The Limits of Law: How Formal Rules Undermine Human Relations
19 Pages Posted: 24 May 2014
Date Written: March 15, 2014
While the rule of law is an essential public good, the actual number and extent of laws also are important factors in determining whether there will be liberty — and, indeed, the rule of law itself. In effect, too much law undermines, not just freedom, but certainty, which is necessary for the rule of law. As the realm of “law” expands, it crowds out human liberty, including the freedom provided by law, understood as properly promulgated rules that can be understood and followed by the governed. Moreover, as too much law undermines freedom and its own proper character, it also tears apart the very fabric of community in which we must live our lives.
Keywords: law, society, custom
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