Dworkin on the Value of Integrity

Jonathan Crowe

Abstract


This article explores and critiques Ronald Dworkin’s arguments on the value of integrity in law. Dworkin presents integrity in both legislation and adjudication as holding inherent political value. The author defends an alternative theory of the value of integrity, according to which integrity holds instrumental value as part of a legal framework that seeks to realise a particular set of basic values taken to underpin the legal system as a whole. It is argued that this instrumental-value theory explains the value of integrity more satisfactorily than Dworkin’s inherent-value account. The article concludes with a discussion of Dworkin’s ‘one right answer thesis’. Although the proposed theory of integrity does not support a strong version of Dworkin’s thesis, it does suggest that there will be a single correct answer to legal questions more often than for normative deliberation generally.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.21153/dlr2007vol12no1art170

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