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Abstract.

The paper offers a critical survey of two main sorts of problems hindering the possibility of conceiving deontic logic as a suitable account of the logical behaviour of (sentences expressing) legal norms. The notion of “legal norm” is viewed as the main source of the first sort of problems: (a) the typological variety of legal norms requires an account both of the differing logical behaviour of (sentences expressing) differing legal norms, and of the relations which might hold amon them; (b) the ontologic, semantic, and epistemic features of legal norms shed doubt on the very attempt to figure out a logical analysis of (sentences expressing) legal norms. The notion of “systemic legal validity” is viewed as the main source of the second sort of problems: Deontic logic does not provide suitable logical tools to account for legal phenomena like enactment, derogation, and conflicts between legal norms which rely on systemic legal validity.