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Legal vocabulary


The vocabulary presents the working definitions of a set of foundational legal concepts that ground the way that modern positive law exists.

These concepts are the building blocks of many other legal concepts, such as contract, tort, criminal offence, property and many more. Without a proper understanding of ‘legal effect’ and ‘subjective right’ it is not possible to understand the meaning of terms such as ‘contract’ or ‘tort’. The knowledge of these foundational concepts will often be tacit, and the usage of the more mundane legal lexicon may be a skill rather than propositional knowledge. Nevertheless, in legal theory we examine their meaning to ensure the integrity of the law. As foundational concepts their interpretation may vary, for instance across different jurisdictions, which by itself is foundational legal concept. However, even though the interpretation of these concepts may differ, they cannot be interpreted in an arbitrary manner without denaturalising the concepts and practice of both law and the rule of law.

For their background and context we refer to the first working paper, which can be found here.

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This vocabulary is licensed under the Creative Commons BY-NC license.

Legal vocabulary contents

This page was last updated on 16 July 2021.