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Unjust laws and illegal norms

Author

Listed:
  • Carbonara, Emanuela
  • Parisi, Francesco
  • von Wangenheim, Georg

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Carbonara, Emanuela & Parisi, Francesco & von Wangenheim, Georg, 2012. "Unjust laws and illegal norms," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 285-299.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:32:y:2012:i:3:p:285-299
    DOI: 10.1016/j.irle.2012.03.001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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.
    2. Emanuela Carbonara & Enrico Santarelli & Hien Thu Tran, 2016. "De jure determinants of new firm formation: how the pillars of constitutions influence entrepreneurship," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 47(1), pages 139-162, June.
    3. Sophie Harnay & Elisabeth Tovar, 2017. "Obeying vs. resisting unfair laws. A structural analysis of the internalization of collective preferences on redistribution using classification trees and random forests," EconomiX Working Papers 2017-34, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    4. Fabbri, Marco, 2015. "Shaping tax norms through lotteries," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 8-15.
    5. Shaun Larcom & Luca A. Panzone & Timothy Swanson, 2017. "Follow-the-leader? Measuring the internalisation of law," CIES Research Paper series 50-2017, Centre for International Environmental Studies, The Graduate Institute.

    More about this item

    Keywords

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

    JEL classification:

    • K10 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - General (Constitutional Law)
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • B52 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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