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The Structure of LibertyJustice and the Rule of Law$
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Randy E. Barnett

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198297291

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198297297.001.0001

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Communicating Justice: The Second‐Order Problem of Knowledge

Communicating Justice: The Second‐Order Problem of Knowledge

(p.84) Five Communicating Justice: The Second‐Order Problem of Knowledge
The Structure of Liberty

Randy E. Barnett

Oxford University Press

The second‐order problem of knowledge is the need to communicate knowledge of justice in a manner that makes the actions it requires accessible to everyone. The need for this message to be conveyed in advance of persons taking action (ex ante) influences the form of the message in at least eight ways: (1) general rules or principles that are (2) publicized, (3) prospective in effect, (4) understandable, (5) compossible, (6) possible to follow, (7) stable, and (8) enforced as publicized. These formal requirements that are needed to communicate the message of justice ex ante are part of what is known as the rule of law. The need for ex ante information about allocation of several property rights also influences the substance of these rights including the prohibition on force and fraud.

Keywords:   compossibility, force, formalities, fraud, justice, legality, problem of knowledge, property rights, rule of law

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