Hart's Principles Of Legality

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Introduction L on Fuller made an impressive observation in his response to HLA Hart’s Holmes Lecture . His observation was that “Throughout his discussion Professor Hart seems to assume the only difference between Nazi law and, say, English Law is that the Nazis used their laws to achieve ends that are odious to an Englishman.” Though Hart and Fuller completely agreed about the odiousness of the ends that the Nazis pursued and the disgusting means through which they pursued them: racial discrimination, war crimes, genocide and torture. However, Fuller thought that there were important aspects of misrule by the Nazis that needed special attention by jurists and legal philosophers. He said that continuous violations of principles of legality…show more content…
The former principle is a part of the formal principles and the latter one is a part of the procedural principles. Together, these principles of legality and due process form what we call the rule of law. It was the formal principles that Hart termed as “principles of legality” and the same concept was termed by Fuller as inner morality of law. In Encyclopedia essay, Hart acknowledges the contribution made by Fuller. He even went to the extent of saying that although “principles of legality” is a term coined by Fuller, he prefers using it than the phrase “inner morality of law”. But what did Hart actually say about these principles. The answer is “very little” and much of what he said can be best described as…show more content…
He says that justice involves the idea of equality. He goes on to argue that the use of justice can’t be described in terms of the idea that justice and generality, as a legal ideal, might share. Laws should be very clear and it should be specified as to which norms have the status of law. Hart discusses this and takes the stand that they should not be the end-all of legal morality. Thus, as far as primary rules are concerned, Hart argues that there is a need for certainty, so that these rules can be applied by general public without any official guidance. There are a number of defenders of rule of law who have emphasized the need for the same kind of safety. He also discusses clarity as to which norms are to be declared as law. Hart had earlier argued that rule of recognition serves a very important purpose in peoples’ understanding of which rules can be secretively enforced by the society. However, in the Postscipt of his book, the Concept of Law, he says that the need for certainty is not a requisite condition. Apart from the argument on uncertainty and generality, he discusses the issue of legality briefly. He said that “plainly these features of control by rule are closely related to the requirements of justice which lawyers term principles of legality." He ended the discussion on what principles of legality might mean. He now had developed a new interest which was to crush any
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