Legislating Morality: Scoring the Hart-Devlin Debate after Fifty Years

Ratio Juris 25 (2):117-132 (2012)
It has now been more than 50 years since H. L. A Hart and Lord Patrick Devlin first squared off in perhaps the most celebrated jurisprudential debate of the twentieth-century (1959–1967). The central issue in that dispute—whether the state may criminalize immoral behavior as such—continues to be debated today, but in a vastly changed legal landscape. In this article I take a fresh look at the Hart-Devlin debate in the light of five decades of social and legal changes
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