San Diego Law Review


James Allan

Library of Congress Authority File


Document Type

Legal Moralism


We are not yet at the stage when trying to say something new about the well-known Hart-Devlin debate is like attempting to give a novel take on the Old Testament, or on William Shakespeare’s plays—or life for that matter—or even on the music of The Beatles. But then again those analogies are not wholly misplaced, at least not within legal philosophical circles in the common law world. So I was tempted to try my hand at some other topic falling under the aegis of “legal moralism” and leave Professor Hart and Lord Justice Devlin well enough alone. However, for good or for ill, I have resisted that temptation, at least in a peripheral way.