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Many men are good judges in their own case: restorative justice and the nemo Iudex principle in Anglo-American law


Page, Jennifer (2015). Many men are good judges in their own case: restorative justice and the nemo Iudex principle in Anglo-American law. Raisons Politiques, 3(59):91-107.

Abstract

The principle of nemo iudex in causa sua (“no man should be a judge in his own case”) iscentral to John Locke’s social contract theory: the state is justified largely due to the human need for an impartial system of criminal justice. In contemporary Anglo-American legal practice, the value of impartiality in criminal justice is accepted uncritically. At the same time, advocates of restorative justice frequently make reference to a crime victim’s right to have his or her voice heard in the criminal justice process without regard for impartiality as potentially being morally valuable. In this article, I challenge the central place of impartiality in criminal justice on the grounds that it leads to a setup ill-suited to moral psychology. Though restorative justice advocates are not principled in their implicit rejection of impartiality and the nemo iudex principle, their preferred method of criminal justice conduces to crime victims’ being good judges in their own case.

Abstract

The principle of nemo iudex in causa sua (“no man should be a judge in his own case”) iscentral to John Locke’s social contract theory: the state is justified largely due to the human need for an impartial system of criminal justice. In contemporary Anglo-American legal practice, the value of impartiality in criminal justice is accepted uncritically. At the same time, advocates of restorative justice frequently make reference to a crime victim’s right to have his or her voice heard in the criminal justice process without regard for impartiality as potentially being morally valuable. In this article, I challenge the central place of impartiality in criminal justice on the grounds that it leads to a setup ill-suited to moral psychology. Though restorative justice advocates are not principled in their implicit rejection of impartiality and the nemo iudex principle, their preferred method of criminal justice conduces to crime victims’ being good judges in their own case.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:01 Faculty of Theology > Center for Ethics
06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Philosophy
Dewey Decimal Classification:100 Philosophy
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:21 Sep 2016 12:44
Last Modified:21 Sep 2016 12:44
Publisher:Presses de Sciences Po
ISSN:1291-1941
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3917/rai.059.0091

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