Integrity and the Virtue of Openness on Higher Courts Reasoning

If the conviction in the existence of a single right answer is a presupposition of acting with integrity, and that such a premise should always guide the interpretative attitudes of a judge, how then to reconcile it with the legal reasoning typically raised in Courts? Dworkin himself, nor interpretivists in general, have managed to provide adequate replies to the objections which point to a practical and operational difficulty in applying the “Hercules protocol” in a collegiate deliberation, despite admitting its possible and morally relevant usage when the decision derives from an individual judge. This paper proposes that the pursuit of integrity in Higher Courts reasoning requires individual responsibilities (inputs) to be complemented by collective responsibilities (outputs). Openness is an intellectual virtue pointed to be pursued by real agents who cannot be Hercules. In Courts, it also conveys the idea of cooperation and, at the same time, reciprocal control among peers. This study was financed in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior – Brasil (CAPES) – Finance Code 001