A theory of legislation from a systems perspective

In this thesis I outline a view of primary legislation from a systems perspective. I suggest that systems theory and, in particular, autopoietic theory, as modified by field theory, is a mechanism for understanding how society operates. The description of primary legislation that I outline differs markedly from any conventional definition in that I argue that primary legislation is not, and indeed cannot be, either a law or any of the euphemisms that are usually accorded to an enactment by a parliament. I cite two reasons for such a conclusion. The primary reason for my conclusion is that I see primary legislation as being an output of a particular subsystem of society, while the law is the output of another subsystem of society. I argue that these outputs are the discrete products of separate subsystems of society. I argue that primary legislation should be viewed as a trinity. The first state of this trinity is that, upon enactment, primary legislation is a brute fact in that it is but a thing and the only property of this thing is that of being a text. The second state of this trinity is that following the act of enactment, the thing enacted will be reproduced and this reproduction is a separate thing that will sit in some repository until used. The third state of this trinity is that, upon use, this thing that is primary legislation will be transformed into an object and the user will attribute such functions and attributes to that object as are appropriate to the context within which the object is used. The thing has therefore become an object and an institutional fact. The second reason for my conclusion that primary legislation is not a law relates to the fact that the thing that is primary legislation is a text and the only function of a text is that it is available to be read. That is to say, of itself, a text is incapable of doing anything: it is the reader who defines the status of the text and attributes functions and attributes. Upon use, primary legislation thus becomes a censored input for future action and one of these actions may be some statement by a court of law. I assert that the view of primary legislation that has been accepted within the body politic is the product of the discourse of a particular subsystem of society that I have designated 'the legal practice', and I outline why and how this has occurred. Outlining a view about primary legislation also necessitates outlining a view as to the nature of the law. I assert that the law is a myth and I see this myth as a product of the discourse of the legal practice. I have asserted that although it is the judges that state the law, such statements flow from the discourse of those who practise the law
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 42,938
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

We Have Never Been Modern.Bruno Latour - 1993 - Harvard University Press.
Truth and Method.H. G. Gadamer - 1975 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 36 (4):487-490.

View all 229 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Le Corps Humain Et le Droit International.Juliana Rangel de Alvarenga Paes - 2005 - Anrt, Atelier National de Reproduction des Thèses.
Derecho Genético y Procreático.Enrique Varsi Rospigliosi - 2005 - Comisión de Bioética y Derecho Genético Del Ilustre Colegio de Abogados de la Paz.
Reflections on Medicine, Biotechnology, and the Law.Zelman Cowen - 1985 - the University of Nebraska Press.
The Human Body and the Law.David W. Meyers - 1990 - Stanford University Press.
An Ning Si Wang Quan Yan Jiu.Jingfang Wen - 2009 - Ke Xue Chu Ban She.


Added to PP index

Total views
11 ( #677,431 of 2,259,433 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #667,524 of 2,259,433 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature