Law as Standing

Avihay Dorfman, Alon Harel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This article addresses a basic question of general jurisprudence, namely, what difference law makes in moral space. It argues that the difference at issue does not necessarily come to telling us what morality (or justice) might dictate but rather to establishing a way of attributing decisions to all of us and not to any one of us in particular. This also means that law’s distinctive moral virtue is not justice but legitimacy. What renders this possible is the emergence of public officials whose value lies in being public officials. In that, the article defends the standing conception of law, according to which law’s most basic moral contribution is that of establishing an entity whose normative pronouncements could count as made in the name of (or even by) the citizens.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationOxford Studies in Philosophy of Law
Subtitle of host publicationVolume 4
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages31
ISBN (Electronic)9780192848871
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© the several contributors 2021.


  • Kant
  • Raz
  • authority of law
  • legal positivism
  • legitimacy
  • natural law theory
  • public officials
  • publicness
  • representation
  • standing


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