IAS Fellow's Public Lecture - The Rule of Law and its Value
Over the last century, the rule of law has become a perennial political ideal both in domestic and international politics. And while there is considerable diversity in accounts of what the rule of law requires, there is near unanimity that it is worth both pursuing and achieving. It is widely assumed that states and international institutions that achieve it are to that extent to be praised. Substantive discussions of its value, however, have not flourished. Indeed, there has been precious little explanation of its value from either theory or practice. Dr Michael Sevel considers the two most often cited explanations: that the rule of law is valuable because it is a necessary means to some other social or political good (e.g. peace or prosperity), and because it is a virtue peculiar to law, such that what other goods it produces or facilitates is a distinct and further question. Neither, he argues, is entirely satisfactory. Dr Sevel calls on certain ideas from moral theory to suggest new directions of thought on this theoretically challenging, as well as politically urgent, question.
This lecture is free and open to all.
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