Jacob T. Levy

Jacob T. Levy is Tomlinson Professor of Political Theory, professor of political science, and associated faculty in the Department of Philosophy at McGill University. He is the coordinator of McGill’s Research Group on Constitutional Studies and Montreal’s Groupe de Recherche Interuniversitaire en Philosophie Politique, and the founding director of McGill’s Yan P. Lin Centre for the Study of Freedom and Global Orders in the Ancient and Modern Worlds.

The Rule of (Pluralistic) Laws

Steven Grosby’s rich Liberty Forum essay combines, as his writing always does, a sensitivity to history with a careful attention to theoretical problems. I am tempted to engage him on the terrain of history, in the hope of prompting still more from him on the Middle Ages; were I just a listener, that is what I would most want to hear him say more about. But in the final section of his piece he raises a set of questions that have preoccupied me for a long time—from my earliest work on indigenous land rights up through my book Rationalism, Pluralism, and…

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The Rule of Law and the Rule of Reason

Steven Grosby’s essay is an excellent contribution on the formal and procedural elements that must be upheld to maintain the rule of law. Grosby’s essay, however, invites us to unpack what kind of “reason” is inherent in law and to ask what it means for law “to rule.” The 13th century theologian and philosopher Thomas…

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One Need Not Choose Between the Rule of Law and Constitutional Federalism

I am delighted to have had the opportunity to read Professor Grosby’s Liberty Forum essay and to be invited to comment on it. I am especially happy that Professor Grosby has focused on the rule of law as a legal concept, as opposed to arguing that it's a political or philosophical concept. For unlike much…

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The Rule of Law and Its Many Tensions

Best to begin by acknowledging one’s mistakes. In the original Liberty Forum essay given the title “Why Freedom Is a Legal Concept,” I referred to the often quoted statement, so important for liberty and the rule of law, of Henry de Bracton, that “above the king is the university of the realm”—that is, “there is…

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