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Helping Enact Unjust Laws without Complicity in Injustice
Journal Articles
  • John M. Finnis, Notre Dame Law School
Document Type
Publication Date
Publication Information
49 Am. J. Juris. 11 (2004)
The form of enactments must be distinguished from their legal meaning (their "juridical effect"), that is, from the propositions of law which those enactments, properly interpreted, make legally valid. This distinction makes it possible, and rationally necessary, to conclude that, in certain contexts, a certain statute which declares or textually implies that some abortions are legally permitted (but others prohibited) is not apermissive law within the meaning of the principle, assumed in this article to be true, that permissive abortion laws are intrinsically unjust and may never be voted for. A permissive statute, in that sense, is one which has the legal meaning (juridical effect) of reducing the state's legal protection of the unborn.

Reprinted with permission of American Journal of Jurisprudence.

Citation Information
John M. Finnis. "Helping Enact Unjust Laws without Complicity in Injustice" (2004)
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