In the Ethics, Abelard discusses the example of a judge who knowingly convicts an innocent defendant. He claims that this judge does rightly whenhe punishes the innocent man to the full extent of the law. Yet this claim seems counterintuitive, and, at first glance, contrary to Abelard’s own ethical system. Nevertheless, I argue that Abelard’s ethical system cannot be viewed as completely subjective, since the rightness of an individual act of consent is grounded in objective standards established by God. Likewise, (...) any particular civil government must derive its authority objectively from the natural and/or Christian laws, which ground its possibility and function. In this paper, I examine Abelard’s explication of the natural law, discoverable through reason, and the divine laws, knowable only through revelation, in order to explore what form an adequate civil law would have to take under which the judge could be said to have acted rightly. (shrink)
Drawing extensively on Bentham's unpublished civil and distributive law writings, classical and recent Bentham scholarship, and contemporary work in moral and political philosophy, Kelly here presents the first full-length exposition and sympathetic defense of Bentham's unique utilitarian theory of justice. Kelly shows how Bentham developed a moderate welfare-state liberal theory of justice with egalitarian leanings, the aim of which was to secure the material and political conditions of each citizen's pursuit of the good life in cooperation with each other. (...) A striking and original addition to the growing literature on Bentham's legal and political thought, this incisive study also makes a valuable contribution to contemporary political philosophy. (shrink)
reminds us that reproductive medicine has become part of our social reality and as such justifies the intervention of public authorities. The Instruction suggests relevant principles which should guide appropriate legislation. This essay analyzes how far the French government has taken these fundamental principles into account. Keywords: IVF-ET, Donum Vitae , civil law, France CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this?
Law and order ranks high among the values the State is thought to achieve. Civil disobedience is often condemned because it is held to threaten law and order. Several senses of 'order' are distinguished, which make clear why 'law' and 'order' are so often linked. It is then argued that the connection cannot always be made since the legal system may itself create disorder. Civil disobedience may contribute to greater order and a more stable legal system by helping (...) to remove these causes of disorder. Thus, civil disobedience is sometimes justifiable in terms of its contribution to law and order. (shrink)
This paper aims to clarify the nature and contents of 'civil ethics' and the source of the binding force of its obligations. This ethics should provide the criteria for evaluating the moral validity of social, legal and morally valid law. The article starts with observing that in morally pluralist Western societies civil ethics already exists, and has gradually started to play the role of guiding the law. It is argued that civil ethics should not be conceived as (...) 'civic morals' which is in fact rather 'state ethics', nor as 'public ethics' which is said to reach its perfection when it becomes law, nor as ethics applicable primarily to the basic structure of a society (political liberalism), but instead as a citizens' ethics. Subsequently the paper attempts to show what the contents of this ethics are, and which ethical theory would be able to ground its obligations. (shrink)
The effects of the late civil strife have been to free the slave and make him a citizen. Yet he is not possessed of the civil rights which citizenship should carry with it. This is wrong, and should be corrected. To this correction I stand committed, so far as Executive influence can avail.
Legitimate authority -- The claims of law -- Legal positivism and the sources of law -- Legal reasons, sources, and gaps -- The identity of legal systems -- The institutional nature of law -- Kelsen's theory of the basic norm -- Legal validity -- The functions of law -- Law and value in adjudication -- The rule of law and its virtue -- The obligation to obey the law -- Respect for law -- A right to dissent? : civil (...) disobedience -- A right to dissent? : conscientious objection --The purity of the pure theory -- The argument from justice, or how not to reply to legal positivism. (shrink)
This book looks at the civil justice system - the courts and what they do; legal aid and other methods of providing access to justice; lawyers and their conduct; and the role of legal procedure. It also looks at the impact the civil justice system has on wider society, and its relationship with economics and commercial development. The book is largely focussed on Britain, but includes material from the USA, the Indian sub-continent, south-east Asia, and Aboriginal society in (...) Australia. (shrink)
In what, if any sense are our torts and our breaches of contract 'wrongs'? These two branches of private law have for centuries provided philosophers and jurists with grounds for puzzlement and this book provides both an outline of, and intervention in, contemporary jurisprudential debates about the nature and foundation of liability in private law.
Contemporary liberal thinkers commonly suppose that there is something in principle unjust about the legal prohibition of putatively victimless crimes. Here Robert P. George defends the traditional justification of morals legislation against criticisms advanced by leading liberal theorists. He argues that such legislation can play a legitimate role in maintaining a moral environment conducive to virtue and inhospitable to at least some forms of vice. Among the liberal critics of morals legislation whose views George considers are Ronald Dworkin, Jeremy Waldron, (...) David A.J. Richards, and Joseph Raz. He also considers the influential modern justification for morals legislation offered by Patrick Devlin as an alternative to the traditional approach. George closes with a sketch of a "pluralistic perfectionist" theory of civil liberties and public morality, showing that it is fully compatible with a defense of morals legislation. Making Men Moral will interest legal scholars and political theorists as well as theologians and philosophers focusing on questions of social justice and political morality. (shrink)
Rights have become,in recent years, a significant concern of legal theorists, as well as of those involved in moral and political philosophy. This new book seeks to move a number of debates forward by developing the analysis of rights and focusing upon more general theoretical considerations relating to rights. The book is divided into five parts. The first includes an explanation of the part played by conceptual analysis within jurisprudence, while the second conducts a re-examination of Hohfeld’s analysis of rights. (...) This part deals with the arguments advanced by a number of modern theorists including Hart, White and MacCormick. The third part contains the author’s own framework for discussing rights, including examples drawn from tort, constitutional law and international law, together with an analysis of Unger’s theory of rights. Part four centres on the perceived conflict between Dworkin, Rawls and Nozick as the defenders of a rights approach, and Bentham as the champion of utilitarianism and concludes that neither deals with the fundamental concerns of morality on which their theories are based. The fifth part consists of a conclusion which reflects on the key themes and considers the role of rights within general theory. For students, particularly helpful features of the book are the overt consideration of jurisprudential methodology and the opportunity to examine a number of key theorists linked by their divergent views on the subject of rights. (shrink)
A parallel may be drawn between the communicative aspect of civil disobedience and the communicative aspect of lawful punishment by the state. In punishing an offender, the state seeks to communicate both its condemnation of the crime committed and its desire for repentance and reformation on the part of the offender. Similarly, in civilly disobeying the law, a disobedient seeks to convey both her condemnation of a certain law or policy and her desire for recognition that a lasting change (...) in policy is required. When disobedients and authorities target each other, their confrontation allows for a direct comparison of the respective justifiability of their conduct. Their confrontation is explored in this paper with an eye to analysing how civil disobedients and authorities should engage with each other. (shrink)
Correlativity and personality -- The disintegration of duty -- Remedies -- Gain-based damages -- Punishment and disgorgement as contract remedies -- Unjust enrichment -- Incontrovertible benefit in Jewish law -- Poverty and property in Kant's system of rights -- Can law survive legal education?
Bentham's best-known book stands as a classic of both philosophy and jurisprudence. The 1789 work articulates an important statement of the foundations of utilitarian philosophy — it also represents a pioneering study of crime and punishment. Bentham's reasoning remains central to contemporary debates in moral and political philosophy, economics, and legal theory.
Introduction: the grey goose -- The origins of civil society and the function of law -- Justice, ownership, and law -- Natural justice and conventional justice -- Justice and the trading order -- Adjudication and interpretation -- Morality, law, and legislation -- Natural law -- Rights -- The force of law -- The authority and legitimacy of law -- Conclusion.
An introduction to the philosophy of law, which offers a modern and critical appraisal of all the main issues and problems. This has become a very active area in the last ten years, and one on which philosophers, legal practitioners and theorists and social scientists have tended to converge. The more abstract questions about the nature of law and its relationship to social norms and moral standards are now seen to be directly relevant to more practical and indeed pressing questions (...) about the justification of punishment, civil disobedience, the enforcement of morality, and problems about justice, rights, welfare, and freedom. David Lyons is a shrewd, clear and systematic guide through this tangled area. The book presupposes no formal training in law or philosophy and is intended to serve as a textbook in a range of introductory courses. (shrink)
New natural lawyers--notably Grisez, Finnis, and George--have written much on civil marriage's moral boundaries and grounds, but with slight influence. The peripheral place of the new natural law theory (NNLT) results from the marital grounds they suggest and the exclusionary moral conclusions they draw from them. However, I argue a more authentic and attractive NNLT account of marriage is recoverable through overlooked resources within the theory itself: friendship and moral self-constitution. This reconstructed account allows us to identify the relation (...) between marriage and human flourishing and the morality of same-sex marriage without making marriage infinitely plastic. (shrink)
As one of the most massive and successful business sectors, the pharmaceutical industry is a potent force for good in the community, yet its behaviour is frequently questioned: could it serve society at large better than it has done in the recent past? Its own internal ethics, both in business and science, may need a careful reappraisal, as may the extent to which the law - administrative, civil and criminal - succeeds in guiding (and where neccessary contraining) it. The (...) rules of behavior that may be considered to apply to today's pharmaceutical industry have emerged over a very long period and the process goes on. Even the immensely detailed standards for quality, safety and efficacy laid down in drug law and regulation during the second half of the twentieth century have their limitations as tools for ensuring that the public interest is well served. In particular, national and regional regulatory agencies are heavily dependent on industrial data for their decision-making, their standards and competence vary, and even the existing network of agencies does not cover the entire world. What is more there are many areas of law and regulation affecting the industry, concerning for example the pricing of medicines, the conduct of clinical studies, the health protection of workers and concern for the environment. In some fields it is indeed hardly possible to maintain standards through regulation. Professor N.M. Graham Dukes, a physician and lawyer with long term experience in industrial research management, academic study and international drug policy, provides here a powerfully documented analysis into the way this industry thinks, acts, and is viewed, and examines the current trends pointing to change. *Provides a balanced picture of the current role of the pharmaceutical industry in society *Includes indices of conventions, laws, and regulations; as well as judicial and disciplinary cases *This is the only book addressing the legal implications of big pharma activities and ethical standards. (shrink)
Peter Morton provides in these pages a fundamental critique of the assumptions of positivist jurisprudence and also puts forth an attack on the foundationalism of contemporary legal philosophy. His prime concern is to distinguish between the different fields of law--penal, civil, and public--taking as his starting point a careful analysis of those institutions in a democracy wherein legal language and norms are in fact generated. Offering an original, coherent, and systematic exposition of law in today's society, Morton sheds new (...) light on legal practices and relations by way of a comparison with an ideal type of legal system. (shrink)
Highlighting the distinct approaches to behavior guidance employed by law and aspirational religious institutions like Buddhism, focusing on the work of Lon Fuller. There is importance to both baseline or duty-centered rules such as found primarily in criminal law and deontic morality, as well as aspirational guidance principles that are found in religious law, virtue ethics, and sometimes seen in civil law. However, the specific assumptions and aims of these two modes of guidance must be harmonized to be effective.
El libro titulado “los avances del Derecho ante los avances de la medicina”, fruto de un Congreso internacional organizado por la Universidad Pontifica Comillas de Madrid en junio de 2008, recoge numerosos trabajos científicos en torno a cuatro grandes ámbitos en los que el legislador y el juzgador español están haciendo avanzar el Derecho al compás del avance en la ciencia médica: avances en la responsabilidad medica tanto civil, como patrimonial y penal; avances en la tutela de los derechos (...) de los pacientes, avances en los desafios jurídicos que plantea la investigación biomédica y avances en la seguridad de los pacientes. (shrink)
Although the teaching of medical ethics and law in medical education is an old story that has been told many times in medical literature, recent studies show that medical students and physicians lack confidence when faced with ethical dilemmas and medico-legal issues. The adverse events rates and medical lawsuits are on the rise whereas many medical errors are mostly due to negligence or malpractices which are preventable. While it is true that many medical schools teach their students medical law and (...) ethics, there are wide variations in what is being taught because there is no universally agreed syllabus. Yet the knowledge of medical law and ethics is closely relevant to the medical profession and that failure in abiding the law may result in serious civil or even criminal consequences. While this paper does not propose to lay detailed analysis of the relevant areas of law or ethics, it proposes to cover some legal areas so as to highlight and bring to attention the need for a medical law and ethics course. This article also considers the problems faced and recommendation as to future directions to be taken with respect to teaching medical law and ethics. It concludes with a suggested course outline for the teaching of medical law and ethics. (shrink)
This paper is about how best to understand the notion of ‘public wrongs’ in the longstanding idea that crimes are public wrongs. By contrasting criminal law with the civil laws of torts and contracts, it argues that ‘public wrongs’ should not be understood merely as wrongs that properly concern the public, but more specifically as those which the state, as the public, ought to punish. It then briefly considers the implications that this has on criminalization.
Introduction: where do our rights come from? -- Jefferson's masterpiece: the Declaration of Independence -- Get off my land : the right to own property -- Names will never hurt me : the freedom of speech -- I left my rights in San Franscisco : the freedom of association -- You can leave any time you want: the freedom to travel -- You can leave me alone : the right to privacy -- That flesh is mine : you own your (...) body -- Sticks and stones will break my bones : the right to self-defense -- You'll hear from me : the right to petition the government for redress of grievances -- War . . .war . . .what is it good for? : the right to enjoy peace -- When the devil turns round on you : the right to fairness from the government -- A dime isn't worth a penny anymore : the right to sound money -- Theft by any other name : the right to spend your own money -- A ride on Dr. Feinberg's bus : the right to be governed by laws with moral limits -- Disobeying stupidity : the right to ignore the state -- Conclusion. (shrink)
Legal positivism dominates in the debate between it and natural law, but close attention to the work of Thomas Hobbes – the ``founder'' of the positivist tradition – reveals a version of anti-positivism with the potential to change the contours of that debate. Hobbes's account of law ties law to legitimacy through the legal constraints of the rule of law. Legal order is essential to maintaining the order of civil society; and the institutions of legal order are structured in (...) such a way that government in accordance with the rule of law is intrinsically legitimate. I focus on Hobbes's neglected catalogue of the laws of nature. Only the first group gets much attention. Its function is to facilitate exit from the state of nature, an exit which Hobbes seems to make impossible. The second group sets out the moral psychology of both legislators and subjects necessary to sustain a properly functioning legal order. The third sets out the formal institutional requirements of such an order. The second and third groups show Hobbes not concerned with solving an insoluble problem of exit from the state of nature but with the construction of legitimate order. Because a sovereign is by definition one who governs through law, Hobbes's absolutism is constrained. Government in accordance with the rule of law is government subject to the moral constraints of the institutions of legal order. (shrink)
The first text of Justinian’s sixth century Digest records that Ulpian, the leading lawyer from Syria and counsellor to successive emperors of the Severan age (AD 193-235), related the term ‘law’ to four elements: art, religion, ethics and philosophy.2 Law is the art of the good and equitable, of which lawyers can well be called priests. They cultivate justice and the knowledge of right and wrong, and aim, unless Ulpian is mistaken, at the true philosophy.3 He goes on to say (...) that private law is collected from three sources: natural law,4 the law common to all communities (ius gentium) and the law specific to each community (civil law).5 Gaius, a generation earlier, listed two sources: the civil law of each community and the ius gentium.6 He recognized, however, the existence of natural law which, so far as performing a ‘natural obligation’ is concerned, cannot be changed by civil law.7 At times he identifies natural law with ius gentium. (shrink)
This essay on law and religion appears in the second edition of the Blackwell Companion to Philosophy of Law and Legal Theory, edited by Dennis Patterson. It is a revision of a similar entry in the book’s first edition. The essay opens by broadly discussing the complex relationships between law and religion writ large as movements in human history – social, cultural, intellectual, and institutional phenomena with distinct but often overlapping logics and concerns. It then hones in on the efforts (...) of secular law to make sense of religion and determine its place in the civil state. The essay argues that, while the questions raised by the American Bill of Rights’ religion clauses connect in some important respects to broader constitutional principles such as free expression and equality, the most interesting and theoretically excruciating conundrums involving religion need to be approached on their own unique terms. Two useful rubrics for such understanding are “separation” and “deference.” Any honest account must also admit, however, that there is an “intractable residue,” questions in the relation of religion and law to which there simply is no determinate or completely satisfactory answer. Finally, the essay emphasizes that the full texture of the legal imagination’s effort to grapple with religion only becomes apparent in the wider range of subconstitutional and nonconstitutional contexts beyond the standard litany of constitutional discourse. (shrink)
This comprehensive study of Aristotle's Politics argues that nature, justice, and rights are central to Aristotle's political thought. Miller challenges the widely held view that the concept of rights is alien to Aristotle's thought, and presents evidence for talk of rights in Aristotle's writings. He argues further that Aristotle's theory of justice supports claims of individual rights that are political and based in nature.
The United States Supreme Court has repeatedly insisted that what distinguishes a criminal punishment from a civil penalty is the presence of a punitive legislative intent. Legislative intent has this role, in part, because court and commentators alike conceive of the criminal law as the body of law that administers punishment; and punishment, in turn, is conceived of in intention-sensitive terms. I argue that this understanding of the distinction between civil penalties and criminal punishments depends on a highly (...) controversial proposition in moral theory – namely, that an agent’s intentions bear directly on what it is permissible for that agent to do, a view most closely associated with the doctrine of double effect. Therefore, legal theorists who are skeptical of granting intention this kind of significance owe us an alternative account of the distinctiveness of the criminal law. I sketch the broad outlines of just such an alternative account – one that focuses on the objective impact of legislation on a class of protected interests, regardless of the state’s motivations in enacting the legislation. In other words, even if the concept of punishment is unavoidably intention-sensitive, it does not follow that the boundaries of the criminal law are likewise intention-sensitive, because the boundaries of the criminal law may be drawn without reference to the concept of punishment. I conclude by illustrating the application of this view to a pair of well-known cases, and noting some of its ramifications. (shrink)
An important aspect of the contemporary controversies over John Calvin’s natural law doctrine has been his relation to the medieval natural law inheritance. This paper attempts to put Calvin in better context through a detailed examination of his ideas on natural law, in comparison with those of Thomas Aquinas. I argue that significant points of both similarity and difference between them must berecognized. Among important similarities, I highlight their grounding of natural law in the divine nature and the relationship of (...) natural to civil law. Among important differences I note issues of participation, conscience, and the two kingdoms doctrine. Calvin resides in the same broad tradition of natural law as Thomas Aquinas, although he represents a somewhat different strand of it. (shrink)
Gifts: A Study in Comparative Law is the first broad-based study of the law governing the giving and revocation of gifts ever attempted. First, gift-giving is everywhere governed by social and customary norms before it encounters the law. Second, the giving of gifts takes place largely outside of the marketplace. As a result of these two characteristics, the law of gifts provides an optimal lens through which to examine how different legal systems confront social practice. The law of gifts is (...) well-developed both in the civil and the common laws. Richard Hyland's study provides an excellent view of the ways in which different civil and common law jurisdictions confront common issues. The legal systems discussed include principally, in the common law, those of Great Britain, the United States, and India, and, in the civil law, the private law systems of Belgium and France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. Hyland also serves a critique of the dominant method in the field, which is a form of functionalism based on what is called the praesumptio similitudinis, namely the axiom that, once legal doctrine is stripped away, developed legal systems tend to reach similar practical results. His study demonstrates, to the contrary, that legal systems actually differ, not only in their approach and conceptual structure, but just as much in the results. (shrink)
This collection of essays forms a lively debate over the fundamental characteristics of legal and moral rights. The essays examine whether rights fundamentally protect individuals' interests or whether they instead fundamentally enable individuals to make choices.