Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy

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Issue Pre-publications, 2023 Expand all abstracts

Access_open Justice under Law

A Reply to Huemer on the Primacy of Justice

Keywords law, justice, virtue, role duties, rights
Authors Tristan J. Rogers
AbstractAuthor's information

    Law and justice are near synonyms in common speech. We expect the law to deliver justice, and we cannot imagine justice absent some system of law. In his recent book, Justice before the Law, Michael Huemer challenges this traditional view of law and justice. Given the prevalence of unjust laws and legal practices in the United States, and the deference shown to law by agents of the American legal system, Huemer argues that we ought to affirm the primacy of justice over the law. This article argues that Huemer is right about the primacy of justice, but he errs in his understanding of what justice is, and the means through which it is best achieved. Law operates as a form of enquiry that seeks to discover what justice is. Law is a necessary means to justice. True justice must be justice under law.

Tristan J. Rogers
Tristan Rogers is lecturer Philosophy at Santa Clara University.