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Human dignity is a contested concept. While “dignity as autonomy” reflects universalist liberal egalitarianism, “dignity as status”refers to an aspect of social relationship within a hierarchically ordered society. While all citizens have inherent dignity, individuals occupying certain offices or attaining certain accomplishments may enjoy special dignity, in the form of privileges and immunities. This is evident in Singapore, where the government promotes relational constitutionalism, which seeks to secure rights while sustaining durable relationships and solidarity within an ethnically and religiously diverse polity. While dignity is not an explicit constitutional value, this chapter explores how it is apprehended as a public value. The government has endorsed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which affirms human dignity as foundational. It considers how human dignity has been invoked before and beyond the courts, examining how the concept and cognates like honor, integrity, benevolence and virtue shape each other. Particular attention is paid to how human dignity is shaped as manifest in laws regulating political defamation and the treatment of migrant workers.
Police practices substantiate legal abstractions, but frequently the police are influenced by normative frameworks beyond the framework of the civil laws that regulate their work.This chapter examines the interrelationship between Jordan’s tradition of legal pluralism and the hegemonic values that influence different kinds of social order. It also considers how the civil legal system takes account of tribal settlements with respect to the ‘personal right’ accorded to victims, and reviews how the blend of customary, formalised tribal, Islamic and civil legal traditions that co-exist in Jordan shape the field of practice within which the police manage grievances. Frequently exercising discretion, the police treat some of these grievances as crimes, and others as disputes between citizens, reflecting the common reticence of citizens to prosecute cases in the civil courts.
This chapter introduces the jurisprudence of Ronald Dworkin. It outlines the various components of his liberal individualistic theory and how this conceptualises group phenomena including religion. It notes how English law is largely based on this model, highlights its deficiencies as regards the regulation of religion, and traces its declining influence from 2016. It argues that liberal individualism is a suboptimal model on which to base the law of religion because it takes insufficient account of groups and civil society.
British Islam and English Law presents a novel argument about the nature and place of groups in society. The encounter with Islam has led English law to tread a line between two theoretical models, liberal individualism and multiculturalism, competing for dominance over the law of organised religion. This philosophical rivalry has generated a set of seemingly intractable conflicts between individual and community, religion and state, nation and culture. This book resurrects the long-buried theory of classical pluralism to address and resolve these tensions. Applying this to five understudied institutions that give structure and form to British Islam – banks, charities, schools, elections, clans – it outlines and justifies the reforms that would optimise the relationship between law and religion. Unflinching and unorthodox, this book places law and theory in context, employs innovative methods such as nudge theory and applied history, and provides detailed answers to hard questions about British Islam.
This chapter explores the connections between Friedrich Hayek's scientific investigations of the nature of social order and law and his various attempts to restate the case for the fundamental values or principles of liberal individualism. A great deal of Hayek's work in social and legal philosophy from the late 1930s through his final work, The Fatal Conceit, can be seen as an expansion and generalization of his contribution during the mid-1930s to the debate about the rationality of central economic planning. Hayek endorses the understanding of Adam Smith that economic order arises out of particular economic agents deploying their personal resources in pursuit of their separate ends and on the basis of their own inventory of knowledge, including their knowledge about others' preferences and likely actions. The law of the designed social order must be an enormous set of different task assignments that individuals are commanded to carry out.
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