Time in Law's Domain

23 Pages Posted: 3 May 2018

See all articles by Gerald J. Postema

Gerald J. Postema

University of North Carolina - Philosophy

Date Written: June 2018


Law bends the past of a community's common life towards its future. Precedent is one of law's favored tools for doing the bending, and legal systems that assign precedent a starring role seem especially mindful of time. Yet, mindfulness of time goes far deeper into law's DNA. It is not limited to the doctrine of precedent or unique to common‐law jurisdictions. Recognizing that time is an elemental dimension of human experience and basic ordering principle of practical agency, law utilizes and orders time. Temporality is essential to law's distinctive mode of governance and guidance.

Suggested Citation

Postema, Gerald J., Time in Law's Domain (June 2018). Ratio Juris, Vol. 31, Issue 2, pp. 160-182, 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3172418 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/raju.12202

Gerald J. Postema (Contact Author)

University of North Carolina - Philosophy ( email )

Caldwell Hall
CB #3125
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3125
United States

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