Ideals in Law

IVR Encyclopaedia of Jurisprudence, Legal Theory and Philosophy of Law, online, April 2009

6 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2010

See all articles by Sanne Taekema

Sanne Taekema

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), Erasmus School of Law

Wibren van der Burg

Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam; Queen Mary University of London, School of Law

Date Written: April 2009

Abstract

“Ideals” are sometimes regarded as irrelevant to law - especially in the context of legal practice. However, there are several reasons to regard ideals as a separate category in law. We examine the question how ideals should be understood. Different conceptions of ideals can be classified as belonging to either of two traditions. The first regards ideals as transcendent; the second tradition sees ideals as immanent. The answer to the question what role ideals play in law depends on how one regards ideals, values, principles and rules. A further question is for what purposes, if any, we have to pay attention to ideals in law. We discuss three issues to which ideals are central – legal development, pluralism of law, and professional ethics.

Keywords: values in law, Radbruch, Dworkin, Fuller, principles and rules, natural law, positive law and natural law, legal ethics

Suggested Citation

Taekema, Sanne and van der Burg, Wibren, Ideals in Law (April 2009). IVR Encyclopaedia of Jurisprudence, Legal Theory and Philosophy of Law, online, April 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1672720

Sanne Taekema

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), Erasmus School of Law ( email )

3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

Wibren Van der Burg (Contact Author)

Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam ( email )

Section Sociology, Theory and Methodology
PO Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.wibrenvanderburg.nl

Queen Mary University of London, School of Law ( email )

Mile End Road
London, E1 4NS
United Kingdom

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