A Brazilian Perspective on Jurisprudence: Miguel Reale's Tridimensional Theory of Law

Oregon Review of International Law, Vol. 9

Posted: 23 Apr 2008

See all articles by Augusto C. Lima

Augusto C. Lima

affiliation not provided to SSRN; Sealed Air Corporation


It is surprising to see that next to nothing has been published in English about Reale's theory of law, even two years after his passing. Reale's last major work, the Civil Code that went into effect in Brazil in 2003, will certainly affect that country's society for years to come, and so will his legal theory. It has been argued that in order to study comparative law, one must first understand the legal theory underlying the law under analysis. In that sense, Reale's theory should be the point of start for whoever wants to understand Brazilian law. Beyond that, Reale's theory is important enough to overcome country frontiers. His Tridimensional Theory of Law provides a unique way to combine three well-known legal theories: sociology of law, legal positivism and natural law. The combination is achieved through the concept of dialectics of complementarity, which weaves the three dimensions of the juridical experience into one dynamic theory of law. The result is the best way to theorize about law and its development, as well as a theory that deserves attention from the North American legal academy.

Keywords: jurisprudence, tridimensional theory of law, integrative jurisprudence, legal philosophy, latin american legal philosophy, miguel reale, reale, brazilian jurists, brazilian legal philosophy, brazilian jurisprudence, comparative jurisprudence, comparative law, comparative legal philosophy

JEL Classification: K10, K19

Suggested Citation

Lima, Augusto C. and Lima, Augusto C., A Brazilian Perspective on Jurisprudence: Miguel Reale's Tridimensional Theory of Law. Oregon Review of International Law, Vol. 9, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1124461

Augusto C. Lima (Contact Author)

Sealed Air Corporation ( email )

200 Riverfront Boulevard
Elmwood Pk, NJ 07407
United States
2017034156 (Phone)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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