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Chapter 2: Three framing concepts

By Mireille Hildebrandt

In the next chapter we will discuss ten of the foundational concepts of law and the rule of law to clarify:

  1. the web of meaning that institutes law as a system of legal norms and simultaneously as a system of legal relationships and
  2. the texture of the text-driven normativity that is afforded by the performative effects of these concepts.

These concepts are: legal norms, rule of law, positive law, legal effect, sources of law, jurisdiction, legal subject, subjective right, legal power and legal reasoning and legal interpretation.

When weaving together the web of meaning that defines the conceptual anchoring of the law, we will use the prism of three additional concepts not usually deployed when discussing law or the rule of law: (1) mode of existence (MoE), (2) affordance and (3) legal protection by design (LPbD). These ‘framing concepts’ are core to COHUBICOL and should contribute to a better understanding of the relationship between the technological articulation of law on the one hand and the nature of the legal protection offered by such articulation. The prism of these three framing concepts should help the reader to better understand what the technologies of text enable in terms of legal protection, before investigating whether, and if so how, data- or code-driven ‘legal technologies’ can offer equivalent protection.

In this chapter I will briefly define each framing concept, followed by excerpts from the Project proposal and Smart Technologies and the End(s) of Law to clarify how these concepts were introduced into the project.

This chapter's contents

This page was last updated on 16 March 2023.