Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Limits of Legality – The Ethics of Lawless Judging - Oxford Scholarship Online
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Limits of Legality: The Ethics of Lawless Judging

Jeffrey Brand-Ballard


Judges sometimes hear cases in which the law, as they honestly understand it, requires results that they consider morally objectionable. Most people assume that, nevertheless, judges have an ethical obligation to apply the law correctly, at least in reasonably just legal systems. Combining ethical theory with discussions of case law, Jeffrey Brand-Ballard challenges arguments for the traditional view, including arguments from the fact that judges swear oaths to uphold the law, arguments from our duty to obey the law, and many others. He then develops an alternative argument based on ways in wh ... More

Keywords: judges, rule of law, rule following, political obligation, judicial activism, adjudication, judicial ethics, consequentialism, unjust law

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2010 Print ISBN-13: 9780195342291
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195342291.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jeffrey Brand-Ballard, author
George Washington University
Author Webpage