Humaniora som risikosport

“Forskningsrådets rutiner for å vurdere søknader er for ineffektiv og uegnet til å identifisere god kvalitet, særlig i humaniora. … Det er betenkelig av flere grunner at rekrutteringen av yngre forskere til fag også avhenger av slike usikre finansieringskilder. Institusjonenes strategier bør være mer gjennomtenkte, langsiktige og robuste. Ikke minst fordi mange dyktige yngre vil og bør betakke seg for en så uforutsigbar levevei avhengig av mye midlertidig prosjektfinansiering. Glup ungdom kan finne mange andre mer givende former for risikosport. [WEB]

In Defense of Deference: International Human Rights as Standards of Review

Journal of Social Philosophy. Member states of the Council of Europe subject themselves to judicial human rights review by the European Court of Human Rights. That Court in turn defers sometimes to the judgments of domestic courts about compliance, granting them a margin of discretion, more so when it sees a European consensus. This complex practice can be justified based on arguments about comparative epistemic expertise, respect for democratic decision making, and the need to avoid undue judicial discretion – juristocracy. While this account supports the general practice, it points to certain weaknesses and areas of improvement: the rules to nominate and elect judges and members of the Registry of the Court, the doctrine of the margin of appreciation, and the rationales for a European consensus. [D0I]

Vinnarane av UiOs forskningspris 2021

– Det som er morosamt her, er at me forskar tverrfagleg. Det statsvitarane synest er interessant, det kan vera noko heilt anna enn det juristane eller filosofane synest er interessant. Det seier filosofiprofessor Andreas Føllesdal som saman med jussprofessor Geir Ulfstein er tildelt UiOs forskingspris for 2021.. Uniforum [WEB]

“A Just yet Unequal European Union”

  • “A Just yet Unequal European Union: A Defense of Moderate Economic Inequality.” Review of Social Economy. What does justice require concerning socio-economic distribution among citizens of the European Union? The EU should reduce cross-national economic inequalities among inhabitants of different member states, but full economic distributive equality or a European ‘Difference Principle,’ may not be required. Individuals’ claim to more political influence over matters controlled by their own state in the quasi-federal EU may permit some economic inequality. Section 1 orients this contribution relative to arguments for a European universal income. Section 2 provides relevant features of the EU. Section 3 considers contractualist arguments against certain forms of economic inequality, while section 4 identifies a further argument in favour of equal shares of benefits of social cooperation, based on an interpretation of ‘social primary goods’ consistent with Rawls’ theory. Section 5 argues that these reasons for economic distributive equality must be weighed against more political influence over matters controlled by the individual’s sub-unit. [D0I/LINK]

Holbergprisen 2021: Martha Nussbaum

Filosofen Martha C. Nussbaum mottar Holbergprisen 9. juni. For Martha Nussbaum gjelder rettferdighet ikke bare mennesker imellom, men også dyr. Hun setter ikke følelser og fornuft opp mot hverandre. Ofte er følelser fornuftige. Et gjennomgangstema hos henne er at et rettferdig styresett for et samfunn og for kloden må beskytte oss alle der vi er sårbare. Slik rettferdighet kan ikke stoppe ved landegrensene. For Nussbaum gjelder rettferdighet ikke bare mennesker imellom, men også dyr… Men ureflektert medfølelse er ikke nok, for den kan diskriminere og være nærsynt. Derfor er humaniora et viktig grunnlag for demokratiet… Aftenposten 7. juni [WEB]

International Human Rights Courts and the (International) Rule of Law: Part of the Solution, Part of the Problem, or Both?

Global Constitutionalism 10 (1): 118-138. This article seeks to shed some light on the central relationships between international rule of law norms and international human rights courts, whilst identifying some of the central normative concerns. The aim is partly theoretical, to lay out aspects of how to ‘extend’ or ‘extrapolate’ normative standards such as the rule of law from the domestic setting to international law and organizations; and to explore some modes of interaction between rule of law standards and international courts. The article also draws together relevant empirical findings to shed light on how some of these courts actually work to challenge and bolster rule of law standards. Section 1 sketches one way to ‘transpose’ domestic rule of law norms to international law and institutions – in particular, international human rights courts (IHRCs). We then move to consider two relationships between such standards and IHRCs – in particular, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). Section 2 considers whether IHRCs themselves live up to such standards, in particular as regard selection of judges to secure both independence and accountability. Do IHRCs promote the rule of law among states as judicial organs in multilevel structures, or are they instruments of domination by strong states? I also consider other forms of bias important for ICs, in particular professional bias of the judges. Section 3 explores whether and how IHRCs may promote the rule of law within states: how they may help reduce domination, without themselves becoming new sources of unchecked discretion. The answers hold at best for the ECtHR, but may vary among IHRCs and among the states over which they have jurisdiction. [D0I/LINK] [SSRN]

How Many Women Judges Are Enough on International Courts?

Journal of Social Philosophy (2021) A legitimate international court need not secure numerical sex equality on the bench – complete parity. The article argues that a commitment that institutions should treat all with equal concern requires not only token representation of both prevalent sexes, or a ‘critical mass’ of 15 -25%, but a ‘parity zone’ of 40% of each. Arguments of compassion , epistemic competence; and expressions of status equality favour a high threshold of both the prevalent sexes, and further requirements to ensure a broad range of backgrounds and perspectives among the international judges . The aim is to explore what these arguments require regarding the proportion of men and women on the international bench. The strongest of these arguments withstand criticisms that they ‘essentialize’ gender, or assume that elitist female international judges can represent all other women, or lead to a slippery slope where ICs must also ‘mirror’ a myriad of characteristics of the affected populations and constituencies. The many reasons to lament various unjust forms and levels of inequalities counsel different, only partly overlapping objectives. The composition and workings of ICs must satisfy the norms of impartiality independence and procedural fairness, especially because the ICs are tasked to uphold these very norms. The arguments support a parity zone, and several of the arguments entail that more judges – regardless of their own sex and gender – should be ‘gender sensitive,’ and that there should be further requirements to ensure more diversity of perspectives among the international judges. But there are no strong arguments for complete equal proportions of men and women – ‘sex parity’ – on the international bench. [D0I/LINK]