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  • Philosophy of law

    Philosophy of law

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    • Ancient Greek philosophy of law

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    • Authority

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    • Legal concepts

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    • Critical legal studies

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    • Ethically disputed judicial practices

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    • Legal ethics

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    • Interregnums

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    • Jurisprudence

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    • Law and economics

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    • Law and literature

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    • Law and morality

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    • Law enforcement theory

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    • Legal reasoning

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    • Legal systems

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    • Philosophers of law

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    • Theories of law

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    • Index of philosophy of law articles

    • This is an index of articles in jurisprudence. ... Read »


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    • Jurisprudence

    • Jurisprudence is the science, study, and theory of law. It includes principles behind law that make the law. Scholars of jurisprudence, also known as jurists or legal theorists (including legal philosophers and social theorists of law), hope to obtain a deeper understanding of the nature of law, of legal reasoning, leg ... Read »


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    • Aggressive legalism

    • In the context of globalization and the subsequent proliferation of free trade agreements (FTAs), legal scholars generally refer to the political strategy used by a sovereign state to leverage a trade agreement’s substantive rules to counter behavior it deems unreasonable by its trading partners, as aggressive leg ... Read »


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    • American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy

    • The American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy (ASPLP) is a learned society founded in 1955 by political theorist Carl Friedrich. The ASPLP's annual thematic conferences form the foundation for the Nomos series. The ASPLP operates according to a distinctive three-discipline structure. Its annual meetings rotat ... Read »


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    • Anarchist law

    • Anarchist law is a hypothetical body of norms regarding behavior and decision-making that might be operative in an anarchist community. The term is used in a series of ongoing debates within the various branches of anarchist theory regarding if and how norms of individual and/or collective behavior, decision-making and ... Read »


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    • Archiv für Rechts- und Sozialphilosophie


    • Archon

    • Archon (Gr. ἄρχων, pl. ἄρχοντες) is a Greek word that means "ruler", frequently used as the title of a specific public office. It is the masculine present participle of the verb stem αρχ-, meaning "to rule", derived from the same root as monarch and hierarchy. In ... Read »


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    • Auctoritas

    • Auctoritas is a Latin word and is the origin of English "authority". While historically its use in English was restricted to discussions of the political history of Rome, the beginning of phenomenological philosophy in the 20th century expanded the use of the word. In ancient Rome, Auctoritas referred to the general l ... Read »


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    • Authority

    • The word authority (derived from the Latin word auctoritas) can be used to mean the right to exercise power given by the State (in the form of government, judges, police officers, etc.), or by academic knowledge of an area (someone that can be an authority on a subject). When the word authority is used in the name of ... Read »


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    • Basic norm

    • Basic norm (German: Grundnorm) is a concept in the Pure Theory of Law created by Hans Kelsen, a jurist and legal philosopher. Kelsen used this word to denote the basic norm, order, or rule that forms an underlying basis for a legal system. The theory is based on a need to find a point of origin for all law, on which ba ... Read »


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    • Biblical law

    • Biblical law refers to the legal aspects of the Bible, the holy scriptures of Judaism and Christianity. ... Read »


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    • Philosophy of copyright

    • The philosophy of copyright considers philosophical issues linked to copyright policy, and other jurisprudential problems that arise in legal systems' interpretation and application of copyright law. One debate concerns the purpose of copyright. Some take the approach of looking for coherent justifications of establis ... Read »


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    • The Case of the Speluncean Explorers

    • "The Case of the Speluncean Explorers" is an article by legal philosopher Lon L. Fuller first published in the Harvard Law Review in 1949. Largely taking the form of a fictional judgment, it presents a legal philosophy puzzle to the reader and five possible solutions in the form of judicial opinions that are attributed ... Read »


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    • Competition law theory

    • Competition law theory covers the strands of thought relating to competition law or antitrust policy. The classical perspective on competition was that certain agreements and business practice could be an unreasonable restraint on the individual liberty of tradespeople to carry on their livelihoods. Restraints wer ... Read »


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    • The Concept of Law

    • The Concept of Law () is the most famous work of the legal philosopher H. L. A. Hart. It was first published in 1961 and develops Hart's theory of legal positivism (the view that laws are rules made by human beings and that there is no inherent or necessary connection between law and morality) within the framework of a ... Read »


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    • Constitutional theory

    • Constitutional theory is an area of constitutional law that focuses on the underpinnings of constitutional government. It overlaps with legal theory, constitutionalism, philosophy of law and democratic theory. It is not limited by country or jurisdiction. Constitutional theory in the United States is an academic d ... Read »


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    • Constitutionalism

    • Constitutionalism is "a complex of ideas, attitudes, and patterns of behavior elaborating the principle that the authority of government derives from and is limited by a body of fundamental law". Political organizations are constitutional to the extent that they "contain institutionalized mechanisms of power control f ... Read »


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    • Corelative

    • Correlative ("corelative," UK spelling) is the term adopted by Wesley Newcomb Hohfeld to describe the philosophical relationships between fundamental legal concepts in jurisprudence. Hohfeld was concerned that there was some ambiguity in the explanation of the similarities and differences between concepts in law. Henc ... Read »


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    • Critical legal studies

    • Critical legal studies are about theories that maintain that ideology (the stories we use to describe ourselves) is the principal component of human motivation. Its opponents claim that its conclusions are unreliable or unscientific because it relies on narrative rather than verifiable facts. Critical legal studies is ... Read »


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    • Declaration of Delhi

    • The New Delhi Congress or Declaration of Delhi was an international gathering of over 185 judges, lawyers, and law professors from 53 countries all over the world, united as the International Commission of Jurists that took place in New Delhi, India in 1959. The theme of the New Delhi Congress was "The Rule of Law in a ... Read »


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    • Defeasibility

    • Defeasibility is the property of something – such as a contract, a proposition or an understanding – that can be annulled, invalidated, or similarly "defeated". In law, it refers to the possibility of a contract or other legal agreement being terminated by circumstances that arise later, or of legal reasoning ... Read »


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    • Dignitas (Roman concept)

    • Dignitas is a Latin word referring to a unique, intangible, and culturally subjective social concept in the ancient Roman mindset. The word does not have a direct translation in English. Some interpretations include "dignity", which is a derivation from "dignitas", and "" or "charisma". With respect to ancient Rome, d ... Read »


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    • Divine law

    • Divine law is any law that comes directly from the "will of God", in contrast to man-made law. Unlike natural law, which is independent of human beings, divine laws are totally dependent on human narrators and closely related to different cultures; they may change in human perception in time through new revelation, how ... Read »


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    • Dorothea S. Clarke Professor of Feminist Jurisprudence

    • The Dorothea S. Clarke Professorship of Feminist Jurisprudence was founded at Cornell Law School in 1997, and is the first endowed chair in feminist jurisprudence at a law school in the United States. The professorship is one of three named professorships at Cornell endowed by Exxon executive Jack G. Clarke and Dorothe ... Read »


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    • Law's Empire


    • Earth jurisprudence

    • Earth jurisprudence is a philosophy of law and human governance that is based on the idea that humans are only one part of a wider community of beings and that the welfare of each member of that community is dependent on the welfare of the Earth as a whole. It states that human societies will only be viable and flouris ... Read »


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    • Elements of the Philosophy of Right

    • Elements of the Philosophy of Right (German: Grundlinien der Philosophie des Rechts) is a work by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel published in 1820, though the book's original title page dates it to 1821. Hegel's most mature statement of his legal, moral, social and political philosophy, it is an expansion upon concepts ... Read »


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    • Equal justice under law

    • Equal justice under law is a phrase engraved on the front of the United States Supreme Court building in Washington D.C. It is also a societal ideal that has influenced the American legal system. The phrase was proposed by the building's architects, and then approved by judges of the Court in 1932. It is based upon Fo ... Read »


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    • A Failure of Capitalism

    • A Failure of Capitalism: The Crisis of '08 and the Descent into Depression

      A Failure of Capitalism: The Crisis of '08 and the Descent into Depression is a non-fiction book by Judge Richard Posner. The text was initially published on May 1, 2009 by Harvard University Press. Posner criticizes President George W. Bush and his administration's policies and the response to the fiscal crisis, and m ... Read »


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    • Feindstrafrecht

    • The Feindstrafrecht (German for "Criminal Law of the Enemy") is a criminal law and civil rights concept outlined in 1985 by the German criminal law professor and legal philosopher Günther Jakobs. The Feindstrafrecht says that certain people, as enemies of the society (or the state), do not deserve the protections of ... Read »


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    • Feminism and Legal Theory Project

    • The Feminism and Legal Theory Project is a project aimed at addressing issues relating to women and law. It was founded in 1984 by legal theorist Martha Fineman, a pioneer in feminist legal theory. The project nurtures scholars from around the world, bringing them together to study and debate a wide range of topics rel ... Read »


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    • Forensic rhetoric

    • Forensic rhetoric, as coined in Aristotle's On Rhetoric, encompasses any discussion of past action including legal discourse—the primary setting for the emergence of rhetoric as a discipline and theory. This contrasts with deliberative rhetoric and epideictic rhetoric, which are reserved for discussions concerning ... Read »


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    • Founderism

    • Founderism (being a Founderist) is an intellectual outlook that has a strong "Reverence for the founders" of a state. The term is viewed as a pejorative epithet, accusing those so labeled as having a worldview that sacrifices historic accuracy for turning the "Founding into a fetish". The antonym "anti-founderism" is ... Read »


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    • Free scientific research

    • The free scientific research is a jusphilosophical school precursor of the jurisprudence of values, which defends basically that, in order to discover the origins of law's principles and rules, the interpreter's studies may have support on various "sciences" such as sociology, economics, linguistics, philosophy and the ... Read »


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    • Freedom of contract

    • Freedom of contract is the freedom of private or public individuals and groups (of any legal entity) to form contracts without government restrictions. This is opposed to government restrictions such as minimum wage, competition law, or price fixing. The freedom to contract is the underpinning of laissez-faire economic ... Read »


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    • Fundamental theory (canon law)

    • The philosophy, theology, and fundamental theory of canon law are the fields of philosophical, theological (ecclesiological), and legal scholarship which concern the place of canon law in the nature of the Catholic Church, both as a natural and as a supernatural entity. Philosophy and theology shape the concepts and se ... Read »


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    • Geojurisprudence

    • Geojurisprudence is "a systemic approach to the connections of legal science to geography and geopolitics" (Manfred Langhans-Ratzeburg - Begriff und Aufgaben der Geographischen Rechtswissenshaft (Geojurisprudenz) published by Kurt Vowinkel in 1928 as a companion volume to Karl Haushofer's Zeitschrift für Geopolitik ... Read »


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    • German Ethics Council

    • German Ethics Council (German: Deutscher Ethikrat) (Precursor from June 2001 to February 2008: National Ethics Council) is an independent council of experts in Germany working on the ethical, social, scientific, medical, and legal issues and their consequences for the individuals and the society. It is host of the 2016 ... Read »


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    • German Historical School

    • The German Historical School of Jurisprudence is a 19th-century intellectual movement in the study of German law. With Romanticism as its background, it emphasized the historical limitations of the law. It stood in opposition to an earlier movement called Vernunftrecht (Rational Law). The Historical School is base ... Read »


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    • Global Justice or Global Revenge?


    • Golden Rule

    • The Golden Rule or law of reciprocity is the principle of treating others as one would wish to be treated oneself. It is a maxim of altruism seen in many human religions and human cultures. The maxim may appear as either a positive or negative injunction governing conduct: The Golden Rule differs from the maxim of rec ... Read »


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    • Good law

    • Good law is the concept in jurisprudence that a legal decision is still valid. That is, that a decision has not been overturned (during an appeal) or otherwise rendered obsolete (such as by a change in the underlying law). ... Read »


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    • Habeas corpus

    • Habeas corpus (/ˈheɪbiəs ˈkɔːrpəs/; Medieval Latin meaning literally "You may have the body") is a recourse in law whereby a person can report an unlawful detention or imprisonment before a court, usually through a prison official. The writ of habeas corpus is known as "the great and efficacious w ... Read »


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    • Hard law

    • Hard law refers to actual binding legal instruments and laws. In contrast with soft law, hard law gives States and international actors actual binding responsibilities as well as rights. The term is common in international law where there are no sovereign governing bodies. Hard law means binding laws. To constitute la ... Read »


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    • Hart–Dworkin debate


    • Hart–Fuller debate


    • Wesley Newcomb Hohfeld

    • Wesley Newcomb Hohfeld (8 August 1879, Oakland, California – 21 October 1918, Alameda, California) was an American jurist. He was the author of the seminal Fundamental Legal Conceptions as Applied in Judicial Reasoning and Other Legal Essays (1919). During his life he published only a handful of law journal ar ... Read »


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    • Homo sacer

    • Homo sacer (Latin for "the sacred man" or "the accursed man") is a figure of Roman law: a person who is banned and may be killed by anybody, but may not be sacrificed in a religious ritual. The meaning of the term sacer in Ancient Roman religion is not fully congruent with the meaning it took after Christianization, a ... Read »


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    • Imperium

    • Imperium is a Latin word which, in a broad sense, translates roughly as 'power to command'. In ancient Rome, different kinds of power or authority were distinguished by different terms. Imperium referred to the ability of an individual to command the military. It is not to be confused with auctoritas or potestas, diffe ... Read »


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    • Injustice

    • Injustice is a quality relating to unfairness or undeserved outcomes. The term may be applied in reference to a particular event or situation, or to a larger status quo. In Western philosophy and jurisprudence, injustice is very commonly, but not always, defined as either the absence or the opposite of justice. The se ... Read »


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    • Institutional System

    • Institutional System- the principles of the Civil Code, developed by the French lawyers in the preparation of the Code Napoleon (1804). Institutional system involves the separation of code into three parts (books) - the first is devoted to the people, the second describes the types of property, and the third describes ... Read »


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    • International Association for the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy

    • The International Association for the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy (IVR) was founded in 1909 as the Internationale Vereinigung für Rechts- und Sozialphilosophie. The IVR is the world's central academic organization for the study and advancement of legal and social philosophy. The primary activities of th ... Read »


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    • International legal theories

    • International legal theory comprises a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches used to explain and analyse the content, formation and effectiveness of public international law and institutions and to suggest improvements. Some approaches center on the question of compliance: why states follow international ... Read »


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    • Interregnum

    • An interregnum (plural interregna or interregnums) is a period of discontinuity or "gap" in a government, organization, or social order. Archetypally, it was the period of time between the reign of one monarch and the next (coming from Latin inter-, "between" and rēgnum, "reign" [from rex, rēgis, "king"]), and th ... Read »


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    • Judicial activism

    • Judicial activism refers to judicial rulings suspected of being based on personal or political considerations rather than on existing law. It is sometimes used as an antonym of judicial restraint. The definition of judicial activism, and which specific decisions are activist, is a controversial political issue, particu ... Read »


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    • Judicial independence

    • Judicial independence is the concept that the judiciary needs to be kept away from the other branches of government. That is, courts should not be subject to improper influence from the other branches of government, or from private or partisan interests. Judicial Independence is vital and important to the idea of separ ... Read »


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    • Judicial interference

    • Judicial interference is the actions of courts or judicial officers in matters that are interpreted by some as beyond their constitutionally established role. ... Read »


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    • Jurisprudence of values

    • Jurisprudence of values or jurisprudence of principles is a school of legal philosophy. This school represents, according to some authors, a step in overcoming the contradictions of legal positivism and, for this reason, it has been considered by some authors as a post-positivism school. Jurisprudence of values is refe ... Read »


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    • Justice

    • Justice is the legal or philosophical theory by which fairness is administered. The concept of justice differs in every culture. An early theory of justice was set out by the Ancient Greek philosopher Plato in his work The Republic. Advocates of divine command theory argue that justice issues from God. In the 17th cent ... Read »


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    • Justitium

    • Justitium is a concept of Roman law, equivalent to the declaration of the state of emergency. It was usually declared following a sovereign's death, during the troubled period of interregnum, but also in case of invasions. However, in this last case, it was not as much the physical danger of invasion that justified the ... Read »


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    • Jacqueline Laing

    • Jacqueline Laing is a legal philosopher and academic, specializing in jurisprudence, or the philosophy of law, criminal law and applied ethics. She has taught at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, Hughes Hall, Cambridge, King's College, London, St Edmund Hall, Oxford, and Melbourne University. She is a barrister of the High ... Read »


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    • Law and economics

    • Law and economics or economic analysis of law is the application of economic theory (specifically microeconomic theory) to the analysis of law that begin mostly with scholars from the Chicago school of economics. Economic concepts are used to explain the effects of laws, to assess which legal rules are economically eff ... Read »


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    • Law and Gospel

    • In Protestant Christianity, the relationship between Law and Gospel—God's Law and the Gospel of Jesus Christ—is a major topic in Lutheran and Reformed theology. In these traditions, the distinction between the doctrines of Law, which demands obedience to God's ethical will, and Gospel, which promises the forg ... Read »


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    • Law and literature

    • The law and literature movement focuses on the interdisciplinary connection between law and literature. This field has roots in two major developments in the intellectual history of law—first, the growing doubt about whether law in isolation is a source of value and meaning, or whether it must be plugged into a la ... Read »


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    • Law and religion

    • Law and religion is the interdisciplinary study of relationships between law, especially public law, and religion. Vogel reports that in the 1980s a new law and religion approach emerged that progressively built its own contribution to religious studies. Over a dozen scholarly organizations and committees were formed b ... Read »


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    • Law as integrity

    • In philosophy of law, law as integrity is a theory of law put forward by the legal philosopher Ronald Dworkin. In general, it can be described as interpreting the law according to a community. ... Read »


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    • Law in action

    • Law in action is a legal theory, associated with legal realism, that examines the role of law, not just as it exists in the statutes and cases, but as it is actually applied in society. Law in action scholars often start with observations about the behavior of institutions and work "backwards" toward the legal philosop ... Read »


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    • Law reform

    • Law reform or legal reform is the process of examining existing laws, and advocating and implementing changes in a legal system, usually with the aim of enhancing justice or efficiency. Intimately related are law reform bodies or law commissions, which are organizations set up to facilitate law reform. Law reform bodi ... Read »


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    • Law without the state

    • Law without the state (also called transnational stateless law, stateless law, or private legal orderings) is law made primarily outside of the power of a state. Such law may be established in several ways: ... Read »


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    • Law, Legislation and Liberty

    • Law, Legislation and Liberty is the 1973 work in three volumes by Nobel laureate economist and political philosopher Friedrich Hayek. In it, Hayek further develops the philosophical principles he discussed earlier in The Road to Serfdom, The Constitution of Liberty, and other writings. Law, Legislation and Liberty is m ... Read »


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    • Laws (dialogue)

    • The Laws (Greek: Νόμοι; Latin: De Legibus) is Plato's last and longest dialogue. The conversation depicted in the work's twelve books begins with the question of who is given the credit for establishing a civilization's laws. Its musings on the ethics of government and law have established it as a classi ... Read »


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    • Legal Education and the Reproduction of Hierarchy

    • Legal Education and the Reproduction of Hierarchy

      Legal Education and the Reproduction of Hierarchy: A Polemic Against the System is an essay by Duncan Kennedy on legal education in the United States of America. The work is a critique of American legal education and argues that legal education reinforces class, race, and gender inequality. The article was first s ... Read »


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    • Legal humanists

    • The legal humanists were a group of scholars of Roman law, which arose in 16th century France (Bourges) as a reaction against the Commentators. They had a general disdain for the Middle Ages and felt nothing good could come from then. They also had a great love of antiquarianism and were greatly concerned with the auth ... Read »


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    • Legal naturalism

    • Legal naturalism is a term coined by Olufemi Taiwo to describe a current in the social philosophy of Karl Marx which can be interpreted as one of Natural Law. Taiwo considered it the manifestation of Natural Law in a dialectical materialist context. ... Read »


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    • Legal nihilism

    • Legal nihilism is negative attitude toward law. Its basis is a weak belief that law is beneficial for the society. Many scholars believe that legal nihilism is a destructive phenomenon. Depending on the law it denies, legal nihilism can be internal and international. Andrzej Walicki thought that both bureaucracy ... Read »


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    • Legal positivism

    • Legal positivism is a school of thought of analytical jurisprudence, largely developed by eighteenth- and nineteenth-century legal thinkers such as Jeremy Bentham and John Austin. While Bentham and Austin developed legal positivist theory, empiricism and logical positivism set the theoretical foundations for such devel ... Read »


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    • Legal Positivism (book)

    • Legal Positivism (Il Positivismo Giuridico) is a book by the Italian jurist Norberto Bobbio about one of the ontological elements of foundations of law — the jusphilosophical school called juspositivism or legal positivism. Seen by scholars as an important work in understanding of a conceptual constructivist ... Read »


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    • Legal process (jurisprudence)

    • The legal process school (sometimes "legal process theory") was a movement within American law that attempted to chart a third way between legal formalism and legal realism. Drawing its name from Hart & Sacks' textbook The Legal Process (along with Hart & Wechsler's textbook The Federal Courts and the Federal System co ... Read »


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    • Legal realism

    • Legal realism is a naturalistic approach to law. Legal realists believe that the legal science should investigate law exclusively with the value-free methods of natural sciences, also called 'sciences of the real' in some Continental languages (e.g., 'Realwissenschaften', in German). Some legal realists (e.g., Leon Pet ... Read »


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    • Legal science

    • Legal science is one of the main components in the civil law tradition (after Roman law, canon law, commercial law, and the legacy of the revolutionary period). Legal science is primarily the creation of German legal scholars of the middle and late nineteenth century, and it evolved naturally out of the ideas of Fried ... Read »


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    • Letter and spirit of the law

    • The letter of the law versus the spirit of the law is an idiomatic antithesis. When one obeys the letter of the law but not the spirit, one is obeying the literal interpretation of the words (the "letter") of the law, but not necessarily the intent of those who wrote the law. Conversely, when one obeys the spirit of th ... Read »


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    • Lord Advocate's Reference


    • Metaconstitution

    • A metaconstitution is a set of pre-constitutional rules. It is in lieu of a formalized constitution and consists of accepted axiomatic policy. The constitution is similar to or developed from this. A metaconstitution is also less binding, and can be used to a less rigid form of government. To many nations, the metacons ... Read »


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    • Monarchomachs

    • The Monarchomachs (French: Monarchomaques) were originally French Huguenot theorists who opposed monarchy at the end of the 16th century, known in particular for having theoretically justified tyrannicide. The term was originally a pejorative word coined in 1600 by the Scottish royalist and Catholic William Barclay (15 ... Read »


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    • Mutual liberty

    • Mutual liberty is an idea first coined by in his 1835 work Democracy in America. In effect, Tocqueville was referring to the general nature of American society during the 19th century. It appeared to him, at least on the surface, that every citizen in the United States had the to participate in the civic activities o ... Read »


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    • Natural Law and Natural Rights

    • Natural Law and Natural Rights

      Natural Law and Natural Rights is a 1980 book by philosopher John Finnis. A restatement of natural law doctrine, it is considered a seminal contribution to the philosophy of law. The work was commissioned by H. L. A. Hart for the Clarendon Law Series. Finnis argues that social theory cannot be value free and that ... Read »


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    • Natural order (philosophy)

    • In philosophy, the natural order is the moral source from which natural law seeks to derive its authority. Natural order encompasses the natural relations of beings to one another, in the absence of law, which natural law attempts to reinforce. This is related to Dharma. In contrast, divine law seeks authority from Go ... Read »


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    • Natural-law argument

    • Natural-law argument for the existence of God was especially popular in the eighteenth century as a result of the influence of Sir Isaac Newton. As Bertrand Russell pointed out much later, many of the things we consider to be laws of nature, in fact, are human conventions. Indeed, Albert Einstein has shown that Newton' ... Read »


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    • Naturalization

    • Naturalization (or naturalisation) is the legal act or process by which a non-citizen in a country may acquire citizenship or nationality of that country. It may be done by a statute, without any effort on the part of the individual, or it may involve an application and approval by legal authorities. The rules of natur ... Read »


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    • New Criminal Law Review

    • The New Criminal Law Review (ISSN 1933-4192) is a quarterly peer-reviewed law journal published by University of California Press. It was established in 1997 as the Buffalo Criminal Law Review, but changed names in 2007 after the University of California Press took responsibility for publishing the journal. The New ... Read »


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    • Norm (philosophy)

    • Norms are concepts (sentences) of practical import, oriented to effecting an action, rather than conceptual abstractions that describe, explain, and express. Normative sentences imply "ought-to" types of statements and assertions, in distinction to sentences that provide "is" types of statements and assertions. Common ... Read »


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    • Normative

    • Normative means relating to an ideal standard or model, or being based on what is considered to be the normal or correct way of doing something. Normative has specialized meanings in different academic disciplines such as philosophy, social sciences, and law. In philosophy, normative statements make claims about ... Read »


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    • Obligation

    • An obligation is a course of action that someone is required to take, whether legal or moral. There are also obligations in other normative contexts, such as obligations of etiquette, social obligations, and possibly in terms of politics, where obligations are requirements which must be fulfilled. These are generally l ... Read »


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    • Organic law

    • An organic law is a law, or system of laws, that form the foundation of a government, corporation or any other organization's body of rules. A constitution is a particular form of organic law for a sovereign state. Under the current Constitution of France, organic laws are a short, fixed list of statutes (in 2005, ... Read »


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    • Original intent

    • Original intent is a theory in law concerning constitutional and statutory interpretation. It is frequently – and usually spuriously – used as a synonym for originalism; while original intent is indeed one theory in the originalist family, it has some extremely salient differences which has led originalists f ... Read »


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    • Original meaning

    • In the context of United States constitutional interpretation, original meaning is the dominant form of the legal theory of originalism today. It was made popular by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and contends that the terms of the United States Constitution should be interpreted as meaning what they meant when t ... Read »


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    • Otium

    • Otium, a Latin abstract term, has a variety of meanings, including leisure time in which a person can enjoy eating, playing, resting, contemplation and academic endeavors. It sometimes, but not always, relates to a time in a person's retirement after previous service to the public or private sector, opposing "active pu ... Read »


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    • Pandectists

    • Pandectists were German university legal scholars in the early 19th century who studied and taught Roman law as a model of what they called Konstruktionsjurisprudenz (conceptual jurisprudence) as codified in the Pandects of Justinian (Berman). Beginning in the mid-19th century, the Pandectists were attacked in argumen ... Read »


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    • Perpetual copyright

    • Perpetual copyright can refer to a copyright without a finite term, or to a copyright whose finite term is perpetually extended. Perpetual copyright in the former sense is highly uncommon, as the current laws of all countries with copyright statutes set a standard limit on the duration, based either on the date of crea ... Read »


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    • Philosophy of human rights

    • The philosophy of human rights attempts to examine the underlying basis of the concept of human rights and critically looks at its content and justification. Several theoretical approaches have been advanced to explain how and why the concept of human rights developed. One of the oldest Western philosophies on human r ... Read »


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    • Philosophy of law

    • Philosophy of law is a branch of philosophy and jurisprudence that seeks to answer basic questions about law and legal systems, such as "What is law?", "What are the criteria for legal validity?", "What is the relationship between law and morality?", and many other similar questions. "The principal objective of An ... Read »


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    • Political jurisprudence

    • Political jurisprudence is a legal theory that some judicial decisions are motivated more by politics than by unbiased judgment. According to Professor Martin Shapiro of University of California, Berkeley, who first noted the theory in 1964: "The core of political jurisprudence is a vision of courts as political agenci ... Read »


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    • Political philosophy of Immanuel Kant

    • The political philosophy of Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) favoured a classical republican approach. In Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch (1795), Kant listed several conditions that he thought necessary for ending wars and creating a lasting peace. They included a world of constitutional republics by establishmen ... Read »


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    • Political sociology

    • Contemporary political sociology involves, but is not limited to, the study of the relations between state, society, and citizens. Where a typical research question in political sociology might have been "Why do so few American or European citizens choose to vote?" or even "What difference does it make if women get ele ... Read »


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    • Polycentric law

    • Polycentric law is a legal structure in which providers of legal systems compete or overlap in a given jurisdiction, as opposed to monopolistic statutory law according to which there is a sole provider of law for each jurisdiction. Devolution of this monopoly occurs by the principle of jurisprudence in which they rule ... Read »


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    • Positivism

    • Positivism is a philosophical theory stating that positive knowledge is based on natural phenomena and their properties and relations. Thus, information derived from sensory experience, interpreted through reason and logic, forms the exclusive source of all authoritative knowledge. Positivism holds that valid knowledge ... Read »


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    • Postglossator

    • The postglossators or commentators formed a European legal school which arose in France in the fourteenth century. They form the highest point of development of medieval Roman law. The school of the glossators in Bologna lost its vitality, resulting in the rise of a new school of legal thought in the 14th century, cen ... Read »


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    • Postmodern law

    • Postmodern law, and postmodern jurisprudence, relates to interpretations of the legal system using postmodern philosophy and the theories of postmodernism. It also relevant to law within the context of the postmodern era. Since the mid-1990s Annual meetings of the Association of American Law Schools have focused on the ... Read »


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    • Principles of Islamic jurisprudence

    • Principles of Islamic jurisprudence otherwise known as Uṣūl al-fiqh (Arabic: أصول الفقه‎‎) is the study and critical analysis of the origins, sources, and principles upon which Islamic jurisprudence is based. Traditionally four main sources (Qur’an, Sunnah, consensus ( ... Read »


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    • Professor of Jurisprudence (Glasgow)

    • Professor of Jurisprudence (Glasgow)

      The Chair of Jurisprudence is a Professorship at the University of Glasgow, founded in 1952. The Chair was founded in 1952 and the first holder, David Walker, was appointed in 1954. Walker was himself a graduate of the Faculty of Law and would go on to become a distinguished legal scholar, being appointed Regius P ... Read »


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    • Prohibitionism

    • Prohibitionism is a legal philosophy and political theory often used in lobbying which holds that citizens will abstain from actions if the actions are typed as unlawful (i.e. prohibited) and the prohibitions are enforced by law enforcement. This philosophy has been the basis for many acts of statutory law throughout h ... Read »


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    • Public policy doctrine

    • In private international law, the public policy doctrine or ordre public concerns the body of principles that underpin the operation of legal systems in each state. This addresses the social, moral and economic values that tie a society together: values that vary in different cultures and change over time. Law regulate ... Read »


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    • Purposive approach

    • The purposive approach (sometimes referred to as purposivism,purposive construction,purposive interpretation, or the "modern principle in construction") is an approach to statutory and constitutional interpretation under which common law courts interpret an enactment (i.e., a statute, part of a statute, or a clause of ... Read »


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    • Question of law

    • In law, a question of law, also known as a point of law, is a question that must be answered by applying relevant legal principles to interpretation of the law. Such a question is distinct from a question of fact, which must be answered by reference to facts and evidence as well inferences arising from those facts. Ans ... Read »


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    • Radbruch formula

    • The Radbruch Formula (German: Radbruchsche Formel) is a theory of law which was first formulated in a 1946 essay by the German law professor and politician Gustav Radbruch. According to the theory, a judge who encounters a conflict between a statute and what he perceives as just, has to decide against applying the stat ... Read »


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    • Rechtsstaat

    • Rechtsstaat is a doctrine in continental European legal thinking, originating in German jurisprudence, that can be translated as "legal state", "state of law", "state of justice", "state of rights", or "state based on justice and integrity". A Rechtsstaat is a "constitutional state" in which the exercise of government ... Read »


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    • Retfærd


    • Roerich Pact

    • The Treaty on the Protection of Artistic and Scientific Institutions and Historic Monuments or Roerich Pact is an inter-American treaty. The most important idea of the Roerich Pact is the legal recognition that the defense of cultural objects is more important than the use or destruction of that culture for military pu ... Read »


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    • Rule according to higher law

    • The rule according to a higher law means that no law may be enforced by the government unless it conforms with certain universal principles (written or unwritten) of fairness, morality, and justice. Thus, the rule according to a higher law may serve as a practical legal criterion to qualify the instances of political o ... Read »


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    • Rule by decree

    • Rule by decree is a style of governance allowing quick, unchallenged creation of law by a single person or group, and is used primarily by dictators, absolute monarchs and military leaders. The expression is also sometimes used when describing actions of democratic governments that are perceived to unduly bypass parli ... Read »


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    • Rule of Faith

    • The rule of faith (Latin: regula fidei) or analogy of faith (analogia fidei) is a phrase rooted in the Apostle Paul's admonition to the Christians in Rome in the Epistle to the Romans 12:6, which says, "We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportio ... Read »


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    • Rule of law

    • The rule of law is the legal principle that law should govern a nation, as opposed to being governed by arbitrary decisions of individual government officials. It primarily refers to the influence and authority of law within society, particularly as a constraint upon behaviour, including behaviour of government officia ... Read »


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    • Rule of law in the United Kingdom

    • The rule of law is one of the longest established common law fundamental principles of the governance of the United Kingdom, dating to Magna Carta of 1215, particularly jurisprudence following its late 13th century re-drafting. It as a minimum subjects an otherwise absolute monarch (executive) and all free people withi ... Read »


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    • Rule of recognition

    • A central part of H.L.A. Hart's theory on legal positivism, in any legal system, the rule of recognition is a master meta-rule underlying any legal system that defines the common identifying test for legal validity (or "what counts as law") within that system. He thus articulates its application:sd ...to say that a gi ... Read »


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    • Scepticism in law

    • Scepticism in law is a branch of jurisprudence that was a reaction against the idea of natural law, but also a response to the 'formalism' of legal positivists. Legal scepticism is sometimes known as legal realism. According to Richard Posner, "The skeptical vein in American thinking about law runs from Holmes to the ... Read »


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    • Separation of powers

    • The separation of powers, often imprecisely and metonymically used interchangeably with the trias politica principle, is a model for the governance of a state (or who controls the state). Under this model, the state is divided into branches, each with separate and independent powers and areas of responsibility so that ... Read »


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    • Separation of powers in the United Kingdom

    • The conception of the separation of powers has been applied to the United Kingdom and the nature of its executive (UK government, Scottish Government, Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Executive), judicial (England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) and legislative (UK Parliament, Scottish Parliament, Nation ... Read »


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    • Seana Shiffrin

    • Seana Valentine Shiffrin is Professor of Philosophy and Pete Kameron Professor of Law and Social Justice at the University of California, Los Angeles. Shiffrin’s work has been widely influential and spans issues in moral, political and legal philosophy, as well as matters of legal doctrine, that concern equality, ... Read »


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    • Soft law

    • The term "soft law" refers to quasi-legal instruments which do not have any legally binding force, or whose binding force is somewhat "weaker" than the binding force of traditional law, often contrasted with soft law by being referred to as "hard law". Traditionally, the term "soft law" is associated with international ... Read »


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    • Soft tyranny

    • Soft tyranny is an idea first coined by in his 1835 work titled Democracy in America. In effect, soft tyranny occurs whenever the social conditions of a particular community hinder any prospect of hope among its members. For Tocqueville, hope is the driving force behind all democratic institutions. As such, whenever t ... Read »


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    • State of exception

    • A state of exception (German: Ausnahmezustand) is a concept in the legal theory of Carl Schmitt, similar to a state of emergency, but based in the sovereign's ability to transcend the rule of law in the name of the public good. This concept is developed in Giorgio Agamben's book State of Exception. ... Read »


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    • Theory of Legal Norms

    • Theory of Legal Norms (Teoria della Norma Giuridica) is a book, published in 1958, by the italian jurist Norberto Bobbio about one of the ontological elements of foundations of law — the legal norm. Seen by scholars as an important work in understanding of a conceptual constructivist approach of the scientifi ... Read »


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    • A Theory of Legal Order

    • A Theory of Legal Order (Teoria dell'Ordinamento Giuridico) is a book of the Italian jurist Norberto Bobbio about one of the ontological elements of foundations of law — the juridical order. Seen by scholars as an important work in understanding of a conceptual constructivist approach of the scientific way of ... Read »


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    • Torture

    • Torture (from the Latin tortus, "twisted") is the act of deliberately inflicting physical or psychological pain on an organism in order to fulfill some desire of the torturer or compel some action from the victim. Torture, by definition, is a knowing and intentional act; deeds which unknowingly or negligently inflict p ... Read »


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    • Transitional justice

    • Transitional justice consists of judicial and non-judicial measures implemented in order to redress legacies of human rights abuses. Such measures "include criminal prosecutions, truth commissions, reparations programs, and various kinds of institutional reforms". Transitional justice is enacted at a point of political ... Read »


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    • Translating "law" to other European languages


    • Treatise on Law

    • Treatise on Law is St. Thomas Aquinas' major work of legal philosophy. It forms questions 90–108 of the Prima Secundæ ("First [Part] of the Second [Part]") of the Summa Theologiæ, Aquinas' masterwork of Scholastic philosophical theology. Along with Aristotelianism, it forms the basis for the legal theory of ... Read »


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    • Underdeterminacy (law)

    • In American law, underdeterminacy is a concept particularly relevant to originalism. It is distinct from indeterminacy. The problem arises because even having established the original meaning of a clause of the Constitution, "knowing the meaning of these words only takes us so far in resolving current cases and controv ... Read »


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    • Unrechtsstaat

    • The term Unrechtsstaat is a pejorative used to refer to a state that is not a Rechtsstaat, or a constitutional state in which the exercise of governmental power is not constrained by the law. It is used not only as a jurisprudential term but also as a political one. It is the opinion of Horst Sendler that an Unrechtss ... Read »


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    • Usul Fiqh in Ja'fari school


    • Volksgeist

    • Volksgeist is a German loanword (literally meaning "spirit of the people" or "National character") for a unique "spirit" possessed collectively by each people or nation. The idea is often attributed to the philosopher Johann Gottfried Herder, but he never actually used the word. Hegel coined the term Volksgeist in 1801 ... Read »


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    • Wild law

    • The term ‘wild law’ was first coined by Cormac Cullinan, to refer to human laws that are consistent with Earth jurisprudence. A wild law is a law made by people to regulate human behaviour that privileges maintaining the integrity and functioning of the whole Earth community in the long term, over the interes ... Read »


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  • What Else?

    • Philosophy of law

Extras