Integrity and Truth in Law’s Empire

Jonathan Crowe

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


Integrity is a central concept in Ronald Dworkin's theory of law. Dworkin treats integrity as a fundamental and distinctive political value. The impor­tance of integrity lends normative force to his conception of adjudication as a process of finding the best interpretation of the legal materials. We care about finding the right legal answer because we care about integrity. Why, then, is integrity valuable? Dworkin treats integrity in both legislation and adjudica­tion as holding inherent political value; that is, he argues integrity is valuable in and of itself He supports this position primarily by appealing to our deep intuitions about the undesirability oflegal practices that reject integrity.
My aim in this chapter is to contrast this approach with an alternative theory of the value of integrity, according to which integrity holds instru­mental value as part of a legal framework that seeks to realize the basic values taken to underpin legal institutions. I suggest that my instrumental-value account explains the value of integrity more satisfactorily than Dworkin's inherent-value theory. I begin the chapter by introducing Dworkin's case for the value of integrity, focusing on the arguments advanced in Law's Empire. 1 I then introduce my alternative explanation and contrast it with Dworkin's account. 2 I conclude by considering the implications of both views for the truth conditions of legal propositions and the relationship between the grounds and force of law.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDignity in the Legal and Political Philosophy of Ronald Dworkin
EditorsSalman Khurshid, Lokendra Malik, Veronica Rodriguez-Blanco
Place of PublicationNew Delhi
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)978-0-19-948417-1
Publication statusPublished - 2018


Dive into the research topics of 'Integrity and Truth in Law’s Empire'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this