Journal article

Agreement and Disagreement in Law

Dale Smith

Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence: an international journal of legal thought | Cambridge University Press (CUP) | Published : 2015


In recent years, there has been renewed interest in the question of whether Ronald Dworkin was correct to allege that legal positivists are unable to account for what he called "theoretical disagreement". Briefly, Dworkin contended that legal officials often engage in theoretical disagreement (which, for present purposes, we can understand to be disagreement about the criteria of legal validity-That is, about the tests for determining which norms are legally valid, and hence what the law is).1 He further argued that positivists-And possibly other theorists of law as well-cannot account for this fact, since they claim that there is general agreement or convergence among legal officials on the..

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University of Melbourne Researchers