Chapter

The Making of Legal Authority

Nils Jansen

in The Making of Legal Authority

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780199588763
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191723315 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199588763.003.0005
 The Making of Legal Authority

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This chapter addresses the question of how legal authority is made. More specifically, it asks how non-legislative reference texts can achieve such a high degree of authority that the participants in legal discourse may rely on such texts as an ultimate source of the law. Even if a full answer to this question is not possible, because the legal authority of an individual reference text is always the result of an individual historical process of recognition that cannot be fully explained on the basis of abstract theory alone, and because such processes are often connected with social struggle for influence, wealth, and reputation, it may be possible, nevertheless, to identify and better understand some factors contributing to the authority of a legal reference text.

Keywords: legal authority; legal texts; non-legislative reference texts

Chapter.  15823 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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