Journal article

Law, dignity and the Elusive Promise of a third way

JA Sempill

Oxford Journal of Legal Studies | Published : 2018


What is law's relationship to dignity? In Jeremy Waldron's view, 'There is an implicit commitment to dignity in the tissues and sinews of law-in the character of its normativity and in its procedures'. Waldron's account can be read as an attempt to pursue a third way between positivism and natural law. Proponents of the third way believe that law has structural features that are intrinsically valuable. Waldron argues that law's normativity and procedures promote dignity, and, therefore, are salutary. However, he does not ask whether their moral significance might be affected by the merits of the law's contents. I raise doubts about Waldron's approach and, in turn, the third way. I argue that..

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University of Melbourne Researchers