maandag 21 december 2009

Literatuur van 'Polycentric Law'

Een bespreking van 'polycentric law'. Het is een inleiding in het polycentrische denken en een (korte/oppervlakkige bespreking) van de literatuur; vooral om mensen geïnteresseerd te krijgen en ze al wat referenties te geven om zelf op weg te kunnen.

De verschillende delen van de tekst:
  1. Law prior to the state
  2. Anglo-Saxon Customary Law
  3. The Rise of the Royal Law
  4. From Polycentric law to state law
  5. The Persistence of Polycentric Law
  6. Theories of Polycentric Law
  7. Future Growth in the Study of Polycentric Law

De goede Bensen komt nog eens langs:
After a wide review of the field, Benson concludes that each customary legal system has six basic features:
1) a predominant concern for individual rights and private property;
2) laws enforced by victims backed by reciprocal agreements;
3) standard adjudicative procedures established to avoid violence;
4) offenses treated as torts punishable by economic restitution;
5) strong incentives for the guilty to yield to prescribed punishment due to the threat of social ostracism; and
6) legal change via an evolutionary process of developing customs and norms. (Benson, 1990, p. 21)
Leuk detail uit de customary law van de Anglo-Saksische wereld:
A system of surety, known as borh, provided the foundation of Anglo-Saxon law. Under the borh system a set of ten to twelve individuals, defined at first by kinship but later by contractual agreement, would form a group to pledge surety for the good behavior of its members. The group would back up this pledge by paying the fines of its members if they were found guilty of violating customary law. A surety group thus had strong financial incentives to police its members and exclude those who persistently engaged in criminal behavior. Exclusion served as a powerful sanction: " Every person either had sureties and pledge associates or one would not be able to function beyond one's own land, as no one would deal with one who had no bond or who could not get anyone to pledge their surety to them.
Daarna volgt een historisch verhaal (stukjes 2-6) over de legale evolutie in die streken. Leuk is dat er nog een quote state van Berman zijn 'Law and Revolution': een boek dat ik zelf tracht te lezen (maar het is een redelijk uitgebreid boek, met veel niet al te interessante delen in (voor het essentieële punt) waardoor het wat moeilijk lezen is. De quote zelf had ik zelf ook al 'ontdekt' in het boek, i.e. toen ik het tegenkwam had ik iets van: 'leuke quote! Zeker onthouden!'
Berman provides the single best source for sorting out this legal tangle in his magisterial Law and Revolution. He there explains how competition between jurisdictions helped to protect individual liberty: " A serf might run to the town court for protection against his master. A vassal might run to the king's court for protection against his lord. A cleric might run to the ecclesiastical court for protection against the king." (Berman, 1983, p.10) The same person, in different capacities (merchant, cleric, vassal, townsman, etc.), enjoyed a significant degree of choice among legal systems, forcing them to compete. This competition for " customers" and the interaction among rivalrous legal systems resulted in many of the legal innovations that we take for granted today.
Spijtig dat er bij de volgende quote gaan datum staat:
For the most part, royal law won this competition among jurisdictions. It had two important advantages over its rivals. The power to tax allowed it to subsidize its legal services. Royal courts absorbed the local functions of the law merchant, for instance, by adopting its precedents and offering to enforce them at bargain rates.
Dit kan immers (of 'moet' bijna) begrepen worden als een subsidiering van the merchant way of life. Immers: als het goedkoper wordt om, als 'merchant', rechtszaken op te lossen, is het nogal wiedes dat er meer mensen zich in deze onderneming zullen storten - niet?

Noot aan mezelf:
Randy E. Barnett, " Pursuing Justice in a Free Society, Part One: Power versus Liberty," in Criminal Justice Ethics, Summer/Fall 1985, pp. 50-72; " Pursuing Justice in a Free Society, Part Two: Crime Prevention and the Legal Order," in Criminal Justice Ethics, Winter/Spring 1986, pp. 30-53)
Deze referenties nog eens opzoeken. 'k weet dat minstens een deel daarvan in 'Anarchy and the Law' zit, maar 'k ben alweer een deel vergeten.

En dit ook onthouden:
Fuller's Morality and the Law introduced polycentric law to mainstream legal philosophy. Fuller defines " law" in terms broad enough to encompass privately produced law (as we saw in the quote above), and criticizes legal positivism's authoritarian tendencies.

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