Law as an artifact kind

Crowe, Jonathan (2014) Law as an artifact kind. Monash University Law Review, 40 3: 737-757.

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Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
Author Crowe, Jonathan
Title Law as an artifact kind
Journal name Monash University Law Review   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1839-3837
Publication date 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
Open Access Status
Volume 40
Issue 3
Start page 737
End page 757
Total pages 21
Place of publication Clayton, VIC, Australia
Publisher Monash University * Faculty of Law
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Abstract It is commonly stated that law is an artifact, but this claim is rarely explicitly defended. This article submits this statement to closer examination. I argue that law is not straightforwardly covered by the standard philosophical account of artifacts, since not all laws have authors. However, it is possible to extend the account to include it. I then develop an analysis of law as an artifact kind. I contend that law is best regarded as a special type of artifact, which I call an ‘institutional artifact’. On this view, something qualifi es as law only if, roughly, it is collectively recognised as law and is constitutively capable of fulfi lling law’s function as an artifact. I argue that law’s function as an artifact is to serve as a deontic marker by creating a sense of social obligation. A putative law that is incapable of performing that function for reasons of form or content therefore fails as law, while a law that is not minimally adapted to that function is legally defective.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
TC Beirne School of Law Publications
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Created: Mon, 27 Apr 2015, 10:19:33 EST by Carmen Buttery on behalf of T.C. Beirne School of Law