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The Figuring of Morality in Adjudication: Not so Special?

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Jurisprudential debate about the grounds of law often focuses on the status of morality. Given the undoubted fact of judicial engagement with morality in legal reasoning, the key question is whether morality legitimately counts as a ground of law. This article seeks to challenge the special status accorded to morality in debates about the grounds of law. The claim I seek to advance is that very often judicial engagement with morality is not different in kind to judicial engagement with other diverse objects of legal reasoning. What the comparison tends to show is that instances of “moral reasoning” in law do not obviously challenge our account of the grounds of law. Rather these instances can be viewed as central case examples of legal reasoning. Conventional grounds of law are left untouched.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9337.2011.00485.x

Affiliations: Swansea University, School of Law, Swansea SA2 8PP, Wales UK,

Publication date: September 1, 2011

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