Law and Philosophy 24 (3):239-262 (2004)

Authors
Colleen Murphy
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Abstract
It is often argued that the rule of law is only instrumentally morally valuable, valuable when and to the extent that a legal system is used to purse morally valuable ends. In this paper, I defend Lon Fuller’s view that the rule of law has conditional non-instrumental as well as instrumental moral value. I argue, along Fullerian lines, that the rule of law is conditionally non-instrumentally valuable in virtue of the way a legal system structures political relationships. The rule of law specifies a set of requirements which lawmakers must respect if they are to govern legally. As such, the rule of law restricts the illegal or extra-legal use of power. When a society rules by law, there are clear rules articulating the behavior appropriate for citizens and officials. Such rules ideally determine the particular contours political relationships will take. When the requirements of the rule of law are respected, the political relationships structured by the legal system constitutively express the moral values of reciprocity and respect for autonomy. The rule of law is instrumentally valuable, I argue, because in practice the rule of law limits the kind of injustice which governments pursue. There is in practice a deeper connection between ruling by law and the pursuit of moral ends than advocates of the standard view recognize. The next part of this paper outlines Lon Fuller’s conception of the rule of law and his explanation of its moral value. The third..
Keywords Law   Logic   Philosophy of Law   Law Theory/Law Philosophy   Political Science   Social Issues
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Reprint years 2005
DOI 10.1007/s10982-004-7990-3
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The Moral Grounds of Reasonably Mistaken Self‐Defense.Renée Jorgensen Bolinger - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
The Rule of Law and Equality.Paul Gowder - 2013 - Law and Philosophy 32 (5):565-618.
The International Rule of Law and Killing in War.Jovana Davidovic - 2012 - Social Theory and Practice 38 (3):531-553.

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