Legal Validity and Soft Law

  • Pauline Westerman
  • Jaap Hage
  • Stephan Kirste
  • Anne Ruth Mackor

Part of the Law and Philosophy Library book series (LAPS, volume 122)

About this book


This book features essays that investigate the nature of legal validity from the point of view of different traditions and disciplines. Validity is a fascinating and elusive characteristic of law that in itself deserves to be explored, but further investigation is made more acute and necessary by the production, nowadays, of soft law products of regulation, such as declarations, self-regulatory codes, and standardization norms. These types of rules may not exhibit the characteristics of formal law, and may lack full formal validity but yet may have a very real impact on people's lives. The essays focus on the structural properties of hard and soft legal phenomena and the basis of their validity. Some propose to redefine validity: to allow for multiple concepts instead of one and/or to allow for a gradual concept of validity. Others seek to analyze the new situation by linking it to familiar historical debates and well-established theories of law. In addition, coverage looks at the functions of validity itself. The discussion considers both international law as well as domestic law arrangements. What does it mean to say that something is valid? Should we discard validity as the determining aspect of law? If so, what does this mean for our concept of law? Should we differentiate between kinds of validity? Or, can we say that rules can be "more" or "less" valid? After reading this book, practitioners, scholars and students will have a nuanced understanding of these questions and more.


Alf Ross’s Probabilistic Concept of Validity Concept and Validity of Law Efficacy of Law Juridical Acts Law as Social Phenomenon Legal Positivism Legal Validity Legal Validity, Soft Law and International Human Rights Law Philosophy of Law Soft Law Sources of Law Sources of Legal Validity Sovereignty And Validity Validity of Rules Guiding Informal Markets Validity in Positive Law

Editors and affiliations

  • Pauline Westerman
    • 1
  • Jaap Hage
    • 2
  • Stephan Kirste
    • 3
  • Anne Ruth Mackor
    • 4
  1. 1.Faculty of LawUniversity of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Faculty of LawUniversity of MaastrichtMaastrichtThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Faculty of LawUniversity of SalzburgSalzburgAustria
  4. 4.Faculty of LawUniversity of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands

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