Concept, principle, and norm-equality before the law reconsidered

Frej Klem Thomsen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Despite the attention equality before the law has received, both laudatory and critical, peculiarly little has been done to precisely define it. The first ambition of this paper is to remedy this, by exploring the various ways in which a principle of equality before the law can be understood and suggest a concise definition. With a clearer understanding of the principle in hand we are better equipped to assess traditional critique of the principle. Doing so is the second ambition of this paper. I will argue that traditional criticisms are unpersuasive, but that there is a different, powerful argument against equality before the law. The third ambition of the paper is to argue that there is a sense, overlooked by both proponents and critics, in which the principle still captures something important, albeit at the cost of shifting from intrinsic to instrumental value.
Original languageEnglish
JournalLegal Theory
Volume24
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)103-134
ISSN1352-3252
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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