Law as Idea, Ideal and Duty

Jurisprudence 1 (2):245-251 (2011)
Law centrally or archetypically is a moral idea, but not so much an ideal as a requirement of justice. Studying it contemplatively, as Simmonds's admirable Law as a Moral Idea does, tends to truncate the investigation of law's moral character and to obscure the extent to which jurisprudence can and should be a critical moral inquiry. The book's virtues—especially its critiques of Hart, Raz and Kramer—outweigh these two objections and the further, lesser objection that the distinctions it draws between its project and the strategy of Natural Law and Natural Rights perhaps misconceive the latter, which the present article accordingly tries to clarify
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