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In Defense of Legal PositivismLaw Without Trimmings$
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Matthew H. Kramer

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199264834

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199264834.001.0001

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Justice as Constancy

Justice as Constancy

(p.21) 2 Justice as Constancy
In Defense of Legal Positivism


Oxford University Press

This chapter undertakes a critique of the account of formal justice propounded by David Lyons. On the one hand, the chapter agrees with Lyons that the mere status of norms as laws does not confer any degree of moral legitimacy on officials’ enforcement of those norms. On the other hand, the chapter departs from Lyons by accepting that the strict application of the law by officials does amount to formal justice. Precisely because the achievement of formal justice in the administration of law by officials is not perforce conducive (and is frequently inimical) to the substantive justice of their law-administering activities, the equation between formal justice and the strict effecutation of applicable legal mandates is fully consistent with the separability of law and morality.

Keywords:   formal justice, David Lyons, morality, law, legal positivism, procedural justice, administrative justice, justice

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