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Hart on Legality, Justice, and Morality

22 Pages Posted: 16 May 2010  

John Gardner

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law

Date Written: May 13, 2010


In the comment on Nigel Simmonds' book Law as a Moral Ideal, I take issue with Simmonds' interpretation of the work of H.L.A. Hart. I attempt to provide textual support for the view that Hart did find necessary connections - many of them - between law and morality. The bulk of the comment is devoted to exploring just one indirect necessary connection between law and morality that Hart may have noticed in The Concept of Law, viz. the connection from law to legality, from legality to justice, and from justice to morality. I find Hart surprisingly ambivalent about the last link in this chain, but do not find in this ambivalence any solace for Simmonds.

Suggested Citation

Gardner, John, Hart on Legality, Justice, and Morality (May 13, 2010). Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 44/2010. Available at SSRN: or

John Gardner (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law ( email )

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