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56 Am. J. Juris. 17 (2011)


This revised and annotated version of the H.L.A. Hart Memorial lecture in the University of Oxford in June 2011 has some significant differences in coverage from the essay of the same title published in the American Journal of Jurisprudence 56 (2011) 17-44, including a brief discussion of Waldron’s treatment of basic equality and Cohen’s “luck-egalitarianism”. The object of the lecture is to establish the grounds of basic human equality, and to indicate how neglect of non-basic inequalities and of preconditions for sustainable common good tends to ensure that legal measures promoting equality rights and condemning ‘discrimination’ yield serious injustices (violations of rights).



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