Humility in Law

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Abstract

Humility has been mostly understood in law as an adjudicative virtue that favours judicial restraint. In contrast, this paper argues that the value of humility is hardly restricted to the judiciary -let alone to providing an argument for judicial deference. Rather, humiliy is an extremely valuable character trait across the legal professions. First, humility has an important impact on the organizational dimensions of the legal professions, in that it generates an egalitarian work environment, stregthens social bonds, is positively related to emotional well-being, enhances performance and innovation, and enables legal organizations to function in highly diverse contexts. Second, humility is critical for excelling in the professional legal practice, for it importantly contributes to both individual and collective legal decision-making. Third, it is also central to legal professional development as it is associated with attitudes that contribute to knowledge acquisition and, specially, with emotional and motivational dispositions that enable learning by example. After showing the relevance of humility to the legal professions, the paper suggests some ways in which it could be fostered through legal education and institutional design. It concludes by offering some reflections about the political implications of giving humiliy an important role in the context of legal professions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Humility
EditorsMark Alfano, Michael P. Lynch, Alessandra Tanesini
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter38
Number of pages13
Edition1st
ISBN (Electronic)9781351107532
ISBN (Print)9780815364115
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2020

Publication series

NameRoutledge Handbooks in Philosophy

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