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Objective Law

Ayn Rand

Presented at: Ayn Rand On Campus - Columbia WKCR Interviews

Date: Jan 01, 1962

In this interview, Rand responds to questions about the nature and purpose of law. She discusses the crucial differences between objective and non-objective law, the principles governing rules of evidence, capital punishment, the scope of judicial discretion, and preventive laws, among other subjects. 

The following topics are discussed:
  • Why the purpose of law is to establish principles of social conduct that respect individual rights;
  • The crucial difference between objective laws, which are clearly defined and graspable, and non-objective laws, which lack specific definition and are open to arbitrary interpretation;
  • How non-objective laws permit implementation of increasing controls over the economy;
  • The range of discretion that can properly be allowed to judges;
  • Ignorance of the law as a defense against criminal charges;
  • The invalidity of "preventive" laws;
  • The standards by which rules of evidence are to be established;
  • The problem of capital punishment 
  • The injustice of contradictory laws;
  • How the law applies to children and the insane.

philosophy of lawlaw

Parts: 1

Handout: none


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