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Prudentialism is a moral principle based on precautionary principles that are acting to avoid a particular negative effect.

For example, acting in self-defence or, indeed, pre-emptive attacks on "rogue" states.

Prudentialism is also a philosophy of constitutional interpretation that considers laws and powers from a pragmatic viewpoint.[1] According to government scholar John E. Finn, prudentialism "counsels judges to avoid setting broad rules for future cases and offers a particular understanding of the limited role courts should play in a constitutional democracy."[1]


  1. ^ a b John E. Finn (2006). "Civil Liberties and the Bill of Rights". The Teaching Company. Part I: Lecture 4: The Court and Constitutional Interpretation (see pages 52, 53, 54 in the guidebook)