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Unjust laws and illegal norms

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  • Carbonara, Emanuela
  • Parisi, Francesco
  • von Wangenheim, Georg
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    Abstract

    Due to a variety of circumstances, lawmakers occasionally create laws whose aims are perceived as outright unjust by the majority of the people. In other situations, the law may utilize improper means for the pursuit of a just goal. In all such cases, lawmaking processes generate rules that do not reflect the values of the underlying population. In these cases individuals may face legal commands or prohibitions that conflict with their sense of justice or fairness. Individuals can oppose unjust laws through protest. Social opposition to unjust laws may trigger social norms that can have countervailing effects on legal intervention. The dynamic effects of these phenomena are the object of this paper.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Review of Law and Economics.

    Volume (Year): 32 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 285-299

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:32:y:2012:i:3:p:285-299

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/irle

    Related research

    Keywords: Social norms; Countervailing effect; Expressive function; Law enforcement; Civil disobedience;

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    References

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    1. Uri Gneezy & Aldo Rustichini, 2000. "A fine is a price," Natural Field Experiments 00258, The Field Experiments Website.
    2. Bar-Gill, O. & Harel, A., 2000. "Crime Rates and Expected Sanctions: The Economics of Deterrence Revisited," Papers 2000-14, Tel Aviv.
    3. Sushil Bikhchandani & David Hirshleifer & Ivo Welch, 2010. "A theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom and cultural change as informational Cascades," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1193, David K. Levine.
    4. Paul Robinson, . "Why Does The Criminal Law Care What The Lay Persons Thinks Is Just? Coercive Versus Normative Crime Control," Scholarship at Penn Law upenn_wps-1050, University of Pennsylvania Law School.
    5. Alon Harel & Alon Klement, 2007. "The Economics of Stigma: Why More Detection of Crime May Result in Less Stigmatization," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(2), pages 355-377, 06.
    6. Cooter, Robert, 1998. "Expressive Law and Economics," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt3w34j60j, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
    7. Cooter, Robert, 1998. "Expressive Law and Economics," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 585-608, June.
    8. Bohnet, Iris & Cooter, Robert, 2001. "Expressive Law: Framing or Equilibrium Selection?," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt5h6970h8, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
    9. Oksanen Ville & Välimäki Mikko, 2007. "Theory of Deterrence and Individual Behavior. Can Lawsuits Control File Sharing on the Internet?," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(3), pages 693-714, December.
    10. Carbonara, Emanuela & Pasotti, Piero, 2010. "Social dynamics and minority protection," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 317-328, December.
    11. Timur Kuran, 1989. "Sparks and prairie fires: A theory of unanticipated political revolution," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 61(1), pages 41-74, April.
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    Cited by:
    1. Hiller, Victor & Recoules, Magali, 2013. "Changes in divorce patterns: Culture and the law," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 77-87.

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