Legal Validity: An Inferential Analysis

36 Pages Posted: 15 May 2008

See all articles by Giovanni Sartor

Giovanni Sartor

European University Institute Law Department


I will argue that the concept of (valid) law is a normative notion, irreducible to any factual description. Its conceptual function is that of relating certain (alternative sets of) properties a norm may possess to the conclusion that the norm is legally binding, namely, that it deserves to be endorsed and applied in legal reasoning. Legal validity has to be distinguished from other, more demanding, normative ideas, such as moral bindingness or legal optimality.

Suggested Citation

Sartor, Giovanni, Legal Validity: An Inferential Analysis. Ratio Juris, Vol. 21, Issue 2, pp. 212-247, June 2008. Available at SSRN: or

Giovanni Sartor (Contact Author)

European University Institute Law Department ( email )

Via Bolognese 156 (Villa Salviati)
50-139 Firenze

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