An Inquiry into a Normative Concept of Legal Validity

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This essay argues that legal efficacy understood as existent binding force
and as dominance of a system of coercion vis-_a-vis competing systems is not strictly a matter of fact, but involves what can be termed justified normativity in a factual context. The argument is divided into four sections. The first three sections describe different dimensions of a normative concept of legal efficacy applied to legal systems: efficacy as persuasiveness, as indirect communication, and as constitutive obedience. The final section focuses on the efficacy of individual norms and adds a new criterion – membership – which establishes a multi-layered test of efficacy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)460-477
Number of pages18
JournalRatio Juris
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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