Virtue and the Law: The Good Moral Character Requirement in Occupational Licensing,....

'Good moral character’ requirements for occupational licensing and immigration are both arbitrary and poorly applied. Utilizing psychological research on the determinants of behavior, legal scholar Deborah Rhode points to the lack of evidence supporting the idea that people have a ‘fixed’ character. Rather, argues Rhode, behavior is a result of both situational context and a person’s traits. Rhode also examines state laws that regulate occupational licensing through ‘good moral character’ requirements, revealing the inconsistent and often unnecessary applications of such laws.


Rhode, D. L. (2018). Virtue and the Law: The Good Moral Character Requirement in Occupational Licensing, Bar Regulation, and Immigration Proceedings. Law & Social Inquiry Journal of the American Bar Foundation, 43(3), 1027–1058. https://doi.org/10.1111/lsi.12332

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Open Access Source: https://booksc.org/book/71716295/72e39d

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