Nina Peršak

Senior Core Fellow
Period of Stay: 
October 2017 – June 2018
Institute for Criminal-Law Ethics and Criminology, Ljubljana
Project Title: 
The Emotiveness of Law: Criminalisation and Human Rights Guided by Sentiment
Project Abstract: 

The project will examine intersections between the law and emotion, which to a certain extent challenge the thesis of legal rationality. The research will specifically focus on the legal areas of criminal law and (European) human rights law, which are particularly sensitive to sentiment or expressions of strong (collective) emotions that may channel into law through punitive populism. By drawing on various legal sources and documents, case law and literature from different countries and disciplines, the role of emotion in the law and the societal phenomena facilitating the penetration of emotion into law will be comparatively and normatively examined. While recent social events have highlighted certain downsides of emotion-based legislation, acknowledging and incorporating emotion into criminal and human rights law can also strengthen the legitimacy of justice systems. An understudied subject, particularly in legal studies and on the European continent, the research on the emotiveness of law can increase our understanding of law-making, improve our laws and prevent aberrations, consequently aiding justice.