legalism

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legalism

strict adherence to the law, especially the stressing of the letter of the law rather than its spirit.
References in periodicals archive ?
(46) Insofar as movements for social change hold rights legalization and litigation as their primary aims, they may be called liberal legalist. Legalism, and the unthinking faith in lawyers and courts that it promotes, is anathema to critics.
Legalists are more concerned with reaching the decision that is best justified by official legal sources, even if such a holding might create bad policy or an unjust result in the individual case.
(35) As Bhikkhu Bodhi explains, "The main legal objection that conservative Vinaya legalists raise against a revival of bhikkhuni ordination is that it must be given by an existing bhikkhuni sangha, and to be a purely Theravada ordination it must come from an existing Theravada bhikkhuni sangha" (Bodhi 104).
According to our reading of Han Feizi, however, the Legalist ruler need not be morally perfect in reality.
To illustrate this, let us assume, for example, that legalists are actually talking about the use of the legal definition for operational purposes when they insist on its "precise" characteristics.
For the Legalists the law is created and promulgated by the ruler to control the people and to achieve his objectives, which are identified with the general interest of the State.
Snider's commentary bemoaning how "legalists" have redefined the free exercise of religion, presumably from what those readers believe it once meant or should mean.
They identify five types of religious actors (capacity-builders, peace-builders, legalists, pragmatists and traditionalists) and four types of secular actors (truth-seekers, pragmatists, legalists and traditionalists) (p.
Global legalists believe that international law will solve complex global problems and that states will comply because a legalistic culture will establish faith in international law.
By contrast, he says, legalists purport to rely on traditional legal reasoning--definitions of statutory terms, canons of construction, precedents--but in truth are pragmatists in disguise.
The strongest rhetorical move by legalists is to call the legalist approach "law" and the realist approach "politics." It is effective rhetoric because it makes a "realist" judge seem like someone who flouts the judicial oath--which requires a judge to uphold the law--and thus a usurper, and realist discourse a blueprint for usurpation.
Although Posner thus thinks that pragmatism is both inescapable and normatively preferable, he cautions that legal pragmatism should not be severed from some of the same considerations that drive legalists. The "good pragmatist judge.., is not a shortsighted pragmatist ....