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Legal Validity

The Fabric of Justice

By: Maris Köpcke
Media of Legal Validity
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Published: 24-01-2019
Format: PDF eBook (?)
Edition: 1st
Extent: 176
ISBN: 9781509904280
Imprint: Hart Publishing
Series: European Academy of Legal Theory Series
RRP: £26.99
Online price : £21.59
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Loren Epson

About Legal Validity

Critical human interests are affected on a daily basis by appeal to past decisions deemed to be 'legally valid'. They include statutes, deportation orders, judgments, mortgage contracts, patents and wills. Through the technique of validity, lawyerly reasoning settles morally pressing matters in a way that largely bypasses moral argument. Legal philosophy has paid considerable attention to validity criteria, but it has neglected to explore validity's point: whether, and if so how, the pervasive technique of validity can contribute to a legal system's ability to realise justice and human rights.

This book shows that validity can help a political community to foster justice precisely because validity does not primarily turn on moral considerations. Validity serves to both allocate, and limit, a distinct kind of power, a power that is key to forging valuable forms of enterprise and commitment in pursuit of individual and collective self-direction. By entrusting the capacity to decide to those who, in justice, ought to bear it, validity can enable persons and institutions to rally the resources and opportunities that only large-scale behavioural convergence can afford, thereby weaving a fabric of just relationships within the systemic framework of law.

Table Of Contents

1. Introduction: Why Legal Validity?
I. An Intriguing Fact
II. The Code Idea
III. A Neglected Question

2. Legal Power
I. The Task Ahead
II. Facilities to Change Legal Positions
III. Super-Tramp
IV. Raz's Take
V. Facilities Revisited, or Robert's Home Move

3. Intention in Valid Acts
I. Four Peculiar Traits
II. The Technique of Communication
III. Codes, or How to Speak Your Mind
IV. Back to Law
V. Valid Acts That Invoke a Legal Regime
VI. Valid Acts That Circulate
VII. Unintentional Valid Acts
VIII. Failed Attempts
IX. The Technique of Legal Validity

4. Justice and Convergence
I. Duties of Justice
II. Specific Convergence
III. The Scope of Specific Convergence
IV. Marking and Enforcing
V. Law's Marking: Legal Validity
VI. Two Levels of Convergence

5. Reasons to Empower
I. Empowerment
II. Expertise and Capacity
III. Proximity
IV. The Rule of Law: Rulings
V. The Rule of Law: Rulings About Validity
VI. The Rule of Law: General Law-Making
VII. Self-Direction

6. The Systemic Character of Legal Meaning
I. The Moral Need for Law's Positivity
A. Determinacy
B. Ease of Identification
C. Targeted Crafting
II. The Systemic Character of Legal Meaning
III. A Function of the Acts of Others
IV. Legal Meaning Through Time
V. A Single Author?
VI. Threads in a Fabric

7. Conclusion: The Fabric of Justice
I. The Strength of Limited Power
II. Validity's Spell


“There are a couple of wonderful things about this book. One is certainly the clearness of language and the general accessibility of her work. Another is her explicit focus on the technical aspect of the law, i.e., on the law as a specific social technique. This presents a welcome shift from a rather unfruitful focus on the law's essence to its functioning (note, not its function!), i.e., from what the law is to how exactly the law does what it does.” –  Christoph Kletzer, Reader in Law, Kings College London, The American Journal of Jurisprudence

“Köpcke's insightful, thorough, elegantly written, and rigorous treatment of legal validity deserves a careful reading. Indeed, it is my belief that anyone interested in fundamental legal questions will find Legal Validity: The Fabric of Justice a stimulating, instructive, and refreshing work.” –  Stefano Bertea, School of Law, University of Leicester, Modern Law Review

“[A]n extremely rich and significant book which displays the excellent analytical and philosophical gifts of its author.” –  Sean Coyle, Jotwell

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