*This paper was prepared as a lecture to be given in the Faculty of Law of the University of Tokyo on 27th August 1987 at the invitation of Professor Kahei Rokumoto; its appearance enables me to express publicly my thanks for his generous hospitality; also for criticisms received of the same ideas both in the University of Tokyo and at a seminar on “Legal Reasoning and Legal Expert Systems” on 28th and 29th August 1987, in Meiji Yakuin University, Tokyo, to which I was kindly invited by Professor Hajhne Yoshino.
Institutions, Arrangements and Practical Information*
Version of Record online: 2 AUG 2007
Volume 1, Issue 1, pages 73–82, March 1988
How to Cite
MACCORMICK, N. (1988), Institutions, Arrangements and Practical Information. Ratio Juris, 1: 73–82. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9337.1988.tb00005.x
- Issue online: 2 AUG 2007
- Version of Record online: 2 AUG 2007
Abstract. A restatement of an institutionalist theory of law is attempted with particular reference to legal reasoning and legal rights. Use is made of Ota Weinberger's concept of “practical information”, focusing on both its momentary and diachronic aspects. Momentary practical information corresponds to the need to know which conduct is required of us at a given moment. The diachronic practical information becomes relevant whenever we wish to stabilize the practical information and to reduce the likelihood of change regarding our ways of acting. Furthermore, the momentary information is given sense only against the background of the diachronic one. Among the different types of diachronic practical information particular importance is ascribed to legal “institutions” such as contracts and rights. Legal “institutions” are conceived as founded on various sets of rules. Rules may then increase the number of facts in the world: those special kinds of facts which are represented by social phenomena.