This book addresses three major questions about law and legal systems: (1) What are the defining and organizing forms of legal institutions, legal rules, interpretive methodologies, and other legal phenomena? (2) How does frontal and systematic focus on these forms advance understanding of such phenomena? (3) What credit should the functions of forms have when such phenomena serve policy and related purposes, rule of law values, and fundamental political values such as democracy, liberty, and justice? The answers not only provide articulate conversancy with the subject but also reveal insights into the nature of law itself, as well as allied subjects.
Part I. Introduction, Basic Concepts, Definitions, and General Approach: 1. Introduction; 2. Basic concepts and definitions; 3. General approach; Part II. The Forms of Discrete Legal Phenomena: 4. Forms of institutions - legislative; 5. Forms of precepts - rules; 6. Form and content within a rule - continued; 7. Forms of nonpreceptual law - contracts and related property interests; 8. Forms of legal methodologies - statutory interpretation; 9. Forms of sanctions and remedies; Part III. The Form of a Legal System and its Operation: 10. The basic form of a legal system as a whole; 11. Cumulative and synergistic effects of legal forms - a schematic practical application.
"The author's form-oriented approach to legal phenomena breaks important new ground in jurisprudence and legal theory. It adds a wealth of valuable insights into the way legal phenomena work that are left out of a rule-oriented approach."
Philip Soper, Campbell Professor of Law, University of Michigan
"The quest for a modern explicit theory combining legal formality with substantive justice and other ends is a most rewarding venture, as the author here demonstrates."
--Okko Behrends, Professor of Law, University of Göttingen, Germany
"It has for too long been considered bad form to speak well of form and formality in law. Professor Summers' fascinating book challenges long held assumptions and casts a bright light on neglected issues in jurisprudence - a masterpiece."
--Sir Neil MacCormick QC, Regius Professor of Public Law, University of Edinburgh, Scotland
"Professor Robert Summers has been a significant figure in analytical legal philosophy for many years. Over the last three decades, he has written a number of articles, and in some of the most prominent law journals, on the form-centered approach to legal theory that is given a detailed elaboration in this book. Many readers will welcome a book-length reconsideration and elaboration of themes Professor Summers has been discussing throughout his long career."
--Brian Bix, F.W. Thomas Professor of Law and Philosophy, University of Minnesota