2021 Abstracts Stage 3

Can John Rawls’s theory of justice provide a fair way for the UK to deliberate how the COVID-19 financial support packages should have been distributed in a country that has become overcentralised?

The projects aim is to address the issue of fairness found in the negotiation process between the central government and Greater Manchester local governments. This issue of fairness stemmed from the overcentralised nature of the national government structure. John Rawls’s theory of justice will be used to rethink a fair deliberative position.
The territory of this project is the North-South divide which has been created from the regional inequalities which co-exist in England. Overcentralisation has meant these inequalities are not being addressed and this has created a feeling of unfairness among the North.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the issues found in the territory. The chosen object for this project demonstrates this as it explores the negotiations between Greater Manchester local governments and central government over COVID-19 financial support. Greater Manchester had minimal influence in these negotiations and believed this to be an unfair deliberation process and outcome.
So this project will address the issue of fairness with John Rawls theory of justice. It will provide a way to rethink the deliberative position to ensure a fair negotiation process and fair social circumstances under which an agreement can be made.

2021 Abstracts Stage 3

Can the common and civil law legal codes be situated within coherent philosophical accounts of judgement and justice and what is the preferable system?

In this project, I explore the contrasting legal systems, common law and civil code and compare them to my two principal philosophers:

– Jean-François Lyotard
– Plato

Additional philosophers I studied:

– Immanuel Kant
– Ludwig Wittgenstein
– Aristotle
– Socrates

The questions I focused on:

• Can we have a politics with or without a true essence of justice?
• Can we judge based on opinion, or based on prior criteria?
• Do legal systems work within situational context or universal formulas?
• What are the philosophical attributes embedded within legal systems?

I essentially wanted to establish the central aspects of the legal systems I am studying regarding how they view judgement. This was examined by determining whether judgement is based on the conformity of statutes and legislations or based on precedent. I determine that the civil law system’s rigid structure gives judges limited say in the outcome of cases as they abide by the law’s statutes. On the other hand, the common law works on precedent, using past cases to determine the conclusion of a case. Additionally, I compared the philosophical attributes of these two legal systems to the two philosophers I studied. I resolved that the common law generally related to Lyotard’s situational school of philosophy; judgement is based case-by-case without regard to prior criteria. Furthermore, Plato’s true essence of justice claims a universalism of judgement which coincides with the civil law system. Concluding, I argue the superiority of Lyotard’s philosophy and the common law system over the contrasting school of philosophy and legal system.

2021 Abstracts Stage 2

Miscarriages of Justice: A Philosophical Investigation into the Media, and their effect upon the Judiciary System in accordance with specific cases of Violence

Contemporary treatment of specific crimes (miscarriages of justice) reveals that early forms of vendetta are still present in our supposedly rational society, which may therefore result in the destabilisation of hierarchical power relations. The project uses the subsequent cases; the Birmingham Six (1974-75), the Guildford Four (1975), and the Maguire Seven (1976), to highlight how such a system of our judiciary systems’ necessity to our society can fail. The project uses MacIntyre’s philosophy, regarding narrative alongside Poyser’s academics, to suggest that through improved case narratives due to media involvement, the judiciary system is provided with the opportunity to resurrect their mistakes and in doing so improve the structural innerworkings of society. Further philosophical analysis of the media’s narrative regarding MacIntyre perhaps reveals how the victims are condemned due to how they have been treated by the judiciary system and the miscarriage of justice that they been involved. In thinking about one’s selfhood in terms of narrative, it is possible to review how the victim’s lives are changed for the worse due to their mistreatment. Moreover, use of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right feasibly aids the removal of historical discordancy around the concept of justice, which in doing so provides a clearer understanding of how violence in the form of terror and vendetta still become pertinent issues for our society. Hence, the project sets itself to reviewing the claim that contemporary treatment of specific crimes in the form of miscarriages of justice may in fact provoke the destabilisation of hierarchical powers such as our judiciary system due to the presence of repeated acts of violence in the form of terror and vendetta.