Laws Under Suspicion

  • Virgilio Zapatero Gómez
Part of the Legisprudence Library book series (LEGIS, volume 6)


The classical theory of legislation found in the concept of public interest the explanation and justification of laws. The social state was built on the premise that the market is the most natural and efficient mechanism for allocating resources, provided that certain conditions are safeguarded, such as free competition and perfect information. But when the market fails in its distributive function, the public interest demands that the state intervenes to correct such failures. The classical theory of legislation has defended that the state can and must intervene when there is a need to establish natural monopolies, when certain public assets must be guaranteed, when the market produces externalities, when the market does not have access to adequate information or when crisis situations arise. The state must also intervene legislatively to make the ideal of social justice in the community a reality. Facing this classical theory that explains the reasons for of laws, economic theory applied to law is primarily concerned with analysing the reasons why of laws. Particularly relevant in this sense is the Public Choice theory: here we analyse and criticise its methodological premises, together with the deregulatory policies and the mistrust in legislation derived from it.


Legislation theory Public choice Economic analysis of law Public interest Market failures Legislative capture Rationality 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Virgilio Zapatero Gómez
    • 1
  1. 1.Facultad de DerechoUniversidad de Alcalá de HenaresAlcalá de HenaresSpain

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