Applicability and Effectiveness of Legal Norms

TitleApplicability and Effectiveness of Legal Norms
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1997
AuthorsNavarro, PE, Moreso, JJ
JournalLaw and Philosophy

We analyse the relationship between applicability and effectiveness of legal norms from a philosophical perspective. In particular, we distinguish between two concepts of applicability. The external applicability of norms refers to institutional duties; a norm N is externally applicable if and only if a judge is legally obliged to apply N to some case c. Internal applicability refers instead to the sphere of validity of legal norms. A norm N is internally applicable to actions regulated by its sphere of validity. We also explore the consequences of a thesis which maintains that applicability restricts the concept of effectiveness, so that only applicable norms can be considered effective. Our analysis illustrates that a proper reconstruction of the concept of applicability is of great importance not only for understanding the concept of effectiveness but also for providing insight into the nature of law.