Do We Really Know Dworkin's 'One-Right-Answer' Thesis?

30 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2018

See all articles by Yingnan Zhao

Yingnan Zhao

Peking University Law School, Students

Date Written: March 20, 2018


The “one-right-answer” thesis is Dworkin’s theoretical reply to Hart’s seminal opinion, “open texture”. This thesis means judges could provide the single right answer to legal issues, even if they are faced with hard cases. Getting to know the definite meaning of this thesis, hard cases and the objectivity of law should be taken into consideration. Through this consideration, there is logical consistency between what Dworkin called “Legal Principles Thesis” and “Constructive Interpretation”. Besides, the objectivity of law is dependent on the inner moral sense of judges, which guarantees the availability of “the single right answer”. Critical Legal Studies and Legal Positivists have misunderstood the definite meaning of objectivity in Dworkin’s sense, which has both legal and moral implications.

Keywords: One-right-answer thesis, Legal Principles, Constructive Interpretation, Objectivity of Law, Integrity, Moral senses

Suggested Citation

Zhao, Yingnan, Do We Really Know Dworkin's 'One-Right-Answer' Thesis? (March 20, 2018). Available at SSRN: or

Yingnan Zhao (Contact Author)

Peking University Law School, Students ( email )


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