Constitutional rights as moral judgments

Pavlos Eleftheriadis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Robert Alexy’s argument for the ‘dual’ nature of law makes unnecessary concessions to legal positivism. In my view the correct position is that law and rights have a single nature, that of moral judgment. Accordingly, the constitution is not a mechanism for producing ‘valid’ legal rights, alongside merely moral rights. There is no such mechanism. The constitution is an institutional framework with which we can make sense of our own role in a political community as free and equal citizens. It provides ethical grounds regarding the most significant political matters of the day. The constitution is part of an ongoing process of applying practical reason to political affairs in light of arguments about justice and fairness among competing political interests. The constitution is part of our moral horizon, one more element in the tapestry of reasons available to the mind.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Quest for Rights
Subtitle of host publicationIdeal and Normative Dimensions
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781788971775
ISBN (Print)9781788971768
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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