Chapter

The Obligation to Obey the Law

Joseph Raz

in The authority of law

Published in print August 1979 | ISBN: 9780198253457
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681400 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198253457.003.0012
The Obligation to Obey the Law

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It is generally agreed that there is no absolute or conclusive obligation to obey the law. Even the author suggests that there is not even a prima facie obligation to obey it. This chapter does not provide general argument showing there is no such obligation to obey the law; rather, it hopes that a more indirect approach may suggest that the duty does not exist. The first section of the chapter discusses the nature of the claim that one has an obligation to obey the law. The chapter also examines the case for the existence of such obligation arising from moral and prudential considerations. It concludes with a discussion of the role of the law in society in a way which explains why one should not expect a good law to give rise to an obligation to obey it.

Keywords: absolute obligation; obligation; obey the law; prima facie obligation; law; good law

Chapter.  7201 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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