In this article I analyze the speech of the Laws in Plato’s Crito from a jurisprudential perspective. More specifically I explore the Laws’ views about the authority of law. I offer new interpretations of their famous ‘persuade or obey’ alternative and of their arguments about their superior moral status and the agreements of the citizens with them. I also explore the rather neglected topic of the mental attitude towards their authority that they demand from the citizens and conclude with a discussion of their understanding of the relation between law and morality. I approach the speech of the Laws as a historian of legal thought and try to locate their arguments firmly within both the context of the ancient Athenian legal system and the context of Platonic philosophy.
Hatzistavrou, A. (2019). The authority of law in Plato's Crito. Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence, 32(2), 365-387. https://doi.org/10.1017/cjlj.2019.24