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.
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