A Structural Dynamic Theory of Law
30 Pages Posted: 18 Jun 2017 Last revised: 26 Jun 2017
Date Written: January 1, 1991
Viewing law as a complex adaptive system allows us to understand both law’s flexibility and its normative nature. Legal systems comprise the complex interaction of expectations and meta-expectations (expectations about expectation) that allow the legal system to evolve in conjunction with the society in which it is embedded. Through the structural dynamic model presented, we can understand the nature of norms and of values and how the law responds to upheaval, such as a terrorist attack. It gives us insight into how legal systems come to address long-ignored (from indigenous to LGBT) communities. The model further explains that the difference between a breakthrough legal ruling and a failed one has less to do with the ruling than with the circumstances that surround it.
Keywords: Legal theory, complexity theory, normativity
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