Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Limits of LegalityThe Ethics of Lawless Judging$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Jeffrey Brand-Ballard

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195342291

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195342291.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 28 November 2020



(p.3) 1 Introduction
Limits of Legality

Jeffrey Brand-Ballard (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter introduces the central dilemma of the book: judges who must decide cases in which the law requires a result that they believe to be morally objectionable or bad public policy. The conventional wisdom is that judges must adhere to the law in such cases, at least in reasonably just systems. Judges are regularly criticized for deviating from the law, and are increasingly threatened with reprisals for doing so. This chapter illustrates the topic with concrete examples and summarizes the arguments ahead. It focuses the discussion on legally clear cases, rather than unclear cases, and distinguishes the question of judicial deviation from the more familiar question of departures from horizontal precedent. Relations between this project and the literatures on political obligation and rule following are explained.

Keywords:   precedent, clear cases, judicial activism, rule following, political obligation

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .