the increased interest in NPM-precepts to render the judiciary (more) accountable (and bureaucratized)) is being scrutinized in light of the (changing) expectations vis-à-vis the (wo)men on the bench against the backdrop of important societal transformations (e.g. secularization, multi-moralization, precarization).
In the second half of the thesis, these phenomena are being put in a (more) philosophical perspective, whereby we probe certain aspects of the changing (dominant) anthropology (e.g. the free will debate) and the risks posed by a specific form of secularization as well a "tabula rasa" attitude toward the ideas undergirding the Western Rule of law concept and (limited) government.
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