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McCoubrey & White's Textbook on Jurisprudence

McCoubrey & White's Textbook on Jurisprudence (5th edn)

James Penner and Emmanuel Melissaris
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date: 07 December 2023

8. Governing and Obediencelocked

8. Governing and Obediencelocked

  • J. E. PennerJ. E. PennerProfessor of Law, University College London
  •  and E. MelissarisE. MelissarisSenior Lecturer in Law, London School of Economics


This chapter explores how the philosophy of law meshes with political philosophy more generally, and considers three questions. First, is there a duty on those who have the power to govern, to do so, and if so, what sort of duty is it? Second, for those who take up the position of governors, what gives them the right to rule over others? Finally, the chapter asks whether the subjects of the law have a general moral obligation to obey the law.

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