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Aristotle on equity, law and justice.

Beever, A. (2004) 'Aristotle on equity, law and justice.', Legal theory., 10 (1). pp. 33-50.


In a famous passage in his Ethics, Aristotle considers the nature of equity and its relation to justice.1 His conclusion seems to be that equity's role is to prevent the law from adhering too rigidly to its own rules and principles when those rules and principles produce injustice. Hence equity permits judges to depart from legal principle in order to promote justice. In this article, however, I argue that this conclusion is problematic as it is inconsistent with other claims Aristotle makes, both in his short discussion of equity in the Ethics and elsewhere. Accordingly, I suggest a reinterpretation of Aristotle's view that explains more satisfactorily the connection between law, in its various senses, and justice.

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Publisher statement:© 2004 Cambridge University Press
Record Created:11 Aug 2008
Last Modified:25 Aug 2011 09:21

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