Incentives and reasons -- Values and human nature -- Right and wrong -- Questions of trust -- Autonomy and freedom -- Obedience, freedom, and engagement : or utility? -- Society, property, and commerce -- On justice -- Using freedom well -- Judging : legal cases and moral questions -- Practical reason, law, and state.
On normative order -- On institutional order-- Law and the constitutional state -- A problem : rules or habits? -- On persons -- Wrongs and duties -- Legal positions and relations : rights and obligations -- Legal relations and things : property -- Legal powers and validity -- Powers and public law : law and politics -- Constraints on power : fundamental rights -- Criminal law and civil society : law and morality -- Private law and civil society : law (...) and economy -- Positive law and moral autonomy -- On law and justice -- Law and values : reflections on method. (shrink)
In 1999, my work as a full-time law professor came to a temporary halt. Shortly before this happened, I brought out a book called Questioning Sovereignty 1 . This attempted to apply my version of the institutional theory of law to certain urgent contemporary questions in the philosophy of law and political philosophy circulating around the ideas and the roles of law, state, and nation in ‘the European Commonwealth’ (as I there called it). Then, partly by chance, I was elected (...) as one of the eight members of the European Parliament representing Scotland. My theoretical questions thus acquired a directly practical edge. All the more so at the end of 2001, for then I was most fortunately elected to take part in the Convention on the Future of Europe set up by the European Council at Laeken in December of that year. (shrink)
This book discusses theories of legal reasoning and provides an overall view of the rhetoric of legal justification. It shows how and why lawyers arguments can be rationally persuasive even though rarely, if ever, logically conclusive or compelling. It examines the role of "legal syllogism" and universality of legal reasoning, looking at arguments of consequentialism and principle, and concludes by questioning the infallibility of judges as lawmakers.
The thesis that propositions of law are intrinsically arguable is opposed by the antithesis that the Rule of Law is valued for the sake of legal certainty. The synthesis considers the insights of theories of rhetoric and proceduralist theories of practical reason, then locates the problem of indeterminacy of law in the context of the challengeable character of governmental action under free governments. This is not incompatible with, but required by the Rule of Law, which is misstated as securing legal (...) certainty. Defeasible certainty is the most that is desirable or achievable. (shrink)
Norms explained as grounds of practical judgment, using example of queue. Some norms informal, inexact, depend on common understanding (`conventions'); some articulated in context of two-tier normative order: `rules', explicit or implicit. Logical structure of rules displayed. Informal and formal normative order explained, `institutional facts' depend on acts and events interpreted in the light of normative order. Practical force of rules differentiated; either `absolute application' or `strict application' or `discretionary application', depending on second-tier empowerment. Discretion can be guided by values, (...) principles standards. Pervasiveness of institutions and institutional facts, especially but not only in relation to institutions of state-law, including constitution and state-institutions. Searle's and Ruiter's theories of institution, institutional fact, considered: `constitutive rule' rejected in favour of `underlying principle', structure of `institutive, consequential and terminative' rules explained and defended. Ruiter's conception of `institutional `régime' considered and adopted, validity of norms and normative `régimes' considered and differentiated from truth of statements of institutional fact. (shrink)
Is there a ‘constitutional moment’in contemporary Europe? What if anything is the constitution of the European Union; what kind of polity is the Union? The suggestion offered is that there is a legally constituted order, and that a suitable term to apply to it is a ‘commonwealth’, comprising a commonwealth of ‘post-sovereign’ states. Is it a democratic commonwealth, and can it be? Is there sufficiently a demos or ‘people’ for democracy to be possible? If not democratic, what is it? Monarchy, (...) oligarchy, or democracy, or a ‘mixed constitution’? Argued: there is a mixed constitution containing a reasonable element of democratic rule. The value of democracy is then explored in terms of individualistic versus holistic evaluation and instrumental versus intrinsic value. Subsidiarity can be considered in a similar light, suggestively in terms of forms of democracy appropriate to different levels of self-government. The conclusion is that there is no absolute democratic deficit in the European commonwealth. (shrink)
This work is a controversial collection of interrelated papers investigating and arguing about issues of concern to lawyers and politicians today. MacCormick combines a scholarly concern with leading thinkers such as John Locke, Lord Stair, Adam Smith and David Hume, John Rawls, Ronald Dworkin, and Patrick Atiyah, and stringently argued view of questions of political obligation, civil liberty, and legal rights.
This study focuses on current jurisprudential debate between the "positivist" views of Herbert Hart and the "rights thesis" of Ronald Dworkin. MacCormick provides a critical analysis of the Dworkin position while also modifying Hart's. It stands firmly on its own as a contribution to an extensive literature.
This Major Reference series brings together a wide range of key international articles in law and legal theory. Many of these essays are not readily accessible, and their presentation in these volumes will provide a vital new resource for both research and teaching. Each volume is edited by leading international authorities who explain the significance and context of articles in an informative and complete introduction.