Document Type


Publication Date



Legal form


Law and Philosophy | Legal History


The four theses of this paper are: (1) that an appropriate organizational form is used to design, define, and organize a functional unit of a legal system, (2) that the functional units of a legal system, contrary to the emphasis in Hart and Kelsen, consist of far more than rules, and include institutions, interpretive and other methodologies, sanctions and remedies, and more, (3) that frontal and systematic study of the forms of these units is a major avenue for advancing understanding of them as duly organized wholes, and, (4) that such study reveals that much credit is due these forms, along with complementary material or other components of the units, for values realized through law.


This is a revised and extended version of a presentation made at a plenary session of the 21st World Congress of the International Association of Legal and Social Philosophy held in Lund, Sweden, August 2003.

Publication Citation

Published in: Ratio Juris, Vol. 18, No. 2 (June 2005).