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Dalhousie Law Journal

Authors

R. A. Samek

Abstract

The immediate subject-matter of law reform is law, and the immediate reason for reforming the law is dissatisfaction with the law as it is; but the ultimate subject-matter of law reform is the human behaviour contained in a social practice, and the ultimate reason for reforming the law is dissatisfaction with such behaviour. The immediate task of the law reformer is to bring about a change in the legal rules; but his ultimate task is to bring about a change in human behaviour. Hence, law reform ultimately presupposes a set of evaluative standards according to which human behaviour can be evaluated. If the human behaviour leaves nothing to be desired, then the law can be left alone except perhaps to make it more elegant. If, on the other hand, dissatisfaction is felt with the human behaviour, the relevant legal rules must be looked at. Perhaps they can be changed so as to produce the desired human behaviour; perhaps nothing can be done, the case being simply one in which human behaviour will not respond to legal pressure, or the necessary pressure will be so great as to involve more unsatisfactory behaviour than it will be able to cure.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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Criminal Law Commons

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