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Legal Validity: An Inferential Analysis* 


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    Supported by the EU projects ONE-LEX (Marie Curie Chair) and ESTRELLA (6th Framework). Many thanks to Christine Chwaszcza and Gianluigi Palombella for their comments and suggestions on earlier drafts of this paper.


Abstract.  I will argue that the concept of (valid) law is a normative notion, irreducible to any factual description. Its conceptual function is that of relating certain (alternative sets of) properties a norm may possess to the conclusion that the norm is legally binding, namely, that it deserves to be endorsed and applied in legal reasoning. Legal validity has to be distinguished from other, more demanding, normative ideas, such as moral bindingness or legal optimality.