A Concept of Law for Global Legal Pluralism?

S. P. Donlan and L. H. Urscheler eds, Concepts of Law: Comparative, Jurisprudential and Social Science Perspectives. Farnham: Ashgate, 2014, pp. 193-208

Queen Mary School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 202/2015

21 Pages Posted: 27 May 2015

See all articles by Roger Cotterrell

Roger Cotterrell

Queen Mary University of London, School of Law

Date Written: May 21, 2015

Abstract

Is a general concept of law needed to embrace the range of regulatory regimes existing or emerging in a world in which transnational and intra-national regulation are increasingly significant – a world which some writers have rightly characterised as one of global legal pluralism? Does global legal pluralism require a concept of law? What purposes might such a concept serve? If (as will be argued here) such a concept can have value, what approach should be taken in trying to formulate it? This paper considers, first, for what purposes it may be useful to conceptualise law in general terms at all. It goes on to consider problems that the diversity of transnational regulatory forms poses for such a project. Taking the social rule approach of Hart’s concept of law as a starting point, the paper examines some crucial limitations of this orientation – in particular, limitations brought to light by reinterpreting politically and sociologically Hart’s analogy between legal rules and the rules of sports and games. Finally, in the light of the above, it suggests key elements (political, communal, institutional) to take into account in conceptualising law in a way that recognises appropriately the full range of contemporary national and transnational regulation.

Keywords: Concepts of law; global legal pluralism; rules of games and sports; Hart; Dworkin; transnational regulation; transnational law; jurisprudence

Suggested Citation

Cotterrell, Roger, A Concept of Law for Global Legal Pluralism? (May 21, 2015). S. P. Donlan and L. H. Urscheler eds, Concepts of Law: Comparative, Jurisprudential and Social Science Perspectives. Farnham: Ashgate, 2014, pp. 193-208, Queen Mary School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 202/2015, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2609156

Roger Cotterrell (Contact Author)

Queen Mary University of London, School of Law ( email )

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