Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

The Rule of Law and Respect for Persons

Adams, Thomas, The Rule of Law and Respect for Persons (December 8, 2022). Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: or

“This paper, for a forthcoming collection on the work of T.R.S. Allan, considers the relationship between the rule of law and individual autonomy. A common thought about the rule of law is that its observance ensures a baseline of respect for the individual and that it is therefore a moral achievement. In the paper I reject this argument and go on to defend a different connection between legality and autonomy. While adherence to the rule of law on the part of government does not involve respect for individual agency, disregard for its requirements nonetheless entails disrespect. A consequence of this is that while compliance with the rule of law does not instantiate positive moral value, departures from its requirements are pro tanto wrong and hence stand in need of justification.”

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.