Areas of Law: Three Questions in Special Jurisprudence

Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, Forthcoming

26 Pages Posted: 21 Sep 2022

See all articles by Tarunabh Khaitan

Tarunabh Khaitan

London School of Economics - Law School

Sandy Steel

University of Oxford

Date Written: August 17, 2022

Abstract

This paper addresses three fundamental questions about a key phenomenon in special jurisprudence: ‘areas of law’: (i) what is an area of law; (ii) what are the consequences of dividing law into distinct areas; and (iii) what constitutes the foundations of an area of law. It claims that (i) “an area of law” is a set of legal norms which are intersubjectively recognised by the legal complex as a subset of legal norms in a given jurisdiction; (ii) the sub-division of law into multiple areas matters to the content and scope of legal doctrine, to law’s perceived legitimacy, and possibly to its effectiveness; and (iii) the search for the normative foundations of an area of law is typically an inquiry into its ‘aims’ or ‘functions’. The contribution of this paper is in systematically articulating, explaining, and answering these three questions generally, i.e. in relation to areas of law as such.

Keywords: special jurisprudence, areas of law, philosophical foundations, legal theory

Suggested Citation

Khaitan, Tarunabh and Steel, Sandy, Areas of Law: Three Questions in Special Jurisprudence (August 17, 2022). Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, Forthcoming , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4192900

Tarunabh Khaitan (Contact Author)

London School of Economics - Law School ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Sandy Steel

University of Oxford ( email )

Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

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