Do judges have an obligation to enforce the law?: Moral responsibility and judicial-reasoning

Law and Philosophy 29 (2):159-187 (2010)
Abstract
Judicial obligation to enforce the law is typically regarded as both unproblematic and important: unproblematic because there is little reason to doubt that judges have a general, if prima facie, obligation to enforce law, and important because the obligation gives judges significant reason to limit their concern in adjudication to applying the law. I challenge both of these assumptions and argue that norms of political legitimacy, which may be extra-legal, are irretrievably at the basis of responsible judicial reasoning.
Keywords adjudication  legal reasoning  authority  judges
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