Law's authority and the division of moral labour between legislation and adjudication
Item statusRestricted Access
This thesis claims that if law has a distinctive and genuine normative force, then it is thanks to the fact that law’s authority originates from a particular institutional layout that allows for a division of moral labour between legislation and adjudication. After establishing what the moral dimension of authority is a matter of, and how law’s normative force can be justified by reference to it, this thesis defends a comprehensive-moral account of law’s authority. In this respect, the thesis argues that the moral dimension of law’s authority can be highlighted well if we consider it as emerging through a morally meaningful institutional distinction between legislation and adjudication: the institutional profile of legislative authority and that of adjudicative authority differ from each other, in that each can be said to be underlain by its own evaluative standards. On the one hand, the particularity of legislative authority is a matter of its community-driven, forward-looking character and of its consensual structure; as well as of the declaratory nature and the agent-relative status of reasons issued by legislative provisions. On the other hand, adjudicative authority is distinctive because it has a litigant-driven, remedial character and employs an adversarial structure so that it accomplishes its impartial investigatory task through the issuance of agent-neutral reasons. So understood, the institutional profile of legislative authority is considered to be morally meaningful in the sense that it incorporates a rule-consequentialist and value-pluralist rationale; while that of adjudicative authority is taken to owe its own moral meaningfulness to the fact that it fosters reciprocity between litigants.