What is "law," if "the law" is not something that "is"? A modest contribution to a major question

Dan Jerker B Svantesson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


After proposing an alternative definition of what "law" (jurisprudential concept) is, this article demonstrates the impossibility of identifying "the law" (what law-makers announce, relative to a particular jurisdiction) as something that is in a particular way. Rather, the law is a more or less abstract range of options. Drawing upon this conclusion, the article calls for a reassessment of how we view the role of law-makers. We need to remove the mystery that surrounds the law so as to provide for greater transparency. This transparency can be gained by requiring law-makers to declare their inescapable biases where they influence their lawmaking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)456-485
Number of pages30
JournalRatio Juris
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013


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