Unjust Laws and Illegal Norms

International Review of Law and Economics, Forthcoming

Minnesota Legal Studies Research Paper No. 08-03

32 Pages Posted: 30 Jan 2008 Last revised: 9 Mar 2012

Emanuela Carbonara

University of Bologna - Department of Economics

Francesco Parisi

University of Minnesota - Law School; University of Bologna

Georg von Wangenheim

University of Kassel

Date Written: June 1, 2009

Abstract

Due to a variety of circumstances, lawmakers occasionally create laws whose aims are perceived as outright unjust by the majority of the people. In other situations, the law may utilize improper means for the pursuit of a just goal. In all such cases, lawmaking processes generate rules that do not reflect the values of the underlying population. In these cases individuals may face legal commands or prohibitions that conflict with their sense of justice or fairness. Individuals can oppose unjust laws through protest. Social opposition to unjust laws may trigger social norms that can have countervailing effects on legal intervention. The dynamic effects of these phenomena are the object of this paper.

Keywords: Social Norms, Countervailing Effect, Expressive Function, Law Enforcement, Civil Disobedience

JEL Classification: K10, K42, D70, B52, Z13

Suggested Citation

Carbonara, Emanuela and Parisi, Francesco and von Wangenheim, Georg, Unjust Laws and Illegal Norms (June 1, 2009). International Review of Law and Economics, Forthcoming; Minnesota Legal Studies Research Paper No. 08-03. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1088742 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1088742

Emanuela Carbonara

University of Bologna - Department of Economics ( email )

Piazza Scaravilli 2
Bologna, 40126
Italy
+39 051 2098149 (Phone)
+39 051 2098040 (Fax)

Francesco Parisi (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota - Law School ( email )

229 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

University of Bologna ( email )

Piazza Scaravilli 1
40126 Bologna, fc 47100
Italy

Georg Von Wangenheim

University of Kassel ( email )

Department of Economics
D-34109 Kassel
Germany
+49-561-804 1946 (Phone)
+49-561-804 2818 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.wirtschaft.uni-kassel.de/vonWangenheim/

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