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By Margaret Martin

Judging Positivism is a serious exploration of the strategy and substance of felony positivism. writer Margaret Martin is basically inquisitive about the way during which theorists who undertake the dominant positivist paradigm ask a restricted set of questions and provide an both constrained set of solutions, artificially circumscribing the sphere of criminal philosophy within the procedure. The booklet focuses basically, yet now not solely, at the writings of popular criminal positivist Joseph Raz. Martin argues that Raz's concept has replaced through the years and that those alterations have resulted in deep inconsistencies and incoherencies in his account. One reoccurring subject matter within the publication is that Razian positivism collapses from inside of. within the strategy of protecting his personal place, Raz is resulted in aid the perspectives of lots of his major competitors, particularly Ronald Dworkin, the criminal realists, and the normative positivists. the interior cave in of Razian positivism proves to be instructive. Promising paths of inquiry become visible and questions which were suppressed or marginalized by means of positivists re-emerge, prepared for curious minds to mirror on anew. the wider imaginative and prescient of jurisprudential inquiry defended during this booklet re-connects philosophy with the paintings of practitioners and the troubles of law's topics, bringing into concentration the relevance of criminal philosophy for attorneys and laymen alike. [Subject: felony Philosophy]

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87 ╇Raz, Practical Reason and Norms, above n 8, at 140. 88 ╇ Ibid. 89 ╇ Ibid. 90 ╇ Ibid. Common Law Systems╅25 of the bindingness of rules revolves around primary rules, not the rules of discretion that apply to judges (labelled by Raz as binding common law rules). 91 Since the duty to apply the law is a defining characteristic of law, how can Raz allow that this duty does not hold in certain systems without undermining his theory? In common law systems judges do not have a duty to apply pre-existing laws: the merit of the primary norms is precisely what judges are ordered to consider.

31 If the reasoning of judges is discordant, it becomes very difficult for law to guide conduct in the way that Hobbes and Raz suppose that it does. Hobbes needs one voice (that of the sovereign) to cut through the subjectivity of preference that creates a state of war. Similarly, Raz needs rules to solve (not to recreate) the problem of how to act in a world filled with disagreement. After all, one of law’s key functions, according to Raz, is to ‘provide publicly ascertainable standards by which members of the society are held to be bound so that they cannot excuse non-conformity by challenging the justification of the standard’.

Up until this point in Practical Reason and Norms, Raz’s discussion 86 ╇ If the duty to apply the law is interpreted in a broad sense (ie to stand for the claim that judges must make reference to previous rulings and statutes) then no issue exists. I have argued that the duty to apply the law stands for a more narrow and robust claim whereby judges are duty-bound to apply factually ascertainable legal norms, regardless of the view of their merits. The fact Raz flags common law systems as problematic is further evidence that the narrow reading is correct.

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