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Constitutional JusticeA Liberal Theory of the Rule of Law$
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T. R. S. Allan

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199267880

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199267880.001.0001

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Public Reason and Political Conflict

Public Reason and Political Conflict

(p.283) 9 Public Reason and Political Conflict
Constitutional Justice

T.R.S. Allan

Oxford University Press

The idea of constitutionalism assumes a distinctive conception of law, whose intrinsic requirements of equality and procedural due process serve to exclude the exercise of arbitrary power. It is the moral judgment of both private citizen and public official that ensures that the application and interpretation of law in particular cases meet the standards of justice that the rule of law requires. The basic freedoms of speech, thought, conscience, and association are essential pillars of personal autonomy and individual responsibility: by facilitating and preserving vigorous public debate about the requirements of justice, these freedoms enable the ideal of the rule of law to be realised in governmental practice. This chapter discusses moral pluralism and common law reason, enforcement of conventional morality based on democracy and liberalism, and public purposes versus private conscience.

Keywords:   moral pluralism, common law reason, democracy, liberalism, private conscience, public purposes, rule of law

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