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The nature of law and potential coercion.

Woodbury-Smith, Kara (2020) 'The nature of law and potential coercion.', Ratio Juris., 33 (2). pp. 223-240.

Abstract

This paper argues for a novel understanding of the relationship between law and coercion. It firstly refutes Kenneth Himma’s claim that the authorisation of coercive enforcement mechanisms is a conceptually necessary feature of law. It then claims that the best way to understand the law is as coercion‐apt. The “coercion‐aptness” of law is clarified, in part, by appealing to an essential distinction between law and morality: Whereas it can be reasonable for the law to appeal to coercive means in order to motivate compliance, it seems decidedly unreasonable for morality to do so.

Item Type:Article
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Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution.
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.1111/raju.12288
Publisher statement:© 2020 The Authors. Ratio Juris published by University of Bologna and John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:25 February 2020
Date of first online publication:03 July 2020
Date first made open access:07 July 2020

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