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Philosophical Foundations of the Nature of Law$
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Wil Waluchow and Stefan Sciaraffa

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199675517

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199675517.001.0001

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Law as Power

Law as Power

Two Rule of Law Requirements*

(p.129) 6 Law as Power
Philosophical Foundations of the Nature of Law

Bruno Celano

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the shape taken by social power when the rule of the law is envisaged as an ethico-political ideal. It discusses the Rule of Law as a specific mode of the exercise of social power, and what is valuable in it. It focuses on two Rule of Law requirements, consistency and compliability. It argues that they contribute to defining a distinctive mode of social power, one that shows respect for its subjects. Power can be effectively exercised by systematically flouting these two desiderata. Consistency and compliability are required, however, if the law is to treat its subjects as autonomous, responsible agents.

Keywords:   Rule of Law, power, normative consistency, ought, legislation, prescriptions, rational lawmaking, paternalism, publicity

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