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Law as Plan and Artefact

Ehrenberg, Kenneth (2016) Law as Plan and Artefact Jurisprudence, 7 (2). pp. 325-340.

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Scott Shapiro’s theory that law is a social plan is helpful in seeing law essentially as a tool of human creation and as such is sympathetic to understanding law in terms of the social functions it performs, a method I argue for elsewhere. I focus here on two problems with the theory as presented. The planning theory does not adequately explain the persistence of law beyond the utility of those who implement it. Generally, plans can cease to exist as soon as those engaged in them have no more use for them. Laws however, must usually be declared invalid or otherwise nullified for them to have no further effect. Shapiro’s use of self-certification to explain how law is differentiated from other forms of social planning is ad hoc and threatens circularity when he admits it to be a matter of degree. Both of these issues can be better solved by seeing law as an institutionalised abstract artefact, with a greater emphasis upon the nature of institutions doing much of the work done by the idea of planning.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > School of Law
Authors :
Date : 18 August 2016
DOI : 10.1080/20403313.2016.1192318
Copyright Disclaimer : This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Jurisprudence on 18 August 2016, available online:
Uncontrolled Keywords : Scott Shapiro; artefacts; institutions; John Searle; self-certification; persistence (of law)
Depositing User : Melanie Hughes
Date Deposited : 09 Aug 2017 15:16
Last Modified : 16 Jan 2019 18:55

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