Law as Standing
Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Law (Leslie Green & Brian Leiter eds., vol. 4, forthcoming 2021)
23 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2020 Last revised: 26 Jan 2021
Date Written: July 29, 2020
This article addresses a basic question of general jurisprudence, namely, what difference law makes in moral space. It argues that the difference at issue does not necessarily come to telling us what morality (or justice) might dictate but rather to establishing a way of attributing decisions to all of us and not to any one of us in particular. This also means that law’s distinctive moral virtue is not justice but legitimacy. What renders this possible is the emergence of public officials whose value lies in being public officials. In that, the article defends the standing conception of law, according to which law’s most basic moral contribution is that of establishing an entity whose normative pronouncements could count as made in the name of (or even by) the polity.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation