Stability, Assurance, and the Concept of Legal Guidance

39 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2015 Last revised: 5 Mar 2015

Date Written: January 13, 2014


Legal theorists hold that stability is one of eight necessary conditions for legal guidance. We lack an adequate explanation, however, of why, exactly, stability is necessary in order that law possess the capacity to guide behavior. Standard explanations, which rely on a claim about reasonable expectations, fail to connect the concepts of stability and legal guidance. In this paper, I argue that, according to the leading conception of legal guidance, stability is, in fact, not necessary in order for law to possess the capacity to guide. In response, I provide an alternative conception of legal guidance, and argue that stability is a necessary attribute if we assume this conception of guidance. More generally, the paper sets out an abstract framework in which claims that this or that property is necessary for legal guidance can be assessed.

Suggested Citation

Hill, Adam Douglas, Stability, Assurance, and the Concept of Legal Guidance (January 13, 2014). Law and Philosophy, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN:

Adam Douglas Hill (Contact Author)

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Menlo Park, CA 94025
United States

Research Fellow ( email )

102 South Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-4600
United States

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