The Legal System: Between Order and Disorder

The Legal System: Between Order and Disorder

Hardback

By (author) Francois Ost, Volume editor Michel Van De Kerchove, By (author) Michel Van De Kerchove, Translated by Iain Stewart

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  • Publisher: Clarendon Press
  • Format: Hardback | 216 pages
  • Dimensions: 146mm x 216mm x 20mm | 399g
  • Publication date: 1 September 1997
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0198256922
  • ISBN 13: 9780198256922

Product description

This book considers two interrelated core questions. The first is: how have legal philosophers systematized law, and what types of assumptions have they made in undertaking this task? Second, in what sense is law a system, and how is it maintained as such? In answering the first question the book surveys and analyses the theories of a number of European legal philosophers and in answering the second puts forward its own distinct theory.

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Back cover copy

Law has long been conceived as a system and system involves order. However, the authors argue, for any system, even a legal system, to function it must also involve elements of disorder. This book investigates the systematic nature of a legal system, particularly as to the validity and interpretation of law, in four main areas: the elements of a legal system, relations among its elements, its relation to its environment and its relation to time. It is argued that, being both open and closed, self- and hetero-regulated, fixed and changing, complex and fluid, a legal system appears as a constant entangling of order and disorder. This innovative interdisciplinary study moves from traditional theory of legal system through systems theory to game theory, as well as drawing on sociology and anthropology of law.

Table of contents

Part 1 General problematic: interest in the concept of system for the study of law; epistemological orientations; perspectives opened up by investigation of systems; two precursors - Kelsen and Hart. Part 2 Elements of a legal system: legal norms; concepts, institutions, branches of law, general principles or values; heterogenicity of the elements of a legal system. Part 3 Relations among the elements of a legal system: the different types of systematicity; the different forms of systematization. Part 4 The legal system and its environment: legal system and autopoiesis; legal system and social order - the functions of law; legal system and social order - infra-law; legal system and change; legal system and non-legal normative systems; relations between different legal systems. Part 5 The legal system and temporality: genesis of juridicity and systematicity; diachronic perspective - the emergence of formal and institutional systems; synchronic perspective - "families" of legal systems; conditions of survival of a legal system; the multiple temporalities of legal systems; legal temporalities and levels of organization of systems.