*This paper was read at CIRFID, The Center for Research into Philosophy of Law and Legal Computer Science of Bologna University (Italy) on occasion of the first Ratio Juris Seminar, held in Bologna on 18 March 1992.
On the Autonomy of Legal Reasoning*
Version of Record online: 2 AUG 2007
Volume 6, Issue 1, pages 1–15, March 1993
How to Cite
RAZ, J. (1993), On the Autonomy of Legal Reasoning. Ratio Juris, 6: 1–15. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9337.1993.tb00134.x
- Issue online: 2 AUG 2007
- Version of Record online: 2 AUG 2007
The paper argues that reasoning according to law is an instance of moral reasoning. Several ways of understanding this claim are distinguished. A number of arguments to the effect that because of the internal logic of the law, or the special skills it involves legal reasoning should be seen as immune to moral considerations are rejected. Nevertheless, the paper affirms the relative and limited autonomy of legal reasoning, and the sui generis role of doctrine in it which is manifested in the many cases in which the moral considerations pertaining to the case underdetermine its result.