Laws as Rules and Principles, Con’t (Oct 29 ) th
Last class – a theory of law which focuses entirely on rules will overlook the
existence and importance of principles in law, which are most visible in judicial
Logical Distinction Between Rules and Principles
i) Rules contain satisfaction-conditions, while principles do not.
ii) Principles have “weight”, while rules do not
iii) Principles operate with terms such as reasonable or unfair, which require
Rules Ex: Must be 35 to be a senator.
Wills must be signed by 3 witnesses.
Principles: No one may profit from their own wrong
Car manufactures have special obligations
General Difference: Rules apply in an all or nothing way, while principles contribute
to buy do not require any specific decision.
Three further observations about principles:
I) So long as they can be shown to explain or justify existing law, principles
need not be explicitly recognized to be binding.
II) They pervade all areas of the law.
III) Principles are binding, but hey are not