Rules of Law: Command and Prediction

in The Theory of Rules

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780226487953
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226487977 | DOI:
Rules of Law: Command and Prediction

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  • Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law


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This chapter addresses the understanding of legal rules as commands of the sovereign. It also describes that the language of prediction is a way of highlighting that the rules of law is what the judges actually enforce, rather than how the book of rules actually reads. The rules of law fell short of controlling official behavior to the exact degree of the range. Predictive “rules” were in essence and in themselves not rules of law, they were in essence generalizations about judicial and other official behavior in matters legal. A rule cannot prevail in any State saved to the extent that it cogs into that State's going institutional structure. The type of frame of thought and words involved in the technical measure raised problems of its own.

Keywords: legal rules; commands; sovereign; language of prediction; rules of law; State; judges; judicial behavior

Chapter.  5711 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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