The Rule of Law and its Virtue<sup>*</sup>

Joseph Raz

in The authority of law

Published in print August 1979 | ISBN: 9780198253457
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681400 | DOI:
The Rule of Law and its Virtue*

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This chapter examines the argument that there are certain procedural values inseparable from the law which forms its internal morality. It analyses the ideal of the rule of law in the same manner in which F.A. Hayek formulated his ideal of the rule of law and aims to show why some of his conclusions cannot be supported. The chapter begins with the basic idea of the rule of law wherein the doctrine of the rule of law explains that the law must be capable of guiding the behaviour of its subjects. It also discusses some the principles that can be derived from the basic idea of the rule of law. These principles include: all laws should be prospective, open, and clear; laws should be stable; the making of laws should be guided, open, clear, and general rules; the independence of the judiciary must be guaranteed; natural justice must be observed; courts must have reviewing power over some principles; courts should be accessible; and the discretion of crime-preventing agencies should not be allowed to pervert the law. In addition, the chapter discusses the value and essence of the rule of the law and some of the problems and issues concerning conformity to it.

Keywords: procedural values; law; internal morality; rule of law; Hayek; principles; value; doctrine

Chapter.  8483 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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