The End of Law
Show Less

The End of Law

How Law’s Claims Relate to Law’s Aims

David McIlroy

The End of Law applies Augustine’s questions to modern legal philosophy as well as offering a critical theory of natural law that draws on Augustine’s ideas. McIlroy argues that such a critical natural law theory is: realistic but not cynical about law’s relationship to justice and to violence, can diagnose ways in which law becomes deformed and pathological, and indicates that law is a necessary but insufficient instrument for the pursuit of justice. Positioning an examination of Augustine’s reflections on law in the context of his broader thought, McIlroy presents an alternative approach to natural law theory, drawing from critical theory, postmodern thought, and political theologies in conversation with Augustine.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 10: The final judgment

David McIlroy


Law is not law unless it refers to justice; justice requires reflection in law. Law is defective if it does not deliver the shallow justice of predictability and consistency. Law is defective if it does not adequately express the conceptions of deep justice in a community. Law is dangerous and oppressive where it departs from true justice. True justice depends on their being an objective account of human deserts. It requires attention to questions about what human beings are, what is good for human beings, and whether they have a relationship to God. True justice is a transcendent concept, either a desideratum, necessary but non-existent, or grounded in the eternal. If God exists, then true justice exists for only God could issue the final judgment which is the end of law. Augustine’s critical natural law theory looked forward to such a Day of Judgment.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.