Law and Philosophy

, Volume 30, Issue 6, pp 729–749

The Structure of Conflicts of Fundamental Legal Rights

Article

Abstract

In recent years, the most widespread doctrine about the conflicts between fundamental (usually constitutional) legal rights could be summarized in the following three main theses: (1) The elements in conflict are legal principles, as opposed to legal rules; (2) Those conflicts are not consequences of the existence of inconsistencies or antinomies between the norms involved, but rather depend on the empirical circumstances of the case. In other words, the norms are logically consistent and the conflicts are not determinable a priori or in abstracto, but only in concreto; and (3) The classical criteria for solving conflicts between norms, such as lex superior, lex posterior and lex specialis, are not suitable to solve conflicts among fundamental legal rights. Indeed, they require a specific method known as ‘weighing and balancing’. Although all three theses could be (and indeed have been) regarded as problematic, in this paper I address mainly the second one. I try to show that there is room for a tertium genus between antinomies (deontic inconsistencies) and conflicts caused by strict empirical circumstances that I call ‘contextual antinomies’. There are situations in which the norms involved are not inconsistent but the conflict arises for logical reasons. My thesis is that many conflicts between fundamental legal rights fall in this category. I offer, in an appendix, a proposal of formalization of this kind of conflict and the elements involved in it.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Alchourrón, C.E. (1981): “G.H. von Wright y los desarrollos de la lógica deóntica”, in Anuario de Filosofía Política y Social, 1: 121-149.Google Scholar
  2. Alchourrón, C.E. and Bulygin, E. (1971): Normative Systems. Vienna: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
  3. Alchourrón, C. E., and Bulygin, E. (eds.), Fundamentos pragmáticos para una lógica de normas. in Análisis lógico y derecho 1984, (Madrid: Centro de Estudios Constitucionales, 1991) pp. 155–167Google Scholar
  4. Aleinikoff, T.A. (1991): “Balancing”, in GARVEY, J. and ALEINIKOFF, T.A. (eds.): Modern Constitutional Theory, Saint Paul: West Publishing Company, pp. 102-112.Google Scholar
  5. Alexy, R., 1986: Theorie der Grundrechte. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt a.MGoogle Scholar
  6. Alexy, R., 2002: “Epílogo a la Teoría de los derechos fundamentales”, in Revista Española de Derecho Constitucional, n. 66, 13-64.Google Scholar
  7. Alexy, R., 2003a: “Constitutional Rights, Balancing, and Rationality”, in Ratio Iuris vol. 16 n. 2, 131-140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Alexy, R., 2003b: “On balancing and Subsumption. A Structural Comparison”, in Ratio Iuris vol. 16, n. 4, 433-449.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bernal, C., 2003a: El principio de proporcionalidad y los derechos fundamentales. Madrid: Centro de Estudios Constitucionales.Google Scholar
  10. Brink, D.O. (1996): “Moral Conflict and Its Structure”, in MASON, H.E. (ed.): Moral Dilemmas and Moral Theory, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 102-126.Google Scholar
  11. Bernal, C. 2003b: “Estructura y límites de la ponderación”, in Doxa n. 26, 225-238.Google Scholar
  12. Dworkin, R., 1978: Taking Rights Seriously. Cambridge (Mass.): Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Guastini, R., I principi nel diritto positivo. In Distinguendo. Studi di teoria e metateoría del diritto. (Torino: Giappichelli, 1996).Google Scholar
  14. Guastini, R., 1998: “Principi di diritto e discrezionalità giudiziale”, in Diritto Pubblico 3 (1998), 641-660.Google Scholar
  15. Günther, K., 1995: “Un concepto normativo de coherencia para una teoría de la argumentación jurídica”, in Doxa n. 17-18, 271-302.Google Scholar
  16. Hernández Marín, R., 1998: Introducción a la teoría de la norma jurídica. Madrid: Marcial Pons.Google Scholar
  17. Horty, J.F., 2001: Agency and Deontic Logic. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hurley, S.L. (1989): Natural Reasons. Personality and Polity. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Hurley, S. L. (1990) `Coherence, Hypothetical Cases and Precedent’, in Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 10:221-251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Marcus, R.B., 1980: “Moral Dilemmas and Consistency”, in The Journal of Philosophy vol. LXXVII no. 3, 121-136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Martínez, D., 2007: Conflictos constitucionales, ponderación e indeterminación normativa. Barcelona-Madrid-Buenos Aires : Marcial Pons.Google Scholar
  22. Mendonca, D., 2003: Los derechos en juego. Conflicto y balance de derechos. Madrid : Tecnos.Google Scholar
  23. Moreso, J.J., 2003: “Conflictos entre principios constitucionales”, in Carbonell, M. (ed.): Neoconstitucionalismo(s). Madrid: Trotta, 99-121.Google Scholar
  24. Moreso, J.J. and Navarro, P., 1996: “Applicabilità ed efficacia delle norme giuridiche”, in Comanducci, P. and Guastini, R. (Eds.): Analisi e Diritto 1996. Torino : Giappichelli, 15-35.Google Scholar
  25. Pazos, M. I., Contradicciones normativas y jerarquía de normas. in Doxa, Cuadernos de filosofía del derecho 17–18 (1995): 383–402Google Scholar
  26. Prieto, L., 2002: “Observaciones sobre las antinomias y el criterio de ponderación”, in Diritto & questioni pubbliche n. 2, 97-114.Google Scholar
  27. Prieto L., (2003) El juicio de ponderación. In: Prieto L. (eds) Justicia constitucional y derechos fundamentales. Madrid: Trotta, 175-216.Google Scholar
  28. Rodríguez, J.L., 2002: Lógica de los sistemas jurídicos. Madrid : Centro de Estudios Constitucionales.Google Scholar
  29. Ross, A., 1958: On Law and Justice. London : Stevens & Sons.Google Scholar
  30. Von Wright, G.H., 1963: Norm and Action. A Logical Enquiry. London : Roultledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  31. Zimmerman, M.J., 1996: The Concept of Moral Obligation. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Zucca, L., 2007: Constitutional Dilemmas. Conflicts of Fundamental Legal Rights in Europe and the USA. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Zucca, L., 2008: “Conflicts of Fundamental Legal Rights as Constitutional Dilemmas”, in Brems, E. (Ed.): Conflicts between Rights. Antwerp/Oxford : Intersentia.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Law and Political ScienceUniversitat Oberta de CatalunyaBarcelonaSpain

Personalised recommendations