June 8, 2015

Mercy and Law

Daniel Peixoto Murata, University of Sao Paulo, has published Can Javert Forgive Valjean? - The Myth of Merciful Law. Here is the abstract.
I intend in this paper to discuss the complex relation between the ideas of mercy and law. First, I will attempt to present an account of how mercy works and the possibility of distinguishing it from forgiveness, for then explain why by its own nature mercy is incompatible with law. Secondly, I will depict law as an argumentative practice regarding the interpretation of rights, and how rights by their very structure aren’t receptive to mercy’s logics. Finally, I will briefly say why I believe that even if merciful law is a myth, law can still claim legitimacy in an unjust world.
Download the article from SSRN at the link. "A shorter and simpler version of this essay appeared at the Glasgow University Law Society Law Review 2014-2015, as “A Dworkinian Approach to Law and Mercy”."--Author.

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