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‘Neurorecht’ in Nederland

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‘Neurolaw’ in the Netherlands: The justification of the new adolescent penal law from a neurophilosophical perspective

The possible and actual normative influence of neuroscientific research has been discussed in numerous publications. One particular part of that debate covered a number of US Supreme Court decisions since the early 2000s on the constitutionality of death or lifetime sentences for minor offenders. The present paper connects these topics to the new Dutch adolescent penal law which allows to treat adult offenders until the age of 22 years under certain conditions according to the rules for minors. The justification of this law referred to adolescents’ and young adults’ brain development in a unique manner. This paper does not only describe the essential steps of the lawmaking process and the legal justification of the new adolescent penal law, but also analyzes in depth in how far the used neuroscientific findings are able to support the normative conclusions.
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Keywords: adolescent brain; legal responsibility; neuroethics; neurolaw; neurophilosophy

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2019

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  • Het Algemeen Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Wijsbegeerte (ANTW), opgericht in 1908, is een filosofisch wetenschappelijk tijdschrift dat oorspronkelijke artikelen publiceert van auteurs uit het Nederlands-Vlaamse taalgebied. Het ANTW richt zich op een breed scala van deelgebieden, stromingen, discussies en perioden van de filosofie. Het ANTW brengt vier nummers per jaar uit: twee focusnummers waarin steeds één omvangrijk artikel centraal staat van een prominente Nederlandse of Vlaamse filosoof, gevolgd door commentaren en een afsluitende repliek van de focusauteur; een regulier nummer met onderzoeksartikelen, overzichtsartikelen en congresverslagen; en een themanummer met artikelen rond een tevoren vastgesteld thema.

    The Dutch language journal Algemeen Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Wijsbegeerte (ANTW), founded in 1908, is a philosophical, academic journal that publishes original articles from authors in the Netherlands and Belgium. ANTW focuses on a broad variety of subjects, trends, discussions and periods in philosophy. ANTW publishes four issues each year: Two Focus Issues that contain one large article from a prominent Dutch or Flemish philosopher (Focus Article), followed by six shorter comments and a closing reply by the focus Author. One regular issue covering research articles, overview articles and congress reports. And one themed issue in which circa six articles focus on certain subjects relevant in philosophy.
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