Some legal theorists deny that states can conceivably act extra-legally, in the sense of acting contrary to domestic law. This position finds its most robust articulation in the writings of Hans Kelsen, and has more recently been taken up by David Dyzenhaus in the context of his work on emergencies and legality. This paper seeks to demystify their arguments and, ultimately, contend that we can intelligibly speak of the state as a legal wrongdoer or a legally unauthorized actor.
What is law (and why should we care)? -- Crazy little thing called "law" -- Austin's sanction theory -- Hart and the rule of recognition -- How to do things with plans -- The making of a legal system -- What law is -- Legal reasoning and judicial decision making -- Hard cases -- Theoretical disagreements -- Dworkin and distrust -- The economy of trust -- The interpretation of plans -- The value of legality.
Three paradigms of legal positivism -- The pure theory of law : science or political theory? -- Kelsen's principles of legality -- Kelsen's theory of democracy : reconciliation with social order -- Democratic constitutionalism : Kelsen's theory of constitutional review -- Kelsen's legal cosmopolitanism -- Conclusions : the pure theory of law and contemporary positivism.
This article explores the idea of Parliamentary sovereignty in British constitutional theory. Two general explanations for this idea are considered: firstly, that the existence of a sovereign entity is a conceptually necessary precondition for the existence of a state or constitution; secondly, that Parliament is sovereign, if it is, in virtue of a rule of recognition whose existence and content may be empirically determined. The former account, it is suggested, looms large in orthodox British constitutional theory but cannot be sustained. (...) Herbert Hart's version of the latter account is examined by reference to the decision in Jackson v Attorney General but is also found wanting. Given the inadequacy of these accounts, it is contended that the idea of Parliamentary sovereignty is misconceived. Building on insights in the work of Hart and Dworkin, it is argued that the British constitution instead rests on the ideal of government under law or the principle of legality. The putative value of legality, it is contended, will shape or control the many different principles that condition the exercise of official power. (shrink)
HLA Hart has sometimes been associated with the false proposition that there is 'no necessary connection between law and morality'. Nigel Simmonds is the latest critic to make the association. He offers an 'ironic' interpretation of a famous passage in Hart's The Concept of Law in which the proposition is apparently rejected as false by Hart. In this paper I explain why, even if Simmonds's ironic interpretation is tenable, it does not associate Hart with the proposition in the way that (...) Simmonds believes that it does. More affirmatively, I show that among several necessary connections between law and morality that Hart defends, there is an important indirect one that runs from law to legality, from legality to justice, and from justice to morality. (shrink)
The article explores the Israeli Supreme Court main judgment regarding the legality of the use of special interrogation methods in order extract information concerning future acts of terror. The Judgment's main conclusion was that while there might be a justification for using exceptional interrogation measures in order to save lives, based on the concept of lesser evil as embedded in the criminal defense of necessity, the government is nevertheless not authorized to use such means in the absence of explicit (...) legislation to that effect. The article presents and evaluates the Judgment, particularly the relation between the substantive moral questions involved and the aspect of authorization. (shrink)
Abstract. In this paper I shall take an inferential approach to legality (legal validity), and consider how the legality of a norm can be inferred, and what can be inferred from it. In particular, I shall analyse legality policies, namely, conditionals conferring the quality of legality upon norms having certain properties, and I shall examine to what extent such conditionals need to be positivistic, so that legality is only dependant on social facts. Finally, I shall (...) consider how legality is transmitted from norm to norm and whether the ultimate legality policies (the rules of recognition) of a legal system need to be constituted by social facts. (shrink)
Laws of Postmodernity is the first work of legal scholarship to apply postmodern jurisprudence to an analysis of a number of substantive areas of law. In analyzing the cultural significance of law, the contributors show how critical jurisprudential analysis undermines positivistic attempts to support a normative viewpoint of the legal order. In addition, they criticize contextual, sociological accounts of legal phenomena. The contributors explore blasphemy laws in the wake of the Salman Rushdie affair, and French critical legal theory-- particularly the (...) work of Pierre Legendre--to highlight the repression of psychoanalysis within jurisprudence. Through detailed accounts, Laws of Postmodernity clearly illustrates the practical application and theoretical significance of postmodern jurisprudence. (shrink)
This article evaluates the legality of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the March 2003 attack on Iraq. The author rejects assertions that Security Council Resolution 1441 (2002), standing alone, contained a mandate to employ force; on the contrary, the Resolution was only adopted on the understanding that it did not. The law of self-defense, including its ?preemptive? variant, similarly provided no legal basis for the action because the degree of Iraqi support to terrorism was insufficient and the threat of use of (...) weapons of mass destruction was not imminent. With regard to humanitarian intervention, the suffering inflicted by the Saddam Hussein's regime did not rise to a level allowing intervention. Moreover, international law does not permit forceful regime change except when authorized by the Security Council. However, the author argues that material breach of the 1991 cease-fire in Security Council Resolution 687 released the US and UK from their obligation to refrain from hostilities, thereby reactivating the use of force authorization in Security Council Resolution 678 (1990). This latter justification was the sole official legal justification offered for Operation Iraqi Freedom. (shrink)
Criminal law scholars approach legality in various ways. Some scholars eschew over-arching principles and proceed directly to one or more distinct “rules”: (1) the rule against retroactive criminalization; (2) the rule that criminal statutes be construed narrowly; (3) the rule against the judicial creation of common-law offenses; and (4) the rule that vague criminal statutes are void. Other scholars seek a single principle, i.e., the “principle of legality,” that they claim underlies the four rules. In contrast, I believe (...) that both approaches are misguided. There is no such thing as a single “principle of legality;” yet, the four aforementioned rules are not unrelated to each other. The so-called “principle of legality” consists of two distinct norms that derive, respectively, from two fundamental principles of criminal justice, viz., the principle, “No person shall be punished in the absence of a bad mind,” and the principle that underlies the maxim, “Every person is presumed innocent until proven guilty.” The first norm of legality explains the rules regarding ex post facto legislation, and rules regarding “notice” and “fair warning” of judicial decisions. When a person is punished for violating a rule that was non-existent or unclear at the time he acted, he is punished for conduct that the state now condemns and seeks to prevent by means of penal sanctions. Accordingly, at the time the person is prosecuted, his claim is not that he did not do anything that the state regards as wrong, but, rather, that he neither knew nor should have known that he was doing something that the state would come to regard as wrong. He ought, indeed, to be excused for his mistake, but only because of a principle that is common to excuses generally: “No person ought to be punished in the absence of a guilty mind.” He should be excused because even when a person does something the state condemns and seeks to prevent, he ought not to be blamed for it unless he was motivated in a certain way, namely, by an attitude of disrespect for the legitimate interests of the political community by whose norms he is bound.The second norm of legality informs several of the remaining rules, though not all of them. The second norm is that a person ought not to be punished in the name of a political community unless it can confidently be said that the community officially regards his conduct as warranting the criminal punishment at issue. It is a norm that is most commonly associated with the rule of lenity, but it is not confined to the construction of statutes that are ambiguous or vague. It can also be also violated when a person is punished for violating a statute that has fallen into desuetude, regardless of how widely promulgated or narrowly defined the statute may be. This second norm derives from a principle that also underlies the presumption of innocence - the only difference being that the presumption of innocence is a preference for acquittal in the event of uncertainty regarding the facts which an actor is charged, while the second norm of legality is a preference for acquittal in the event of uncertainty regarding the scope of the offense which he is charged.Nevertheless, one “rule” remains that this analysis throws into question - namely, the rule that “vague” criminal statutes are void. Criminal statutes are sometimes so broadly defined that they do, indeed, infringe constitutionally protected rights of speech, movement, etc. - in which event they ought to be invalidated on those very grounds. And criminal statutes are sometimes so broadly drafted that, before applying them, courts ought to construe them to apply only to constitutionally unprotected acts that courts can confidently say the relevant political community regards as warranting punishment. But once statutes are so construed to apply only to constitutionally unprotected conduct, courts have no further reason to invalidate them on grounds of “vagueness.” Lack of “notice” is no reason to invalidate them because, with respect to the narrowly defined conduct such statutes are construed to prohibit, “common social duty” alone ought to alert actors that their conduct is suspect. (shrink)
This study deals with the place and meaning of "legality" in Kant's moral philosophy. Although the return to Kantianism dominates contemporary political and legal thought, the boundaries of the analyses of the relationship between morality and legality in Kant's moral philosophy are confined to the boundaries drawn by John Rawls and Jürgen Habermas. While Rawls and Habermas consider law and morality as intersecting sets of rules and rights, they mostly consider this relationship in terms of the question of (...) the legitimacy of law. By contrast, this study is an attempt to reconsider the Kantian link between morality and legality beyond the question of the legitimacy of law. Without the deontological filters of the Rawlsian and Habermasian political and legal theory, and therefore without leaving teleological and axiological concerns outside of the field of application, this study is an attempt to analyze the possible ways of understanding the conceptual connection between morality and legality in Kant's moral philosophy. Hence in this study, by paying particular attention to The Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals and The Metaphysics of Morals, I will analyze the role of legality in Kant's morality. The study first explains the goals of Groundwork and Metaphysics as Kant describes them. The study then turns to the discussion of duty as the central concept of Kant's thought. In the process, the study questions the possible ways of understanding the conceptual relationship between moral and legal obligation in Kant's thought, and mainly emphasizes two possible different conceptualizations of that relationship, (a) The first understanding can be constructed on the claim that the obligation of the moral subject is also to follow the fundamental principles of morality, the Categorical Imperative, in the legal order, which is part of the phenomenal world. The main point of this understanding lies in the idea that Kant's understanding of legal obligation presupposes the will's capacity to abstract from inclinations, (b) The second understanding, in contrast to the first one, can be built on the belief that moral and legal obligations should be conceived as completely distinct and non-intersecting in Kant's moral philosophy. From this perspective, neither moral obligation nor legal obligation can affect each other. The study concludes by focusing on moderate interventionism as a possible third option for linking moral and legal obligations in Kant's moral philosophy. (shrink)
The language of morality and legality infuses every aspect of the Middle East conflict. From repeated assertions by officials that Israel has “the most moral army in the world” to justifications for specific military tactics and operations by reference to self-defense and proportionality, the public rhetoric is one of legal right and moral obligation. Less often heard are the voices of those on the ground whose daily experience is lived within the legal quagmire portrayed by their leaders in such (...) uncompromising terms. This Article explores the opaque normative boundaries surrounding the actions of a specific group within the Israeli military, soldiers returning from duty in Hebron in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. By examining interviews with these soldiers by an Israeli NGO, it identifies different narratives of legality and illegality which inform their conduct, contrasting their failure to adhere to conventional legal discourses with the broader “legalization” of military activities. Seeking an explanation for this disjunction, it explores the ways in which the soldiers’ stories nonetheless reflect attempts to negotiate various normative and legal realities. It places these within the legal landscape of the Occupied Palestinian Territories which has been normatively re-imagined by various forces in Israeli society, from the judicially-endorsed discourse of deterrence manifested in the day-today practices of brutality, intimidation and “demonstrating power,” to the growing influence of nationalist-religious interpretations of self-defense and the misuse of post-modernist theory by the military establishment to “smooth out” the moral and legal urban architectures of occupation. The Article concludes by considering the hope for change evident in the very act of soldiers telling ethically-oriented stories about their selves, and in the existence of a movement willing to provide the space for such reflections in an attempt to confront Israeli society with the day-to-day experiences of the soldier in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. (shrink)
What happens to the concept of security if legal disorder manifests itself not only as illegal behavior but also as alegal behavior—acts that challenge the very distinction between legality and illegality, as drawn by a political community? Focusing on European immigration policy, this paper examines how the distinction between illegal and alegal acts critically illuminates the relation between collective (in)security and the concept of legal (dis)order. It concludes by arguing that this distinction sheds new light on the systematic relation—and (...) tension—between security, freedom, and justice. (shrink)
This paper argues that concepts of legality in legal theory can be profitably understood as being underwritten by modes of spatio-temporal objectification. In the first part of the paper, a scheme of such modes is provided, and a map of jurisprudential inquiries is thereby offered. In the second part of the paper, two concepts of legality - underwritten by two different modes of spatio-temporal objectification - are analysed. The analysis shows how both concepts of legality lead to (...) different sets of prescriptive resources as to the evaluation and design of legal systems. Finally, it is argued that the response of legal theory to practical challenges within the public sphere cannot afford to be based on any one concept of legality. Rather, we need to be pluralists about concepts of legality, recognising the limitations of any one such concept - represented, in this paper, by way of spatio-temporal objectification that underwrites those concepts. A crisis in legal theory cannot be claimed on the basis of any alleged lack of correspondence between any one concept of legality and reality. On the contrary, a crisis will ensue to the extent that legal theory becomes dominated by theoretical imperialism, namely, by the belief that any one concept of legality is capable of capturing the world as it is, and, therefore, also capable of standing as a foundation for a prescriptive agenda. The vice of theoretical imperialism induces anxiety over the identity of a discipline, and leads to a quelling of the very theoretical diversity that is required for an ethical response to the specific complexity of the public sphere. (shrink)
Imbalance in analytical legal theory's approach to prima facie legal phenomena : re-balancing after imbalance : an incremental addition to analytical legal theory -- Legal officials, the rule of recognition, and international law -- The hierarchical view of legal system and non-state legality -- Meta-theoretical-evaluative motivations -- An inter-institutional theory -- An inter-institutional account of non-state legality -- Pathologies of legality : novel technologies and their implications for conceptions of legality : the consequences of re-socializing a (...) descriptive-explanatory view of law. (shrink)
The need to fill three gaps in ethics research in a business context sparked the current study. First, the distinction between the concepts of “ethical” and “legal” needs to be incorporated into theory building and empiricism. Second, a unifying theory is needed that can explain the variables that influence managers to emphasize ethics and legality in their judgments. Third, empirical evidence is needed to confirm the predictive power of the unifying theory, the discernable influence of personal and organizational variables, (...) and the importance of the issue to the managers in determining their emphasis on the ethical and legal values of their judgments. Focused on these needs, the current research combines social identity theory with empirical findings from business ethics research. This theory building initiative framed hypothesis-driven research to investigate the influences on managers’ emphasis on ethical and legal values in making business judgments. An empirical research study was conducted involving 252 practicing managers who judged 12 newsworthy business events. Data was collected on the managers’ individual factors, on the groups that influence their judgments, and on the importance that the managers place on ethics and legality in judging the 12 scenarios. The research findings contribute to theory development (1) By successfully utilizing a blended extension of social identity and issue-contingent theories to understand managers’ judgments, and (2) By providing evidence on the relationships between the perceived importance of an issue and the emphases managers place on ethical and legal values in their judgments. The analysis of the data was extended to provide insights on the needs of employers to tailor management training on legal and ethical decision-making. The participating managers were clustered according to their emphases on Ethical Importance and Legal Importance in judging business situations. Analysis of Variance was then combined with Scheffé Multiple Comparison Tests to assess whether the factors derived from a blended extension of social identity and issue-contingent theories were significantly different across the clusters. The product of this analysis is unique sets of attributes that describe each cluster of managers, and provide an empirical basis for determining training priorities. Finally, the carefully constructed and thoroughly tested 12 research scenarios that form the core of the survey instrument enable their redeployment in subsequent research and their use by practicing executives who wish to compare data provided by their managers to results from the study participants. (shrink)
Upon first consideration, the desire of an individual to amputate a seemingly healthy limb is a foreign, perhaps unsettling, concept. It is, however, a reality faced by those who suffer from body integrity identity disorder (BIID). In seeking treatment, these individuals request surgery that challenges both the statutory provisions that sanction surgical operations and the limits of consent as a defence in New Zealand. In doing so, questions as to the influence of public policy and the extent of personal autonomy (...) become important. Beyond legal issues, BIID confronts dominant conceptions of bodily integrity, medical treatment, and ethical obligations. This paper seeks to identify the relevant public policy concerns raised by BIID in New Zealand and the limits of autonomy, before moving on to consider how BIID sufferers may legally seek the treatment they require and how a doctor might be protected from criminal proceedings for assault for performing this treatment. It will be argued that it is possible to legally consent to the amputation of a healthy limb as medical treatment and that public perception should not be allowed to take precedence over this right. (shrink)
Television advertisements depicting the use of electronic cigarettes have recently exposed minors to images of smoking behaviors. While these advertisements are currently legal, existing laws should be interpreted or expanded to ban the commercial depiction of smoking behaviors with any product that resembles a cigarette to shield minors from potentially influential advertising.
A central characteristic of people with Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) is an apparent insatiable appetite leading to severe overeating and the potential for marked obesity and associated serious health problems and premature death. This behaviour may be due to the effects of the genetic defect resulting from the chromosome 15 abnormalities associated with the syndrome. We examine the ethical and legal dilemmas that can arise in the care of people with PWS. A tension exists between a genetic deterministic perspective and that (...) of individual choice. We conclude that the determination of the capacity of a person with PWS to make decisions about his/her eating behaviour and to control that behaviour is of particular importance in resolving this dilemma. If the person is found to lack capacity, the common law principles of acting in a person's "best interests" using the "least restrictive alternative" may be helpful. Allowing serious weight gain in the absence of careful consideration of these issues is an abdication of responsibility. (shrink)
One of the most important principles of the European Community law is the prohibition of the abuse of a dominant position based on Article 82 of the EC Treaty. Predatory pricing is one of the forms of the abuse of a dominant position. It is likely that the world financial and economic crisis will lead to an increase in competition among the undertakings. The fact that some dominant undertakings seeking to sustain or increase their market share might decide to engage (...) in predatory pricing and that no comprehensive research on predatory pricing has been carried out by legal scholars in Lithuania and the European Union up to date, underlines the relevance of this study. To decide whether dominant undertaking has become a “predator”, it is necessary to evaluate several issues, such as the ability of the dominant undertaking to recoup its losses incurred during the alleged application of predatory pricing strategy. The judicial institutions of the European Union pay little attention to this issue and might recognize that predatory pricing took place even without the evidence on the possibility for the undertaking to recoup its predatory losses. This study analyses the recovery of predatory losses by the dominant undertaking and the importance of such recovery in determining whether or not the dominant undertaking engaged in predatory pricing. (shrink)
Pasibaigus Šaltajam karui smarkiai išaugęs tarptautinių konfliktų skaičius bei identifikuotos naujos grėsmės paskatino tarptautines organizacijas, tokias kaip Jungtinių Tautų organizacija (toliau – JTO) ir Šiaurės Atlanto sutarties organizacija (toliau – NATO) peržiūrėti Šaltojo karo metu taikytą jėgos panaudojimo praktiką, poreikį ir priemones reaguoti į konfliktus. Tokiomis priemonėmis kaip tik ir tapo vadinamieji „mėlynieji šalmai“, kurie Jungtinių Tautų valstybių narių yra priskiriami Jungtinių Tautų Saugumo Tarybos sankcionuotoms operacijoms vykdyti. Nors priskirtos pajėgos vykdydamos tarptautines operacijas dėvi Jungtinių Tautų simboliką, tačiau jų pavaldumas (...) savo valstybei išlieka visą laiką. Analizuodami valstybių dalyvavimo tarptautinių organizacijų sankcionuotose tarptautinėse operacijose teisinius pagrindus, straipsnio autoriai per jėgos panaudojimo prizmę analizuoja Jungtinių Tautų Saugumo Tarybos ir apskritai tarptautinių organizacijų vaidmenį sankcionuojant jėgos panaudojimą pagal Jungtinių Tautų Chartijos nuostatas bei tarptautinių operacijų vykdymo raidą. Straipsnyje taip pat detaliai apžvelgiami siuntimo į tarptautines operacijas nacionaliniai teisiniai pagrindai ir procedūros bei Lietuvos Respublikos praktika. Šis straipsnis yra skirtas visiems besidominties tarptautinėmis operacijomis ir jų sankcionavimo nacionaliniais ir teisiniais pagrindais. Straipsnio struktūra susideda iš trijų dalių. Pirmojoje šio straipsnio dalyje yra nagrinėjamas jėgos panaudojimas pagal Jungtinių Tautų Chartijos nuostatas, antroje ‒ aptariami dalyvavimo Jungtinių Tautų Organizacijos ir Šiaurės Atlanto Sutarties Organizacijos vadovaujamose tarptautinėse operacijose raida ir teisiniai pagrindai, o paskutinėje dalyje yra nagrinėjamas nacionalinis siuntimo į tarptautines operacijas reglamentavimas. (shrink)
Company directors and executives seek legal advice outside the company on a regular basis. This advice is meant to be given within the context of the lawyers’ professional obligations and ethical practise. What clients may not appreciate is there is often a conflict of interest between the lawyers’ professional and ethical concerns and the legal advice business. If lawyers follow their business interests, their advice may be incomplete especially in relation to the ethical consequences of that advice. This could lead (...) to a compromise of the clients’ commercial interests and even raise doubts in relation to the legality of the clients’ proposed course of action. (shrink)
This paper focuses on a crucial and insufficiently examined issue of the conflict between legality and legitimacy, seen as a key element in securing continuity and providing the intellectual justification of the Francoist regime. Without analyzing the tension between legality and legitimacy, it is impossible to comprehend and successfully dismantle the thesis of the regime's intellectuals, recently revitalized by revisionist historians, according to which Francoism succeeded in re-establishing historical continuity and political normalcy in Spanish society. In the context (...) of the Cold War, it was crucial for Spanish legal scholars to portray Francoism not as a bastion of anti-liberalism, but as a regime whose survival entailed an original interpretation of notions such as freedom, rule of law, sovereignty and authority. They argued that the significance of Francoism consisted not only in defeating liberalism in Spain but in offering an alternative interpretation of its main tenets. By aspiring to justify and overcome its own historical exceptionality, the Francoist regime sought to avoid the inevitability of its demise. By virtue of its failure to do so, Francoism remained outside the European political norm, to which only democratic Spain would be re-admitted. (shrink)
The extraction of a pecuniary penalty for the recusancy of married women was a heavily contested issue in the Parliament of Elizabeth. Under the rules of coverture, married women controlled no property. It was thus ineffective to fine them, for they were unable to pay the penalty. As a result, the government attempted to hold husbands responsible for the penalties of their wives through the use of recognizances under the auspices of the Commissions for Causes Ecclesiastical, a prerogative court. Research (...) into the York Commission’s use of recognizances indicated that it had indeed been possible legitimately and legally to obtain a pecuniary penalty for the recusancy of a married woman by the 1570s. This was generally believed to have been legally impossible until they became obtainable by statute in 1593. Detailed examination of the records of the Commission indicates clearly that the depiction in the scholarly literature of the levying of these penalties as somehow improper or even illegal is erroneous. These forfeitures might have seemed irregular, but were indeed legitimate and obtained by proper and legal means in the context of contemporary standards of authority and control, both governmental and familial. This study demonstrates how respect for the standards of coverture, patriarchy, and marital obligations incorporated in the use of the recognizance provided a highly effective and legal means to penalise and correct both recusant wives and their husbands. (shrink)
I examine the impact of the presence of anarchists among key legal officials upon the legal positivist theories of H.L.A. Hart and Joseph Raz. For purposes of this paper, an anarchist is one who believes that the law cannot successfully obligate or create reasons for action beyond prudential reasons, such as avoiding sanction. I show that both versions of positivism require key legal officials to endorse the law in some way, and that if a legal system can continue to exist (...) and function when its key officials reject the reason-giving character of law, then we have a reason to re-examine and amend legal positivism. (shrink)
In discussing the works of 16th-century theorists Francisco de Vitoria and Alberico Gentili, this article examines how two different conceptions of a global legal community affect the legal character of the international order and the obligatory force of international law. For Vitoria the legal bindingness of ius gentium necessarily presupposes an integrated character of the global commonwealth that leads him to as it were ascribe legal personality to the global community as a whole. But then its legal status and its (...) consequences have to be clarified. For Gentili on the other hand, sovereign states in their plurality are the pinnacle of the legal order(s). His model of a globally valid ius gentium then oscillates between being analogous to private law, depending on individual acceptance by states and being natural law, appearing in a certain sense as a form rather of morality than of law. (shrink)
Even good lawyers get a bad rap. One explanation for this is that the professional rules governing lawyers permit and even require behavior that strikes many as immoral. The standard accounts of legal ethics that seek to defend these professional rules do little to dispel this air of immorality. The revisionary accounts of legal ethics that criticize the professional rules inject a hearty dose of morality, but at the cost of leaving lawyers unrecognizable as lawyers. This article suggests that the (...) problem with both the professional rules and the extant accounts of legal ethics is that they treat the role of lawyer as largely uniform, whereas lawyers actually serve several importantly different roles in different contexts. The central insight of the article is that legal ethics must be fundamentally context-sensitive: what lawyers are morally permitted or required to do depends on the background context in which they are working. Additionally, by taking context into account, this article is the first to present a theory of legal ethics as appropriately shaped and constrained by normative political philosophy and norms of political legitimacy. -/- Specifically, the article argues that people act as lawyers in three different contexts: State v. Individual (situations in which the State seeks to apply some general law to a particular individual), Individual v. Individual (situations in which private individuals are engaged in a dispute), and Individual v. State (situations in which individuals object to State conduct on constitutional or other grounds unrelated to the question of whether a general law applies to their particular case); that the value of lawyers, qua lawyers, stems from a different source in each of these contexts; and that a theory of legal ethics must take into account both of these first two claims. This article develops one such theory - the Multi-Context View. To demonstrate how the theory applies in practice, the article applies the Multi-Context View to two significant issues in legal ethics: the ethical issues involved in deciding whether to represent a client and the moral permissibility of the use of tactical delay. (shrink)
The proposed theoretical motivation for legal fictionalism begins by focusing upon the seemingly supernatural powers of creation and control that mere mortals exercise over legal things, as a subclass of socially constructed things. This focus brings to the fore a dilemma of uncharitableness concerning the ontological commitments expressed in the discourse of whole societies about such things. Either, there is widespread equivocation as to the fundamental concept expressed by terms such as ‘existence’ or our claims about legal and other institutional (...) things are never really true. When stated as a dilemma, rather than assuming either horn from the outset, our broader social practice of fiction-telling yields a reason to prefer the fictionalist horn. -/- I differentiate three grades of legal fictionalism and contrast strong legal fictionalism with Horacio Spector’s weak form. Only the stronger form has it that engagement in a fictional discourse of law can provide reasons for legal decision-making independent of moral opinions or policy considerations. This stance relies on the claim that maintaining a fictional discourse with respect for its integrity justifies inferences to conclusions about a fictional domain beyond what is described in existing expressions of the discourse. Focusing on ontology allows an analogy between a fictional discourse of law and literary or popular fiction, in which context such inferences are more obviously persuasive. I argue that this notion of respect for the integrity of such a discourse saves legal formalist jurisprudence from the indeterminacy objections of legal realists. (shrink)
The object of this essay is to explore the central role played by the ‘ethic of care’ in debates within and beyond feminist legal theory. The author claims that the ethic of care has attracted feminist legal scholars in particular, as a means of resolving the theoretical, political and strategic difficulties to which the perceived ‘crisis of subjectivity’ in feminist theory has given rise. She argues that feminist legal scholars are peculiarly placed in relation to this crisis because of their (...) reliance on the social ‘woman’ whose interests are the predominant concern of feminist legal engagement. With the problematisation of subjectivity, the object of feminist legal attention disappears and it is in attempts to deflect the negative political consequences of this that the ethic of care has been invoked, the author argues, unsuccessfully. The essay concludes with suggestions as to how the feminist project in law might proceed in the wake of the crisis of subjectivity and the failure of the ethic of care to resolve it. (shrink)
The literature, as are the intuitions of many, is sceptical as to the coherence of ‘legal rights to do legal wrong’. A right to do wrong is a right against interference with wrongdoing. A legal right to do legal wrong is, therefore, a right against legal enforcement of legal duty. It is, in other words, a right that shields the right holder’s legal wrongdoing. The sceptics notwithstanding, the category of ‘legal right to do legal wrong’ coheres with the concepts of (...) ‘right’ and ‘legality’. In fact, once the parameters and features of the category of ‘legal right to do legal wrong’ are clarified, it becomes apparent that positive law contains actual doctrines that have the structure of a right to do wrong. One example is the doctrine of diplomatic immunity. This, and other examples of normatively sound legal doctrines that constitute legal rights to do legal wrong, demonstrate that such rights are not only conceptually coherent, but at times are normatively valuable. Moreover, looking to the law helps detect a category of rights to do wrong that has thus far gone wholly undetected in the literature, which is immunity from liability for violation of duty. (shrink)
In this paper we trace the historical exclusion of women from the legal profession in Canada. We examine women’s efforts to gain entry to law practice and their progress through the last century. The battle to gain entry to this exclusive profession took place on many fronts: in the courts, government legislature, public debate and media, and behind the closed doors of the law societies. After formal barriers to entry were dismantled, women continued to confront formidable barriers through overt and (...) subtler forms of discrimination and exclusion. Today’s legal profession in Canada is a contested one. Women have succeeded with large enrolments in law schools and growing representation in the profession. However, women remain on the margins of power and privilege in law practice. Our analysis of contemporary official data on the Canadian legal profession demonstrates that women are under-represented in private practice, have reduced chances for promotion, and are excluded from higher echelons of authority, remuneration, and status in the profession. Yet, the contemporary picture of the legal profession also reveals that women are having an important impact on the profession of law in Canada by introducing policy reforms aimed at creating a more humane legal profession. (shrink)
In this article, we argue that feminist legal scholars should engage directly and explicitly with the question of evil. Part I summarises key facts surrounding the prosecution and life-long imprisonment of Myra Hindley, one of a tiny number of women involved in multiple killings of children in recent British history. Part II reviews a range of commentaries on Hindley, noting in particular the repeated use of two narratives: the first of these insists that Hindley is an icon of female evil; (...) the second, less popular one, seeks to position her as a victim. In Part III, the article broadens out and we explain why we think feminist legal scholars should look at the question of evil. In large part, the emphasis is on anticipating the range of possible objections to this argument, and on trying to answer these objections by showing how a focus on evil might benefit feminist legal thinking – specifically in relation to the categories of perpetrator and victim and, more generally, in relation to laws motivated by a desire to secure women’s human rights. (shrink)
In 2001, three non-Aboriginal men in their twenties were charged with the sexual assault of a twelve year old Aboriginal girl in rural Saskatchewan. Legal proceedings lasted almost seven years and included two preliminary hearings, two jury trials, two retrials with juries, and appeals to the provincial appeal court and the Supreme Court of Canada. One accused was convicted. The case raises questions about the administration of justice in sexual assault cases in Saskatchewan. Based on observation and analysis of the (...) record, this paper: (1) examines relationships between legal errors dealing with availability of the defence of “belief in consent” and interpretation of the “all reasonable steps” provision, the need for retrials, and apprehended race-gender-age bias and discrimination; and 2) proposes incremental and systemic remedies to address the weaknesses in police, prosecutorial and judicial policy and practice highlighted by this case. (shrink)
At the heart of this book is the age-old question of how law and morality are related. The legal positivist, insisting on the separation of the two, explicates the concept of law independently of morality. The author challenges this view, arguing that there are, first, conceptually necessary connections between law and morality and, second, normative reasons for including moral elements in the concept of law.
In this article, I argue that - despite the absence of any clear influence of one theory on the other - the legal theories of Dworkin and Hegel share several similar and, at times, unique positions that join them together within a distinctive school of legal theory, sharing a middle position between natural law and legal positivism. In addition, each theory can help the other in addressing certain internal difficulties. By recognizing both Hegel and Dworkin as proponents of a position (...) lying in between natural law and legal positivist jurisprudence, we can gain clarity in why their general legal theories seem to fit uncomfortably, if indeed they can be said to fit at all, within so many different camps - while fitting comfortably in no particular camp - as well as highlight what has been overlooked. (shrink)
In this paper, I present a new argument against inclusive legal positivism. As I show, any theory which permits morality to be a condition on legality cannot account for a core feature of legal activity, namely, that it is an activity of social planning. If the aim of a legal institution is to guide the conduct of the community through plans, it would be self-defeating if the existence of these plans could only be determined through deliberation on the merits. (...) I also argue that, insofar as inclusive legal positivism was developed as a response to Ronald Dworkin's critique of H. L. A. Hart's theory of law, it was founded on a mistake. For once we appreciate the role that planning plays in legal regulation, we will see that Dworkin's objection is based on a flawed conception of legal obligations and rights and hence does not present an objection that inclusive legal positivists were required to answer. (shrink)
In this essay, I characterize the original intervention that became Inclusive Legal Positivism, defend it against a range of powerful objections, explain its contribution to jurisprudence, and display its limitations and its modest jurisprudential significance. I also show how in its original formulations ILP depends on three notions that are either mistaken or inessential to law: the separability thesis, the rule of recognition, and the idea of criteria of legality. The first is false and is in event inessential to (...) legal positivism. The second is inessential to legal positivism. The third is likely inessential to law. I then characterize the central claim of ILP in a way that relies on none of these: ILP is the claim that necessarily social facts determine the determinants of legal content. I show that ILP so conceived leaves the central debates in law largely untouched. I suggest how the most fundamental of these—the question of the normativity of law—at least can be usefully addressed. The essay closes by suggesting that even though one can distinguish the social from the normative dimensions of law, a theory of the nature of law is necessarily an account of the relationship between the two: It is a theory either of the difference that certain distinctive social facts make in normative space, or it is an account of the distinctive normative difference that law makes, and the social and other facts that are necessary to explain that difference. One can distinguish between but one cannot separate the social from the normative aspects of legality. (shrink)
This essay partly builds on and partly criticizes a striking idea of Dieter Henrich. Henrich argues that Kant's distinction in the first Critique between the question of fact (quid facti) and the question of law (quid juris) provides clues to the argumentative structure of a philosophical "Deduction". Henrich suggests that the unity of apperception plays a role analogous to a legal factum. By contrast, I argue, first, that the question of fact in the first Critique is settled by the Metaphysical (...) Deduction, which establishes the purity of origin of the Categories, and, second, that in the second Critique, the relevant factum is the Fact of Reason, which amounts to the fact that the Moral Law is pure in origin. (shrink)
David Luban is one of the world's leading scholars of legal ethics. In this collection of his most significant papers from the past twenty-five years, he ranges over such topics as the moral psychology of organisational evil, the strengths and weaknesses of the adversary system, and jurisprudence from the lawyer's point of view. His discussion combines philosophical argument, legal analysis and many cases drawn from actual law practice, and he defends a theory of legal ethics that focuses on lawyers' role (...) in enhancing human dignity and human rights. In addition to an analytical introduction, the volume includes two major previously unpublished papers, including a detailed critique of the US government lawyers who produced the notorious 'torture memos'. It will be of interest to a wide range of readers in both philosophy and law. (shrink)
In his important and engaging book LEGALITY, Scott Shapiro seeks to provide the motivation for the development of his own elaborate account of law by undertaking a critique of H.L.A. Hart’s jurisprudential theory. Hart maintained that every legal system is underlain by a Rule of Recognition through which the officials of the system identify the norms that belong to the system as laws. Shapiro argues that Hart’s remarks on the Rule of Recognition are confused and that his model of (...) law ─ though commendably more sophisticated than any model propounded by earlier legal positivists ─ is consequently untenable. Having thus endeavored to establish that Hart’s exposition of the nature of legality is unsustainable, Shapiro contends that a new approach is vital for progress in the philosophy of law. With his lengthy presentation of his own Planning Theory of Law, he aspires to pioneer just such an approach. -/- Except for a very terse observation in the final main section, this article will not directly assess the strengths and shortcomings of Shapiro’s piquant Planning Theory. Instead, I will defend Hart against Shapiro’s charges and will thereby undermine the motivation for the development of the Planning Theory. Nearly all the objections to Hart’s work posed by Shapiro are inapposite, or so this article will aim to show. (shrink)
This article deals with the relation between a theory of law and a theory of legal reasoning. Starting from a close reading of Chapter VII of H. L. A. Hart's The Concept of Law, it claims that a theory of law like Hart's requires a particular theory of legal reasoning, or at least a theory of legal reasoning with some particular characteristics. It then goes on to say that any theory of legal reasoning that satisfies those requirements is highly implausible, (...) and tries to show that this is the reason why not only Hart, but also writers like Neil MacCormick and Joseph Raz have failed to offer a theory of legal reasoning that is compatible with legal positivism as a theory of law. They have faced a choice between an explanation of legal reasoning that is incompatible with the core of legal positivism or else strangely sceptical, insofar as it severs the link between general rules and particular decisions that purport to apply them. (shrink)
Tom Campbell is well known for his distinctive contributions to legal and political philosophy over three decades. In emphasising the moral and political importance of taking a positivist approach to law and rights, he has challenged current academic orthodoxies and made a powerful case for regaining and retaining democratic control over the content and development of human rights. This collection of his essays reaches back to his pioneering work on socialist rights in the 1980s and forward from his seminal book, (...) The Legal Theory of Ethical Positivism (1996). An introductory essay provides an historical overview of Professor Campbell's work and argues for the continuing importance of 'democratic positivism' at a time when it is again becoming clear that courts are ineffective protectors of human rights. (shrink)
This paper argues that formal models of coherence are useful for constructing a legal epistemology. Two main formal approaches to coherence are examined: coherence-based models of belief revision and the theory of coherence as constraint satisfaction. It is shown that these approaches shed light on central aspects of a coherentist legal epistemology, such as the concept of coherence, the dynamics of coherentist justification in law, and the mechanisms whereby coherence may be built in the course of legal decision-making.