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Hague Journal on the Rule of Law

, Volume 11, Issue 2–3, pp 331–339 | Cite as

The Mythology of (Rule of) Law

  • Veronica L. TaylorEmail author
Essay
  • 33 Downloads

Peter Fitzpatrick’s The Mythology of Modern Law is a powerful challenge to modern law’s pretentions to being coherent, secular and universal. It came out in 1989 just as the Berlin Wall came down—at precisely the start of a program by the world’s multilateral financial institutions and lead economies to develop positivist, secular and universal ‘rule of law’. The next 30 years were crowded with the actors, aims, activities and institutions deemed necessary for building a ‘developed’ and (presumptively) rule of law-compliant state. Everything from business deregulation and anti-corruption laws; judicial ethics, access to justice and human rights; and laws combatting terrorism and countering violent extremism would be subsumed under the rule of law umbrella.

While Fitzpatrick is still widely read and admired by many socio-legal scholars, his provocative work is part of the scholarship that has been ‘resolutely ignored’ by rule of law promoters. 1 Yet he was prescient in observing that,

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Notes

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Copyright information

© T.M.C. Asser Press 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Australian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

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