Revolt, Revolution and Evolution: Reimagining the Principle of Generic Consistency as a Device for Institutional Reform

Clayton Thompson, J. 2015. Revolt, Revolution and Evolution: Reimagining the Principle of Generic Consistency as a Device for Institutional Reform. University of Copenhagen Postgraduate Law Conference. Copenhagen, Denmark 29 Jan 2015

TitleRevolt, Revolution and Evolution: Reimagining the Principle of Generic Consistency as a Device for Institutional Reform
AuthorsClayton Thompson, J.
TypeConference paper
Abstract

Henrik Palmer Olsen and Stuart Toddington argue that the law is logically connected to moral rationality through the determinate commitments – to respect the freedom and well-being of other agents - of Gewirth’s Principle of Generic Consistency (PGC). Although they effectively demonstrate that such a connection exists, we lack a concise explanation of the ambit for the PGC to direct the law. This paper seeks to ask whether the true value of Olsen and Toddington’s Legal Idealism is in its applicability to micro- and macro-legal change; that is, in its ability to call for both evolution and revolution of institutionalised reasoning and the institution itself. In developing this idea I draw on influences such as the social media series by Russell Brand ‘The Trews’, elements of post-structural theory of Deleuze and socially constructed narratives. Ultimately, I claim that the malleability of a legal system which is premised on an incorporation of the commitments of the PGC – much like Beyleveld and Brownsword’s ‘Gewirthia’ – allows that system to self-transform, reimagine and evolve. Meanwhile, incorporating the PGC into a legal system unbound by its commitments would allow for a revolution of the jurisprudential thought surrounding such an institution.

KeywordsGewirth, Legal Idealism, Institutional Reform
YearJan 2015
ConferenceUniversity of Copenhagen Postgraduate Law Conference
Publication dates
CompletedJan 2015

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