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Law in Modern Society$
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Denis Galligan

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199291830

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199291830.001.0001

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Law as a System of Rules

Law as a System of Rules

(p.84) 5 Law as a System of Rules
Law in Modern Society


Oxford University Press

The rule of recognition, as a social fact, aids in understanding how social rules make up a system of law in two ways. First, it serves as an ultimate rule that links rules to form a system as it identifies the conditions under which new rules are made and provides the basis for determining whether any social rule is a legal rule. Second, it bestows authority on specific rules as laws since any law made that complies with the rule of recognition obtains a binding quality that requires officials to act in accordance with the rule. Its two elements involve convergent behaviour on the officials's part and an internal attitude that considers the said convergent behavior as obligatory. Admiration and scepticism regarding the rule of recognition has raised issues and these are discussed in this chapter.

Keywords:   rule of recognition, convergent behavior, internal attitude, ultimate rule, social rule, legal rule

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