Sylvie Delacroix, a lecturer at the University of Kent (UK), researches and teaches in the field of philosophy of law and constitutional theory. Her work is centered on one big question: what enables us to give ourselves norms? Lawyers do not typically like to consider the implications of such a question, preferring instead to think of law’s normative dimension as a given.
While at Radcliffe, Delacroix will write a book provisionally titled “Religious Absolutism and Secular Normativity.” Analyzing the difficulties raised by the necessity to relate the authority of secular law to the power enacting it, she will critically examine the temptation to guarantee the lawmaking enterprise with an invocatio dei, which has become a fashionable expression in Brussels. Her aim is to develop an account of law that highlights the significance of the moral and political concerns driving conventional lawmaking practices. While these concerns can certainly flow from a wide range of values, including religious ones, they may not need any seal of transcendence in order to produce a normative outcome.
Delacroix earned her degrees in law and philosophy from the Facultés Universitaires St-Louis and Université de Louvain-la-Neuve in Belgium. She then won a Knox scholarship at Trinity College at Cambridge University, where she completed a doctoral degree in philosophy of law. Her book Legal Norms and Normativity: A Genealogical Enquiry is forthcoming from Hart Publishing. Recently, Delacroix held a Rouse Ball postdoctoral award at Trinity College, during which she wrote a series of articles on the works of Montaigne, Kelsen, and Schmitt, which have been or will be published by Ratio Juris and the Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence.