Granger published a chapter on 'Framing Justice claims as legal rights: How law (mis)handles injustices?'

November 19, 2020

Marie-Pierre Granger (Associate Professor at SPP and Legal Studies) and Orsolya Salat (Assistant Professor at ELTE, CEU Legal Studies alumni) just published a chapter on 'Framing Justice claims as legal rights: How law (mis)handles injustices?', in the book edited by Trudie Knijn and Dorota Lepianka  Justice and Vulnerability in Europe. An Interdisciplinary Approach (Edward Elgar Publishing, November 2020). 

The book contributes to the understanding of justice in Europe from both a theoretical and empirical perspective. It shows that Europe is falling short of its ideals and justice-related ambitions by repeatedly failing its most vulnerable populations present among younger as well as older citizens, both native and non-native inhabitants, and mobile as well as sedentary workers. Interdisciplinary and expert contributors search for the explanations behind these failing ambitions through analysis of institutional discourse, legal debates and practice, and the daily experiences of vulnerable populations. By setting tentative criteria for justice as ‘participatory parity,’ in line with the insights of the political philosopher Nancy Fraser, the book challenges European policy makers to re-define redistributive, recognitive, and representative justice. 

In the volume, political philosophers reflect, among other things, on ideal- versus non-ideal theories of justice, legal scholars analyse historical and current limitations of European and national legal frameworks and practices, and social scientists present studies of how justice and injustice take form ‘on the ground’, within the realm of experience of those deemed ‘vulnerable. 

The chapter by Granger and Salat tackles classic questions in legal theory and studies: Does law   integrate justice considerations - or should it? Can it effectively address injustices through the conferral and enforcement of legal rights? The novelty consists taking an empirical route in answering this question, drawing on comparative law research carried as part of the EU funded ETHOS project (Grant agreement 727122). Based on a summary review of key theoretical debates, and the analysis of legal frameworks which regulate voting, housing and education in six European countries (Austria, Hungary, the Netherlands, Portugal, Turkey and the UK), we identify and assess the challenges of framing different justice claims as rights in Europe. Analysing the way different legal systems formulate (or not) justice claims as legal rights, and how they manage the confrontation between competing conceptions or dimensions of justice, expressed as conflicts between rights, between rights and other legally protected interests, between overlapping and competing legal orders, and between law and politics, we reflect on the implications which this institutionalization of justice through rights has for achieving greater justice in Europe.

For downloading the Open Access ebook, or one of its chapters, click here: 

A webinar on Justice and Vulnerability in Europe will be held on 16 December from 17.00 – 18.30. More information will follow soon.