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The Role of Entrepreneurship in Shaping Legal Evolution

  • Krecké Elisabeth

    (Université d’Aix-Marseille III)

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    This paper adopts an economic interpretation of the legal process, explaining legal change as the outcome of the complex interplay of entrepreneurial forces operating inside (through the actions of legislators, judges, lawyers), as well as outside the legal system (in the marketplace). The question of concern is whether the concept of entrepreneur as elaborated by Kirzner in a theory of the market process can be extended to understand the legal process as well. The focus on the alertness of legal decision-makers, their capacity to learn from experience and the multitude of legal and nonlegal (in particular economic) sources they are referring to, seems to provide a possible methodology for an economic approach to law that avoids the exaggerated belief in the objectivity, determinacy and cogency of legal reasoning typical for mainstream law-and-economics, and at the same time the opposite exaggeration of law’s radical subjectivity and indeterminacy characterizing most of contemporary critical legal literature.Cet article adopte une interprétation économique du processus juridique en expliquant l’évolution du droit comme le résultat de l’interaction complexe de forces entrepreneuriales opérant à l’ intérieur (par le biais des législateurs, juges, avocats) et à l’extérieur du système juridique (à travers le marché). Il s’agit de montrer que le concept d’entrepreneur élaboré par Kirzner pour expliquer le fonctionnement du processus de marché peut offrir une méthodologie également pour comprendre les processus de production du droit. En mettant l’accent sur la vigilance des décideurs, leur capacité d’apprendre par l’expérience, ainsi que la multitude des sources juridiques et extrajuridiques (notamment économiques) auxquelles ils se réfèrent, une approche économique du droit qui renvoie à cette théorie de l’entrepreneur, peut éviter d’un côté l’hypothèse irréaliste d’omniscience de l’autorité juridique qui sous-tend l’analyse économique traditionnelle du droit et de l’autre côté, l’hypothèse opposée non moins exagérée de la subjectivité et de l’indétermination radicales de l’évolution juridique qui caractérise une partie dominante de la littérature juridique critique contemporaine.

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    Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines.

    Volume (Year): 12 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 2 (June)
    Pages: 1-18

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    Handle: RePEc:bpj:jeehcn:v:12:y:2002:i:2:n:5
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