Jurisprudence 7 (2):210-230 (2016)

Anthony Reeves
State University of New York at Binghamton
Ronald Dworkin once identified the basic question of jurisprudence as: ‘What, in general, is a good reason for a decision by a court of law?’ I argue that, over the course of his career, Dworkin gave an essentially sound answer to this question. In fact, he gave a correct answer to a broader question: ‘What is a good reason for a legal decision, generally?’ For judges, officials of executive and administrative agencies, lawyers, non-governmental organizations, and ordinary subjects acting in the variety of legal contexts, Dworkin identified the proper basis for a legal decision, and its implications for the form of well-conducted legal reasoning. Dworkin's stance on the above questions can be characterised by two theses. I defend his view by substantiating each. The result is agnostic about the viability of other aspects of Dworkin's legal theory, as it focuses on the grounds of proper legal decision-making. Whatever the fate of his other philosophical views, Dworkin's jurisprudence includes a clear-heade...
Keywords Legal Reasoning  Dworkin  Authority  Legitimacy  Constructive Interpretation
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Reprint years 2016
DOI 10.1080/20403313.2015.1082818
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References found in this work BETA

Authority, Law and Morality.Joseph Raz - 1985 - The Monist 68 (3):295-324.
Moral Aspects of Legal Theory.David Lyons - 1982 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 7 (1):223-254.
Judicial Discretion.Ronald Dworkin - 1963 - Journal of Philosophy 60 (21):624-638.

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