TRS Allan: "Law as Practical Reason"

Event date
24 November 2022
Event time
15:00 - 16:30
Oxford week
MT 7
Goodhart Seminar Room University College

TRS Allan (Cambridge)

Notes & Changes

Abstract: Law’s role, I argue, is to act as the measure and guarantor of justice for the political community. We determine the law’s content by seeking reflective equilibrium between general principle and specific example. Common-law method, in which principle and precedent are closely interdependent, is exemplary. Political obligation can be understood as a matter of respect for justice, as the law, correctly interpreted, defines it. There cannot be unjust laws in the sense of rules or rulings that violate fundamental principles: their validity depends on the availability of morally acceptable interpretations. The distinction between natural and artificial reason is merely one of degree. Positive law guides the application of natural law to the circumstances prevailing. It gives determinate shape to the moral ideals that animate the interpretation of legal practice.

Trevor Allan (Cambridge) delivers the eighth paper of Michaelmas Term 2022: "Law as Practical Reason". The seminar will start at 3:00pm in the Goodhart Seminar Room of University College (Logic Lane). 

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