Why Law Matters

2015.10.06 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Alon Harel, Why Law Matters, Oxford University Press, 2014, 240pp., $32.95 (pbk), ISBN 9780198766216. Reviewed by Barbara
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2015.10.06 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Alon Harel, Why Law Matters, Oxford University Press, 2014, 240pp., $32.95 (pbk), ISBN 9780198766216. Reviewed by Barbara Baum Levenbook, North Carolina State University Alon Harel's general purpose, as he sees it, is to offer a non-instrumentalist justification for certain political and legal institutions that "echo[es] the sentiments and passions of those who support, sustain, and even challenge [them]" (p. 225). These institutions are the institutions of legal rights, legal punishment by the state, constitutional directives, and judicial review. These institutions aren't merely justified contingently, according to Harel, even when an instrumentalist justification works for them. The institutions are intrinsically valuable, being necessary to a just society (p. 3). They are "necessary for the realization of certain values." (p. 225) So they "matter as such," and law matters as such. It's an ambitious. . .

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

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