Law Quadrangle (formerly Law Quad Notes)

Article Title

Civil Disobedience


Civil disobience [sic] is a species of law violation, and it is from this point that any effort to define the concept must proceed. But civil disobedience is law violation characterized by certain kinds of motives and directed to the attaining of certain kinds of ends. It is moreover, law violation in which the means employed and the circumstances in which it occurs are subject to certain restrictions. Any useful definition must distinguish civil disobedience from lawful protest, even those forms of lawful protest that take place on the streets and involve large groups of persons. The definition should also be capable of distinguishing civil disobedience from what might be called ordinary criminal acts, on the one hand, and from acts of revolution, on the other.