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Limits of LegalityThe Ethics of Lawless Judging$
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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

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Agent-Relative Principles

Agent-Relative Principles

(p.202) 12 Agent-Relative Principles
Limits of Legality

Jeffrey Brand-Ballard (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines four agent-relative principles that, if true, entail that systemic effects do not give Group O (the group of judges with correct moral judgment) any reason to adhere to the law in suboptimal-result cases, even if additional deviation will push the system past its deviation density threshold (see chapter 11). The principles that entail this result are ones that assign moral significance to intention, means, spatiotemporal proximity, and intervening agency. The chapter argues that we must abandon, qualify, or demote all of these principles if we wish to support the principle that judges have moral reasons to obey a nonpermissive rule. Adjudication theory should be foundationally agent-neutral.

Keywords:   agent-relative, agent-neutral, intention, foresight, double effect, principle of permissible harm, means, novus actus interveniens, threshold deontology

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