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Facts and Norms in Law

Interdisciplinary Reflections on Legal Method Edited by Sanne Taekema, Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Bart van Klink, Faculty of Law, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and Wouter de Been, Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Facts and Norms in Law: Interdisciplinary Reflections on Legal Method presents an innovative collection of essays on the relationship between descriptive and normative elements in legal inquiry and legal practice. What role does empirical data play in law? New insights in philosophy, the social sciences and the humanities have forced the relationship between facts and norms on to the agenda, especially for legal scholars doing interdisciplinary work. This timely volume carefully combines critical perspectives from a range of different disciplinary traditions and theoretical positions.
Extent: 304 pp
Hardback Price: $135.00 Web: $121.50
Publication Date: 2016
ISBN: 978 1 78536 108 1
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  • Law - Academic
  • Legal Philosophy
  • Legal Theory
  • Research Methods in Law
  • Research Methods
  • Research Methods in Law
  • Research Methods
What role does empirical data play in law? How can we draw normative conclusions from empirical legal research? New insights in philosophy, the social sciences and the humanities have forced the relationship between facts and norms on to the agenda. This book presents an innovative set of perspectives on the relationship between descriptive and normative elements in legal inquiry and practice.

The contributors provide critical insights from a range of different disciplinary traditions and theoretical positions. They discuss topics such as the epistemic dependence of judicial decision-makers, legal doctrine as a non-normative discipline, systems-theory critique and law, and exploring the boundaries of law.

This book will benefit legal academics and graduate students looking to explore issues of methodology. It will also be of great interest to researchers in law and related topics, who are interested in discussions of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research.
‘A valuable collection of original analyses of the way various disciplines conceptualise facts, values, and norms in the realms of judging, lawyering, and legislating – and the interdisciplinary challenges and opportunities this offers. In the hands of these authors the normative often plays a crucial role in establishing truths whilst the descriptive turns out to be shaped by values. A must-read for legal and social theorists.’
– David Nelken, King's College London, UK

‘Facts and Norms in Law is a rich and indispensable guide to anyone involved in doing interdisciplinary research on law. It is the first comprehensive book to address the question of how a meaningful exchange can take place between law and other normative disciplines. Written by a stellar cast of authors, this is an essential volume for anyone interested in legal methodology.’
– Jan M. Smits, Maastricht University, the Netherlands

‘This book brings together an excellent group of contributors in order to reflect on legal methods from an interdisciplinary perspective. The main focal point is the relationship between fact-based and normative approaches to legal (and non-legal) research. This provides an original take on the debate about legal methods. While, as indicated in the Conclusion, the book does not aim to “provide conclusive answers, it does offer abundant food for reflection.” It is highly recommended.’
– Mathias Siems, Durham University, UK
Contributors: R. Cotterrell, P. Cserne, W. de Been, M. Del Mar, L. Francot, J. Hage, R. Herdy, O.W. Lembcke, A.R. Mackor, A.M. Pacces, G. Samuel, S. Taekema, W. van der Burg, B. van Klin
Contents:
Foreword

PART I
1. Introduction
Wouter de Been, Sanne Taekema and Bart van Klink

2. Facts, Values and Norms
Jaap Hage

PART II
3. Imitation of Life: Resonances Between Law and Fact and Fact and Law
Geoffrey Samuel

4. The Epistemic Dependence of Judicial Decision-Makers
Rachel Herdy

5. Facts and Norms in the Behavioural Assumptions of Law
Péter Cserne

PART III
6. Legal Doctrine is a Non-normative Discipline: An Argument from Abstract Object Theory
Anne Ruth Mackor

7. Systems Theory, Critique and Law: To Kill Some Darlings?
Lyana Francot

8. A Law and Economics Perspective on Normative Analysis
Alessio M. Pacces

PART IV
9. Exploring the Boundaries of Law: On the Is-Ought Distinction in Jellinek and Kelsen
Bart van Klink and Oliver W. Lembcke

10. The Natural and the Normative: The Distinction, not the Dichotomy, between Facts and Values in a Broader Context
Maksymilian Del Mar

11. How Should Lawyers Use Sociological Ideas? Juristic Practice and Social Science
Roger Cotterrell

PART V
12. The Need for Audacious Fully Armed Scholars: Concluding Reflections
Wibren van der Burg

Index