• Legal Justice or Social Justice?

    Author(s):
    Chaya Halberstam (see profile)
    Date:
    2017
    Group(s):
    Jewish Studies
    Subject(s):
    Jewish studies, Ancient Judaism, Roman Empire, Ancient law, Legal history
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    rule of law, rabbinic literature
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6HZ8G
    Abstract:
    is article aims to read closely the tannaitic material pertaining to judicial discretion and legal justice with the understanding that the rabbis are not simply clarifying certain specialized ques- tions about courtroom procedure but are seriously engaging a core facet of Roman imperial and Hellenistic ideology: the bene ts and de cits of the rule of law. It has been noted that as opposed to later, talmudic rabbis, the Tanaaim are particularly strict with regard to personal, judicial discretion – in other words, that rather than strike a balance between law and wisdom, they allow only for rule-based decision making. is article suggests that the Tanaaim not only opt for rule-bound decision making, but that they do so with a full awareness of what is lost from broader ideals of social justice when judges are required to abide, almost mechanically, by the rules. e Tanaaim thereby contributed to contemporary questions in political philosophy from the point of view of disempowered Roman provincials for whom the rule of law meant less as political propaganda and more as a measure of stability in uncertain times.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    3 years ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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