Dalhousie Law Journal


Law, valid law criteria, essence of law, jurisprudential thinking


What is Law? By what criteria do we recognize valid law? These questions have exercised the minds of distinguished jurisprudential thinkers of the past. Every solution that has been propounded, whether in terms of natural law theory, command models, norm or rule models, seems to have been defective in one way or another. The main thesis of this book is that every attempt to find some "essence of law" - whether in terms of commands, rules or whatever - is bound to fail. The reason given is that there is not one and only one "true" conception of law. There are different perspectives from which law and near-law can be usefully treated. What is a useful paradigm for lawyers dealing with a sophisticated legal system may not be useful for the anthropologist.

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