Legal Theory 24 (2):135-157 (2018)

Authors
Laura Valentini
King's College London
Abstract
One of the distinctive features of the obligation to obey the law is its content-independence. We ought to do what the law commands because the law commands it, and not because of the law's content—i.e., the independent merits of the actions it prescribes. Despite its popularity, the notion of content-independence is marked by ambiguity. In this paper, I first clarify what content-independence is. I then develop a simple test—the “content-independence test”—which allows us to establish whether any candidate justification of the obligation to obey the law delivers genuine content-independence. I apply this test to prominent such justifications and conclude that several of them, surprisingly, fail it.
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DOI 10.1017/s1352325218000095
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References found in this work BETA

Nations, States, and Territory.Anna Stilz - 2011 - Ethics 121 (3):572-601.
Are There Any Natural Rights?H. L. A. Hart - 1955 - Philosophical Review 64 (2):175-191.
Legal Positivism: 5½ Myths.John Gardner - 2001 - American Journal of Jurisprudence 46 (1):199-227.
In Defense of Content-Independence.Nathan Adams - 2017 - Legal Theory 23 (3):143-167.
LEGAL POSITIVISM: 5 1/2 MYTHS.John Gardner - 2001 - American Journal of Jurisprudence 46 (1):199-227.

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