© 2016

Certainty in Law


Part of the Law and Philosophy Library book series (LAPS, volume 114)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. Humberto Ávila
    Pages 1-46
  3. Meaning of Legal Certainty

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 47-48
    2. Humberto Ávila
      Pages 49-53
    3. Humberto Ávila
      Pages 55-119
  4. Justification of Legal Certainty

  5. Definition of Legal Certainty

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 169-170
    2. Humberto Ávila
      Pages 171-194
    3. Humberto Ávila
      Pages 195-198
  6. Content of Legal Certainty

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 199-206
    2. Humberto Ávila
      Pages 207-239
    3. Humberto Ávila
      Pages 241-467
  7. Efficacy of Legal Certainty

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 469-472
    2. Humberto Ávila
      Pages 473-480
    3. Humberto Ávila
      Pages 481-497
    4. Humberto Ávila
      Pages 499-520

About this book


Instead of the usual apologetic treatment found in legal doctrine, linked to the determinacy, immutability or predictability of norms, this book treats legal certainty innovatively, holistically and in depth. Using a method at once analytical and functional, Professor Ávila examines the structural elements of legal certainty, from its definition and foundations to its various dimensions, normative forces and efficacies, citing a wealth of examples from case law to support each of the theses defended.

No subject is more important and topical than legal certainty. Problems relating to lack of understanding, instability and unpredictability of law intensify day by day everywhere, in civil law and common law countries alike. Normative sources are increasingly diverse in origin (national, international, community) and multiple in nature (legal, contractual, jurisprudential). They change constantly, and present increasingly frequent problems of ambiguity and vagueness that significantly hinder their comprehension. This state of affairs, which to a greater or lesser extent is true of any legal order, justifies a return to the subject of legal certainty. In this book, essential questions are answered such as: Legal certainty in what sense? Certainty of what, for whom, in whose vision and by whom? When, to what extent, and to what end?

“(…) it is probably the most comprehensive and systematic study ever produced on this subject using the analytical method.” (Riccardo Guastini, Professor of Jurisprudence, University of Genoa, Italy)



Unpredictability of law Structural elements of legal certainty Examining legal certainty Concept of law as an activity Legal principles Fundamental finalistic norms Constitutional and tax law Legal theory and philosophy of law Structural condition of law Validity of legal norms Respect for citizens’ acts Legal face of human dignity Non-legal certainty Concept of legal certainty Concept of tax law certainty

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economic, Budgetary and Tax LawUniversity of São Paulo - USPSão PauloBrazil

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