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Laws as Rules and Principles (oct 29th).docx

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PHIL 2050
Michael Gregg

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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 decision-making. 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 interpretation. 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
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