Chapter 22. Marxist Theory of Law

  1. Dennis Patterson Professor2,3,4
  1. Alan Hunt Professor

Published Online: 27 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444320114.ch22

A Companion to Philosophy of Law and Legal Theory, Second edition

A Companion to Philosophy of Law and Legal Theory, Second edition

How to Cite

Hunt, A. (2010) Marxist Theory of Law, in A Companion to Philosophy of Law and Legal Theory, Second edition (ed D. Patterson), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444320114.ch22

Editor Information

  1. 2

    European University Institute, Florence, Italy

  2. 3

    Rutgers University School of Law, Camden, New Jersey, USA

  3. 4

    Swansea University, Wales, United Kingdom

Author Information

  1. Departments of Law and Sociology/Anthropology, Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 27 JAN 2010
  2. Published Print: 19 MAR 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405170062

Online ISBN: 9781444320114



  • Marxist Theory of Law - object of Marxist Theory of Law;
  • what part, if any, does law play - in reproduction of structural inequalities characterizing capitalist societies;
  • Marxist theory of law - reworked into new and variant combinations;
  • relational approach to law - legal relations, of social relation identified by set of characteristics;
  • legal mode of regulation - form flowing from attribution of rights to interpellated legal subjects;
  • law and legal process - potential to change relative positions of legal subjects within social relations;
  • legal regulation - regulating boundaries or spheres of competence of modes of regulation;
  • alternative Marxist approaches to law;
  • ideology as law and law as ideology;
  • legal relations and class relations - what contribution, does law make to reproduction of class relations


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • The Object of Marxist Theory of Law

  • Outline of a Marxist Theory of Law

  • Alternative Marxist Approaches to Law

  • Ideology as Law and Law as Ideology

  • Law and State

  • Economic Relations and the Law

  • Legal Relations and Class Relations

  • Conclusions

  • References