On Law and Justice

Neil MacCormick

in Institutions of Law

Published in print January 2007 | ISBN: 9780198267911
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191714832 | DOI:

Series: Law, State, and Practical Reason

 On Law and Justice

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  • Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law


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This chapter argues that law is necessarily geared to some conception of justice, taking account of distributive, retributive, and corrective aspects of justice, to all of which respect for the rule of law is, in the context of the state's capability for coercion, essential. It is ‘necessarily geared’ to it in the sense that anyone engaged in its administration, whether in a legislative, executive, or judicial capacity, can only be justified in implementing, amending, or interpreting provisions of the system given a certain condition. This is that they can give grounds for holding that some reasonable conception of justice is satisfied by the provision in question, or that it pursues some element of a reasonably assessed common good in a way that is reasonably coherent with the relevant conception of justice.

Keywords: civil liberty; religion; human rights; positivism; natural law

Chapter.  8927 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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