Taking identity seriously: On the politics of the individuation of legal systems

Cormac Mac Amhlaigh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This article examines the question of the identity of legal systems of non-monistic accounts of law. It critically analyses approaches to individuation based on validity, the nature of individual norms and the purposes for which they are applied, arguing that the latter approach, as endorsed particularly by Raz, offers the most convincing approach to the question of individuation. The article argues that Raz’s own criterion, however, is under-inclusive and misses important reasons why a norm should be individuated in a particular way. The article defends an approach to individuation which builds upon and expands Raz’s approach. This approach emphasises the political importance of legal systems as providing the basis for criteria of individuation. These criteria are also relevant for Dworkin’s account of law as integrity, which, the article argues, also relies on an understanding of individuation notwithstanding Dworkin’s claims to the contrary.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-547
Number of pages27
JournalOxford Journal of Legal Studies
Issue number2
Early online date15 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • theories of legal systems
  • legal pluralism
  • legal conflicts
  • identity
  • Raz
  • Dworkin


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