The idea of mercy can be highly inspiring also in the field of law, although, like every scholar or practitioner not initiated in theology, the legal professional too cannot expect to easily find guidelines and orientations for his specialized skills and knowledge drawing upon the huge treasures of religious wisdom. Greatly helpful in the attempt of fully grasping the essential meanings of this idea are those interpretive approaches which explore and reveal its anthropological and cultural premises, thus allowing the legal scholar not to take ‘mercy’ at its face value, namely as somewhat simply equivalent to compassion, leniency or forgiveness. Mercy as an attitude has its roots in the ability to consider ‘time’ more important than ‘space’ (as expressed by Pope Francis in his exhortation Evangelii Gaudium), namely to take all the time needed to listen to ‘other’s’ words and truths, without rushing to embrace simplified solutions like short-term protection policies supplied by populists who have no regard for their long-term human and material costs for society. This preserved time allows of the respect for dignity, liberty, rights and humanity of people, even while devising and applying responses to wrongdoings or even crimes, thus taking heed of the long term needs of society, as well as of both victims and offenders, as epitomized in the experience of restorative justice.
The paper examines the reasons why it is necessary that justice incorporates the concepts of mercy and forgiveness. Facing fractures in human relationships, the inherent nature of justice is to respond to negativity with opposite stances, aimed at turning unjust relationships into just ones, and not to merely «double» that negativity in pursuit of a merely retributive model. In this sense, mercy, at the center of the Jubilee wanted by Pope Francis, does not merely concern personal initiative, in antithesis to justice, but it represents a significant paradigm of justice also at the institutional level. The analysis is developed through legal, historical, political and theological references, the latter concerning the redemption in Jesus, as well as the magisterium of the recent pontiffs.
Moving from the bull Misericordiae Vultus and the Apostolic Letter Misericordia et misera of Pope Francis, the Author demonstrates how mercy not only presupposes justice, but mercy is and becomes a mean to enforcing justice. The Christian notion of justice goes beyond the classical notion, understanding and elevating the suum on the basis of an ontologically superior order principle, to charity, understood, in the words of a Father of the Church, as principatus iustitiae, the guiding principle of the same justice.
The essay intends to investigate the legal admissibility of the Rent-to-buy contract for buildings under construction, in accordance with Legislative Decree n. 122/2005. Although it is not possibile to ensure the immediate enjoyment of the goods to the lessee, several legal arguments lead to the conclusion that the contract is legally possible.
This paper deals with local irrigation systems organized by villages and communities in the Roman world. It will examine both some epigraphic and literary texts on this subject and some relevant jurisprudential sources belonging to Justinian’s Digest on this topic. In all these cases, the need for joint water use led to the development of at least initial forms of ‘association’ among rivales, intended for the regulation of: a) the distribution of water; b) the hydraulic work such as digging and maintenance; c) the arbitration of possible disputes between users. For their part, the juridical texts can better explain the probable ‘legal status’ of these communities, namely how they were structured and how internal relationships between rivales were considered.
Among Synoptics, Matthew’s Gospel seems to present richest juridically relevant details and finest sensitivity to social stigma. Drawing inspiration from some distinctive passages of this text, the paper focuses on the contrast between mercy and sacrifice, particularly referring to the penal sanction. Residual sacrificial traits of the current criminal system are explored to propitiate their definitive overcoming, in a perspective complementary to the wider potential of a “new” and creative justice, based on the mercy paradigm. Identified sacrifice-like features of criminal sanction includes: vicarious transfer and inaccuracy of responsibility attribution, contentious and evidentiary poverty of factfinding, indifference to the possibility of positive involvement of the subjects who bear punishment and cognitive disregard to relationships subsequent to the conviction. Being open to different outcomes, the model of mercy is evaluated, also without reference to its ethical dimension, in terms of greater empirical validity and functional rationality.