Does Legal Reasoning Differ From Moral Reasoning

Topics: Human Rights

Does Legal Reasoning Differ From Moral Reasoning In Any Way?

Different bookmans have come to different decisions refering the connexion between moral and legal logical thinking. Legal logical thinking is a procedure undertaken by Judgess. It is besides the procedure of divining legal theory. This essay will concentrate on both types of legal logical thinking and their connexion with morality.

First, MacCormick’s formalist attack will be discussed, secondly the political position of the Critical Legal Studies Movement, thirdly, Dworkin’s construct of jurisprudence as unity, fourthly the relationship between ‘practical reason’ and jurisprudence, fifthly, Hart’s lingual doctrine will be discussed as a method of value free legal logical thinking and eventually the difference between moral and legal logical thinking will be discussed in the visible radiation of the essay.

For MacCormick, a lawfully concluding justice is bound by the demand to ‘do justness harmonizing to law.’ [ 1 ] For the most portion, he is non to roll into political morality, instead, he is to lodge to the field significance of the jurisprudence.

InLegal Reasoning and Legal Theory[ 2 ] McCormick shows how, in some cases, judicial logical thinking can be strictly deductive. That is to state that the justice moves from a major and minor premiss to a logical decision. Deductive logical thinking is a logical procedure and free from value opinions.

He sets out an illustration of deductive judicial logical thinking inDaniels and Daniels v R. White and Sons and Tabard 1938[ 3 ] . In that instance, the complainant, Mrs Tabard had been sold a bottle carbolic acid instead than the lemonade she ordered.

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Finding the suspect to be apt, MacCormick argues that the tribunal reasoned therefore ; major premiss, there is an incontestable regulation of the legal system ( here s.14 ( 2 ) of the Sale of Goods Act 1893 ) , minor premiss, the facts of the instance, deductive decision, the tribunals determination in favor of Mrs Tabard.

Such deductive logical thinking is non ever possible. In ‘hard’ instances, judicial logical thinking can non be dictated by such simple, value free, logic. MacCormick contends, nevertheless, that to a really big extent, judicial logical thinking is non moral logical thinking.

It is deserving disbursement sometime sing what ‘hard cases’ really look like. MacCormick characterises them as falling into three classs, jobs of ‘relevancy’ , ‘interpretation’ and of ‘classification.’ The illustration he gives for relevance is the celebrated instance ofDonoghue V Stevenson ( 1932 )[ 4 ],in this instance the House of Lords had to make up one’s mind whether or non the responsibility of attention regulation was relevant between consumers and makers.

His illustration for reading is specific to equivocal legislative acts. InEaling V Race Relations Board 1972[ 5 ],the House of Lords had to make up one’s mind whether the instead equivocal statutory give voicing forestalling favoritism on evidences of ‘national origin’ besides encapsulated the term ‘legal nationality’ . The tribunal, in fact, held that favoritism because of legal nationality was allowable under English jurisprudence.

A job of categorization is shown byMacLennan V Maclennan 1958[ 6 ],here, the tribunal had to make up one’s mind whether or non unreal insemination is distinctive under the bing legal regulations specifying criminal conversation.

Judges, in ‘hard’ instances, do non ‘set aside the jurisprudence books’ and dainty ‘gaps’ in the jurisprudence as an chance to pass, instead, they assess the substantial mass of jurisprudence contained in the ‘law books’ in line with certain modification demands. The demands of ‘formal justice’ , ‘consistency’ and ‘coherence’ .

Having taken these demands into history, the justice so decides on the footing of which determination would hold the best effects. In make up one’s minding the best result in relation to effects, nevertheless, the tribunal can non govern unless its determination is permitted or correspondent to an bing legal regulation.

In a ‘hard’ instance the judges’ determination is limited foremost by ‘formal justice.’ This has a really specific significance. MacCormick considers formal justness to intend that no determination can be given that can non be universalised. No determination is a complete ‘one off.’ If you say that X has a right to retrieve for foreseeable harm suffered from a decomposed snail in a mass produced bottle, you have invented a category of fortunes in which such a determination will ever be the instance.

The demand of consistence is the same as it’s lay-meaning. Judicial opinions can non belie other countries of jurisprudence. For MacCormick, the jurisprudence has ‘rational purpose’ , that is objectively identifiable purposes. The demand of coherency in judicial opinions means that the tribunal can non make up one’s mind in such a manner that contradicts the general purposes of the jurisprudence. The illustration he gives is that the tribunal can non make up one’s mind that different coloured autos should hold different velocity bounds, because that would be out of sync with any nonsubjective rational intent in the organic structure of jurisprudence.

Taking into history these demands, the judge’s logical thinking is farther limited by MacCormick’s construct of ‘principle.’ For MacCormick, rule in jurisprudence exists as a affair of fact. A legal rule is merely deducted from bing legal regulations. A justice can non do a determination which departs from bing legal rules. He can, nevertheless, make determinations by analogy to rules, i.e. he can widen bing rules into similar instances.

The justice is clearly highly limited by the substance of the ‘black letter’ jurisprudence and the nonsubjective reason behind it. Inside these restrictive parametric quantities, the justice has to make up one’s mind the instance on the footing of the ‘best consequence.’ The effects of a opinion can be conveying about disciplinary justness ( redresss ) , accomplishing the purposes of community moral criterions and accomplishing the objectively recognized regulations of public policy.

It is merely at this point that subjective moral criterions weirdo in to judicial logical thinking. Harris, depicting MacCormick says,

‘There comes a point at which effects may be agreed and yet honorable work forces still differ as to the opinions which are justified. At this phase the pick is irreducibly subjective.’ [ 7 ]

That is to state, in some fortunes, the inquiry of what effects it is desirable to convey about by a opinion is down to the moral and political picks of single Judgess, so long as the determination is compatible with, formal justness, consistence and coherency and so long as the determination is permitted by bing legal principal or is correspondent to one.

MacCormick, does nevertheless, permeate his theory of judicial concluding with a normative facet. His theory is non simply a description of what Judgess really do ; he besides intends that it is what they should make [ 8 ] . This implies a moral facet, as a justice who did non ground along his lines would be ‘wrong’ . In fact, the statement could be extended farther, a justice concluding independently of MacCormick’s theoretical account could be concluding amorally because he has thrown aside his responsibility to make ‘justice harmonizing to law.’

As a strictly descriptive theory, nevertheless, MacCormick goes a long manner to dividing legal logical thinking from morality. Judges’ subjective moral sentiments and political doctrines merely come into drama in really restricted fortunes, i.e. measuring which effect is the best result of a regulation.

In contrast, from the American position of the critical legal surveies motion, legal logical thinking can be characterised as pure political relations. Formalism, is a myth.

Borrowing from the legal realists, the critical legal surveies motion adopted a doubting attitude to judicial legal logical thinking. This attitude has been characterised as ‘rule scepticism’ and ‘fact scepticism’ . [ 9 ]

Hugh Collins [ 10 ] has written that regulation agnosticism is the averment that the chief map of regulations prevarications,

‘In retrospective justification or legitimation, that is to show the judicial determination as lawfully right and inevitable.’

Aboard this, fact agnosticism states that Judgess pick and choose the facts of a instance to suit their ain political relations. As Collins argues,

‘According to the realists, the facts are non ‘out there’ , but are selected and described with a position to both a rhetorical justification of the judge’s determination, and to a building of events so that a relevant legal regulation or rule seemingly determines the result.’ [ 11 ]

Indeed a contrast of the House of Lords and the Court of Appeal word picture of the facts inRuxley Electronics and Construction Ltd V Forsyth[ 12 ] neatly demonstrate this averment,

‘The Court of Appeal painted a image of a enduring Mr Forsyth covering with an unqualified builder, whereas the House of Lords, told the narrative of a patient, flexible and generous contractor covering with a bloody-minded, timeserving and unreasonable client.’ [ 13 ]

Not surprisingly, the different tribunals came to different decisions.

This attack contrasts aggressively with MacCormick ‘s formalized theory of judicial ground. Judges, harmonizing to ‘sceptical’ theory, do non fastidiously construe the jurisprudence either by subtracting from major and minor premises, or by paying close attentiveness to rules and analogy. Rather, they come to a decision and so utilize the regulations as, ‘pretty drama things.’ [ 14 ]

The Critical Legal Studies motion believed it had formalists over a barrel. If nonsubjective rules, as espoused by MacCormick exist, why is the jurisprudence so incoherent? Surely settled rules iron out all struggle in the jurisprudence? The reply is that jurisprudence is a forum for political battle, its concluding reflects the political struggles outside the tribunal room. This shows that the jurisprudence is merchandise of political relations and non nonsubjective theory.

Collins illustrates the point through an illustration from contract jurisprudence [ 15 ] . An nonsubjective rule is said to be that a binding contract must be supported by good consideration (Currie v. Misa[ 16 ]1875) .

A regulation sceptic attack would propose that the construct of consideration is ductile and the tribunals are prepared to contrive good consideration by writhing the philosophy to the facts of the instance. A Critical Legal Studies author would farther propose that the construct of just estoppel (Maclaine V, Gatty 1921[ 17 ] ) , which is sometimes applied in consideration instances, is from an wholly different mold than the original rule, so it is politically contradictory to it.

‘Consideration embodies a position of the duties owed between citizens that stresses how they should merely originate through the chase of opportunism, whereas, estoppel embodies a principle that citizens owe in add-on duties to those who reasonably rely on them.’ [ 18 ]

The major job with this line of idea is that it is clear that the jurisprudence is, to an extent, predictable. If nonsubjective rules do non be at all in the jurisprudence and Judgess merely use their ain political relations at caprice, there would be no legal certainty at all.

In The Politicss of the Judicary [ 19 ] , Griffith suggests that the judiciary semen from a similar mold. They are middle-of-the-road conservativists, with similar prepossessions, connected to the fact that they are from similar backgrounds. It can be argued that this is why the jurisprudence is predictable ; when it comes to legal logical thinking, Judgess ground in a similar manner.

An alternate position is that espoused by Llewellyn, that different tribunals have different ‘folkways’ and a legal professional, soaked in the ambiance of any peculiar tribunal, could foretell the right reply, ‘eight out of 10 times.’ [ 20 ]

While the Critical Legal Studies motion sees a nexus between legal logical thinking and political relations, it does non concentrate on moral logical thinking as holding any built-in connexion with the judicial procedure.

Harris suggests that the ground the motion has non focussed on any nexus between moral and legal logical thinking is because it is portion of the wider motion of 20th century postmodernism. Harmonizing to this position,

‘There are no such things as ‘sound theory’ and no such entity as ‘the human subject.’ Once we appreciate that, we will be liberated to believe about concrete relationships and to trade with one and another any figure of buildings, or Reconstructions of them.’ [ 21 ]

Without sound theory or the human topic, positions as to the ‘morally correct’ are non sustainable. Rather, the focal point displacements to the political.

So far, the formalized attack to judicial logical thinking has been considered, which states that there is no connexion between judicial logical thinking and moral logical thinking, because nonsubjective rule exists in a moral vacuity and the critical surveies motion, who focus on the connexion between legal logical thinking and political relations shuning a connexion between legal logical thinking and morality as a effect of their station modernism.

Dworkin rejects both these positions. For him legal logical thinking is connected to moral logical thinking in the closest possible manner. A justice must ground morally before he decides a instance.

InLaws Empire[ 22 ] , Dworkin theorised that jurisprudence could be conceived in the same manner as literary reading, Harris defines this attack,

‘We take the informations – the obvious cases of the pattern, an artistic work or a literary text – and we advance a construct of it which makes in the best example of the genre to which it belongs. The same is true with law.’ [ 23 ]

In seting frontward the best reading of jurisprudence possible, we necessarily convey our moral values into drama. The best theory of jurisprudence is one thatbothtantrums with the substantial information and has moral value. Dworkin applies the theory to the inquiry, ‘how is province coercion to be justified? ’

Dworkin first applies his interpretive theory to ‘conventionalism’ , the nonsubjective rule-based statements espoused by MacCormick. He concludes that the thought that nonsubjective regulations systematically deliver replies does non hold ‘fit’ with the facts on the land. He besides concludes that the theory is morally unwanted, frequently nonsubjective facts do non be in ‘the jurisprudence books’ to specify the jurisprudence and, hence, when Judgess deprive people of belongings or autonomy, they are moving without proper justification.

Next he applies his theory to ‘pragmatism’ , as embodied by the legal realist and critical legal surveies motions. Dworkin claims that jurisprudence means justified coercion, hence, as the pragmatists merely have political relations, non legal justification, i.e. there is no jurisprudence. This is non a moral job so long as your statements are politically sound, but the theory merely does non suit with the informations on the land. It is clear that Judgess are non ‘just pretending.’ [ 24 ]

Law as unity, is Dworkin’s preferable theoretical account. He draws a analogue with an person that an ‘interpretative community’ would see as holding the values of unity, i.e. a good thought-out system of coherent values and jurisprudence.

If jurisprudence was to hold those values, the reply to the inquiry, ‘when is coercion justifiable? ’ can be answered, as Harris paraphrases as when,

‘Community establishments are seeking to widen concern and regard to all on a footing of equality.’ [ 25 ]

A justice, hence, in his legal logical thinkings, must take this moral end into history.

In what Penner calls, ‘the most startling characteristic, ’ [ 26 ] of Dworkin’s theory, ‘law as integrity’ is non intended to be an abstract description, instead, it is a theory that Dworkin considers is really put into pattern by Judgess. Penner claims that Dworking makes Judgess into moral philosophers.

When make up one’s minding instance, a justice goes through the procedure of concluding that has merely been described and comes to the decision of ‘law as integrity.’ The justice has, hence, concluded that the jurisprudence espouses the value that the community through its coercive passages, ‘respects the cardinal right of all citizens to equal concern and respect.’ [ 27 ]

Dworkin creates a justice named Hercules with superhuman concluding ability to exemplify his point. Hercules compares moral considerations with ‘fit’ , i.e. the bing legislative acts and instance jurisprudence.

Heracless may experience that the bing statues and instance jurisprudence reflect an imperfect system of rights, but every bit long as those imperfect rights are distributed every bit, he has found the jurisprudence because it has ‘integrity’ . This is an ‘easy’ instance.

In a ‘hard case’ the bing legislative acts and instance jurisprudence and the necessity the moral considerations may indicate to different decisions. Harris neatly paraphrases the consequence of this state of affairs,

‘Perhaps, of three positions about a peculiar legal inquiry, X is superior to Y, and Y to Z, in footings of political morality. However, whereas X will non suit the legal stuffs, both Y and Z do fit. Then the jurisprudence is Y.’ [ 28 ]

This shows that Hercules has to strike a balance between ‘fit’ and morality. What so constitutes morality in this procedure of judicial logical thinking? First, the construct of justness, which for Dworkin are those values that the ideal legislator would put down, 2nd, procedural due procedure, the thought that one time a regulation has been developed that people have relied upon it should non be changed and equity, something that is supported by bulk sentiment.

‘Fit’ besides has a farther dimension, with some legal stuffs, Hercules is bound by fit even if he thinks the legal stuffs are incorrect. He is, nevertheless, entitled to give them their narrowest possible reading. Hercules takes a holistic attack to the jurisprudence. Dworkin famously said,

‘The jurisprudence may non be a seamless web ; but the complainant is entitled to inquire Hercules to handle it as if it were.’ [ 29 ]

Heracless, hence, takes all extant legal stuffs and constructs a strategy of rules, doing the jurisprudence coherent.

Dworkin’s theory does non merely differ from MacCormick’s by including identifiable moral values in judicial logical thinking, they besides differ on the nature of rule. For MacCormick, rules are an nonsubjective fact, but for Dworkin, they have a moral dimension.

‘Arguments of rule warrant a political determination by demoing that the determination respects or secures some group right.’ [ 30 ]

This is of import, because it shows that rule, in a moral sense of ‘rights’ pervades judicial logical thinking, something which MacCormick would deny.

Dworkin besides asserts that Judgess do non pass, even if it appears that they do. This is because there is ever a morally ‘right’ reply. Harris suggests that this is in two senses, foremost, that a justice must ever come toanreply because that is his occupation, a justice ever chooses a ‘right’ reply because that is what is expected of him. [ 31 ]

Second, nevertheless, and more interestingly, the right reply thesis means that the sum of information that a justice can pull upon is so wide ( bearing in head it takes in moral statements every bit good as the bing legal stuffs ) , that a right reply is ever possible.

This is besides in blunt contrast to MacCormick’s consequentialist concluding – that a justice legislates when the formal regulations have run out in line with what he thinks are the ‘subjectively best consequences.’

Dworkin has clearly put together an elaborate and persuasive theory linking moral and legal logical thinking. It has non, nevertheless, been without its disparagers.

Simmonds 1987 [ 32 ] and Marmor 1992 [ 33 ] attack the thought of comparing ‘fit’ and moral/political value in order to come to a decision. This is because ‘fit’ by its nature is an reading and a ‘question of political theory’ , after set uping this the thought of comparing ‘fit’ and moral/political value seems non be a comparing at all, or instead it is comparing like with similar. [ 34 ]

Alternatively, Finnis ( 1987 ) [ 35 ] claims that ‘fit’ and moral/political value are non ‘commensurate’ , he accepts that they are different values, but does non accept that it is possible to compare them. A concretised version of this statement can be found in the averment that you can’t compare love and money.

Fish ( 1982 ) has contended that the reading of the legal stuffs is non a affair of fact, instead there are tonss of different readings of text depending on which interpretive community you come from,

‘One doesn’t merely happen a history ; instead one views a organic structure of stuffs with the premise that it is organized by judicial concerns. It is that premise that gives form to the stuffs, a form that can so be described as holding been found. Furthermore, non everyone will happen the same form because non everyone will be continuing with the same impression of what constitutes a judicial concern.’ [ 36 ]

It is Simmonds’s unfavorable judgment that seems the most hard to rebut. Dworkin has accepted Fish’s ‘interpretation is societal construction’ statement as complementary to his theory and go forthing it in tact. Finnis’s commensurability statement he refutes by ‘shifting the load of proof’ , inquiring how can Finnis turn out they are non commensurate? [ 37 ] In order to rebut Simmonds, nevertheless, it is necessary to keep that ‘fit’ and moral/political values have a substantial difference.

Outside the inquiry of tantrum and reading, Penner considers the averment that jurisprudence is about justified province coercion to be tremendously controversial. [ 38 ] A celebrated illustration of a non coercive jurisprudence, is the right to self defense mechanism.

Dworkin in Law’s Empire asserted that,

‘In the terminal all my statements are hostage to each reader’s sense of what really does and can go on in the tribunal room.’ [ 39 ]

It is, hence, submitted that Dworkin can be attacked with his ain interpretive construct of tantrum, that is to state that an statement must non belie the available informations. It is surely non instantly obvious that Judgess take after Heracless in their judicial logical thinking.

Harris does, nevertheless draw attending to the opinion of Lord Scarman inMcloughlin V OBrian ( 1983 )[ 40 ],where he held that Judgess deal in rule and non policy,

‘The separating characteristic of the common jurisprudence is this judicial development and formation of principle…..if rule inexorably requires a grade of policy hazard, the court’s map is to judge harmonizing to principle.’

Harris, besides points out, nevertheless, that in the same instance Lord Edmund Davies said,

‘In my opinion, the proposition that ‘’the policy issue is non justiciable is startling…… . In my respectful opinion it runs counter to well-established and entirely acceptable jurisprudence. [ 41 ]

It seems clear that Judgess by and large don’t put themselves in the place of Hercules, so, it is possible for the bench to be politicised. The legal realist Judge Jerome Frank has stated,

‘For any peculiar ballad individual, the jurisprudence, with regard to any peculiar set of facts, is a determination of a tribunal with regard to those facts so far as that determination affects that peculiar individual. Until a tribunal has passed on those facts, no jurisprudence on that topic is yet in existence.’ [ 42 ]

Such a statement is a long manner off from Dworkin’s thought that the jurisprudence is a consistent whole.

Penner points out that the legal stuffs available to Hercules may be systematically morally fishy [ 43 ] . He asks how Hercules would hold coped with the legal stuffs in apartheid South Africa, could such stuffs truly be compared with, justness, procedural due procedure and equity in any meaningful manner? Harris suggests that possibly merely as Hart’s theory requires a ‘minimum content of natural law’ to work, Dworkin’s needs a minimal content of justness in the bing legal stuffs. [ 44 ]

Legal philosophers have non merely applied themselves to the nexus between judicial logical thinking and morality. Natural attorneies consider that it is through moral logical thinking that legal logical thinking becomes possible.

Richard Nobles and David Schiff assert that Aristotle believed,

‘The beginning of values prevarications in nature, in peculiar, human nature.’ [ 45 ]

Man, he reasoned, is a societal animate being, destined by nature to populate in groups, both the household and political grouping. Law, hence, should promote the common good in a political metropolis province, every bit good as advancing the instruction and raising of immature in a household.

For the classical natural attorneies there was a nexus between concluding and natural morality, because it was through logical thinking that the morally right could be discerned. Cicero writes,

‘Law is the highest ground, rooted in nature, which commands things that must be done and prohibits the opposite.’ [ 46 ]

Aquinas drew upon this line of logical thinking, but for him there was another degree of moral certainty ; Christian disclosure. Aquinas describes four types of jurisprudence. Ageless jurisprudence is God-given jurisprudence regulating all creative activity. Natural jurisprudence is tax write-offs from nature as described by Aristotle. Divine jurisprudence is jurisprudence revealed through Holy Scripture. Human Torahs, are regulations, supported by ground for the common good. [ 47 ]

Human Torahs merely have legal quality when they ‘bind in conscience’ as a consequence of being derived from natural jurisprudence. Aquinas, nevertheless, had a different construct of the common good from Aristotle,

‘The purpose of the good life on this Earth is blessedness in Eden ; it is the king’s responsibility to advance the public assistance of the community in such as manner that it leads to the felicity of heaven.’ [ 48 ]

In spoting moral jurisprudence that bind in scruples, Aquinas believed that some legal/moral truths were wholly self evident to everybody such as,

‘Every whole is greater than one of its parts.’ [ 49 ]

On the other manus, some legal/moral truths are merely available to the educated, for illustration,

‘As to one who knows that an angel is non a organic structure, it is axiomatic that an angel is non circumscriptively in a topographic point, but that is non manifest to the unlearned who can non hold on it.’ [ 50 ]

If jurisprudence can non stand up to this procedure of ground, it is non accordance with adult males societal terminals and is natural disposition to cognize the truth about God, it is oppressive.

‘Tyrannical jurisprudence, non being harmonizing to ground, is non at all in the true and rigorous sense, but is instead a perversion of law.’ [ 51 ]

For Aquinas, hence, moral logical thinking and legal logical thinking are really near to indistinguishable. Law that has non been morally reasoned from nature is a perversion of the jurisprudence.

Subsequently bookmans have contended that he was incorrect, nevertheless, in concluding jurisprudence from nature. The noncognitivist, David Hume argued that there is no rational procedure by which we can cognize what is morally right and incorrect.

‘In every system of morality, which I have hitherto met with. I have ever remark’d, that the writer returns for some clip in the ordinary ways of logical thinking, and establishes the being of a God, or makes observations refering human personal businesss ; when of a sudden I am surpriz’d to happen, that alternatively of the usual sexual intercourses of propositions,isandis non, I meet with no proposition that is non connected with anoughtor anought non. [ 52 ]

Hume’s celebrated is/ought cleavage, asserts that jurisprudence which has normative value, ‘ought’ , can non be deduced for a fact of nature, ‘is.’ This caused a seismal displacement in the manner bookmans connected moral and legal logical thinking.

Harris points out that Aquinas is non, needfully, ‘scuppered in port.’ [ 53 ] Possibly, he argues, there are premises about which perfectly everyone can hold, for illustration that the self-respect of adult male requires everyone to hold a lower limit of nutrient and security. If that was the instance the jurisprudence should reflect those basic propositions. This is similar to Hart’s ‘minimum content of natural law’ in his otherwise positive theory.

Finnis, in response to positivism, argues that we are non covering with logical necessities. He draws upon the construct of ‘self apparent knowledge’ . [ 54 ] He claims that worlds are endowed with a capacity for moral ground, ‘practical reason’ . We can divine moral truths through a brooding procedure. Once this is done, we have moral ‘facts’ . That is to state that the procedure of practical ground nowadayss us with an automatic ‘ought’ , it presents us with aim, incontestable, moral absolutes. In this manner, the is/ought cleavage is circumnavigated.

In position of Finnis’s theory, is it so impossible to ground about jurisprudence without moral speculation? Austin’s positive theory that jurisprudence is a bid of the crowned head backed by force has been widely criticised for go forthing excessively many inquiries unreciprocated. [ 55 ]

Hart, nevertheless, believes he has a manner of concluding which is wholly disconnected from moral contemplation but that will still bring forth a coherent and recognizable theory of jurisprudence.

He criticises Austin for following the standard definitional theoretical account per genus et differentiam, i.e. ‘an elephant is a four-footed distinguished from other such animals by the ownership of a bole, because that method of definition focal points on the fringy ( being quadruped and holding a bole ) instead than on the of import factors, i.e. the ‘central case.’

Nicola Lacey describes Harts attack to lingual doctrine,

‘The hint to understanding jurisprudence is, foremost, to see that legal constructs have to be understood in the context of the sentences and legal philosophies in which they arise… . And 2nd, that it is impossible to specify jurisprudence in footings of a finite figure of characteristics of which, if any is losing, the phenomenon fails to qualify.’ [ 56 ]

In Hart’s ain words,

‘If we put aside the inquiry ‘what is a corporation? ’ , and inquire alternatively, ‘Under what types of conditions does the jurisprudence ascribe liabilities to corporations? ’ , this is likely to clear up the existent working of the legal system and convey out the precise issues at stake.’ [ 57 ]

Hart’s procedure of legal logical thinking was, hence, wholly value free. Rather, it is rooted in the significances of words. In order to claim that Hart has non reasoned lawfully because he has non reasoned morally, you would hold to claim that Hart’s theory is non legal logical thinking at all.

Hart’s lingual doctrine has showed us, that it is possible to lawfully ground without trusting on moral ‘practical reason’ , in that limited sense, legal logical thinking and moral logical thinking are divorced from each other. In the context of judicial logical thinking, nevertheless, no theory regulations out the judicial application of moral criterions. MacCormick suggests they apply their ain subjective morality in fortunes limited by the formal jurisprudence and Dworkin suggests that the jurisprudence embodies a morality of equal distribution of rights and, hence, Judgess can non but ground morally. It is the Critical Legal Studies Movement that goes farthest in dividing judicial logical thinking from morality. For them, it is non morality, but political relations that fuels judicial logical thinking. There is, nevertheless, the closest of links between political relations and morality. Granted that, if you were an utmost relativist, you would see the political relations behind the jurisprudence did non affair, be it Maoism, societal democracy or Fascism. For the Critical Legal Studies Movement, nevertheless, this is non the instance. They clearly find something morally abhorrent about the conservative political relations of judicial concluding – and, hence, moral opinions creep in through the back door.

There is a difference between moral and legal logical thinking, Dworkin’s positions, whilst extremely persuasive, do non ‘fit’ with the informations on the land. There is no grounds to propose that Judgess do draw a bead on to be like Hercules, instead, it is submitted they approach their occupations from a assortment of different cultural, political and philosophical positions. Whilst MacCormick’s theory does non supply us with the moral legal protection that we intuitively crave, it is, at least, closest to being descriptively accurate. This point alongside the Hart’s cogent evidence that it is possible to ground legal theory without mention to morality, leads the writer to the decision that while there is really frequentlya nexusbetween legal logical thinking and morality it is traveling excessively far to state that they are indistinguishably the same thing.


  • Jurisprudence and Legal Theory, Commentary and Materials, Butterworths, First Edition
  • J.W. Harris, Legal Philosophies, Butterworths, Second Edition
  • David Hume ( 1888 ) , A Treatise of Human Nature, Selby Bigge Edition, Oxford, Clarendon Press.
  • Cicero ( 1990 edition ) On the Commonwealth and On the Laws, JE G Zetzel ( erectile dysfunction ) Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
  • Mcloughlin V OBrian (1983 ) 1 AC 410 at 430-31
  • Simmonds, NE ( 1987 ) ‘Imperial Visions and Mundane Practices’ 46 Cambridge Law Journal 465 – 488
  • Marmor, Interpretation and Legal Theory, Oxford, Oxford University Press.
  • Penner, Jurisprudence and Legal Theory, Commentary and Materials, First Edition p 403
  • Finnis, ‘On Reason and Authority in Law’s Empire’ , Law and Philosophy 357 – 380
  • Fish, Working on the Chain Gang: Interpretation in Law and Literature, Texas Law Review 551 – 567
  • Dworkin, ( 1977 ) Taking Rights Seriously, London, Duckworth
  • Dworkin, ( 1986 ) Law’s Empire, London, Fontana
  • MacLennan V Maclennan1958 SC 105
  • Donoghue V Stevenson( 1932 ) AC 562
  • Daniels and Daniels v R. White and Sons and Tabard1938 4 All ER 258
  • Ealing V Race Relations Board1972 AC 342


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Does Legal Reasoning Differ From Moral Reasoning
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