Law and Society Midterm Notes
Judicial activism: judges inadvertently apply their own beliefs in their decisions "a philosophy of judicial
decision-making whereby judges allow their personal views about public policy, among other factors, to
guide their decisions, usually with the suggestion that adherents of this philosophy tend to find
constitutional violations and are willing to ignore precedent‖ Ex. Institute for Canadian Values, Executive
Director and Director of Policy Development, Joseph C. Ben-Ami called a ruling by the Ontario Court of
Appeal (that a child can have three parents) "unnecessary" and an act of "naked judicial activism"
Moral Entrepreneur Theory: (Vago) One of the four different models of lawmaking. Laws as a means
to create or maintain a particular moral constitution of a society, Law as a means of stamping ideology
with ―legitimacy‖ and ―respectability‖
‘Coming into force’ : A stage of a bill, a bill becomes an Act when it receives Royal Assent, but
legislation is not automatically in effect. Laws come into force in several ways: royal assent, day specified
in the bill, on a day set by the governor in council ( The governor general on the advice of federal cabinet)
Justiciability : The claim must be ―triable‖ in the court in question (e.g. family courts are competent to
hear cases on child custody, support payments, adoptions, etc.). Certain courts have jurisdiction over
Standing : Only persons with standing are allowed to bring a dispute to court A plaintiff must have a
―genuine interest‖ in the matter before the courts, party has to demonstrate to the court sufficient
connection to the issue and also show how it causes them harm.
Constitutional law : Constitutional law is the law prescribing the exercise of power by the organs of a
State. It explains which organs can exercise legislative power, executive power, and what the limitations
on those powers are.
Entrenched law : Law that is entrenched legislation, meaning that it can only be changed by a specific
amending, formula (only if there is agreement from the federal government and every provincial
government). Every provincial government must agree, each province has a veto. This is significant
because it ensures that the law is real, constant and reliable.
Rule of Law : No one is above the law. The law needs to be fair and impartial. A cluster of principles,
practices & institutional arrangements whose purpose is: To constrain the exercise of governmental
power, To serve certain broad social goals (eg. individual liberty, democracy, equality, effective rule),To
help realize an effective social contract in which a political community is able to effectively govern itself.
Formal Equality: (Federalist papers) Everyone is equal and ought to be treated the same, regardless of
circumstances ex. Brown v. board of education - segregation
Substantive Equality : In contrast to formal equality, substantive equality requires treating people
differently to account for the inequality of their situations ex. Free university education for aboriginal
people to make up for poor circumstances
Jurisprudence : It is the study of law and legal theory, jurisprudence is a multi-dimensional interrogative
process in the pursuit of a better understanding of the nature and functions of law. Asks: What is the
nature of law? What roles/functions do legal institutions fulfull in society? Does law represent the shared
values of a nation or does it only enforce the values of the dominant community?
Perspectivism : one‘s point of view, perspectivism is important in discussing, analyzing and creating
law Artifactualism : (Devlin) The idea that we can‘t understand law w/out recognising values reflected in it;
not the law, but laws. Concept that focuses on the need to take social context (ex. Gender, race, class,
ethnicity) into account when making legal decisions ex. R. v. Gladue, social context not taken into account
when judge made the decision. .
Legal Positivism: (Austin & Hart) What ―is‖ law not what it ―ought‖ to be, Judges should apply laws as
they are, they should not factor their own beliefs and opinions into legal decisions. Maintains that law and
society should be separate. Law is viewed as a system of rules. It also encompasses empiricism; a science
of law, a formula to making and applying laws ex. Precedent
Legal Realism : An early 20 century response to CLT. Law is part of a larger system; it is what judges
do. We must look behind the laws to see how the judges‘ intentions influenced them. Judges apply law,
factoring their own biases in to decisions, encompasses judicial activism
Natural Law : (St. Augustine, Plato, Aristotle) Natural law is not made by humans, it is a reflection of
divine and eternal law and is the same for all human beings. Emphasis on universality; fusion of law and
morality. Law exists and is universal, it is not created. An unchanging rule or pattern that it is our task to
discover. Exemplified by the CCRF
Empiricism: With reference to legal positivism, it is the scientific application of the law. Law can be
broken down to specific equations which can show how they came to be.
Analytical Jurisprudence: (Austin) Examining ― law as it is‖; "What are laws?"; "What is the law?";
"What is the relationship between law and power/sociology?‖. Judges should follow the exact wording of
the law to come up with a decision, judicial activism is forbidden. Judges are only meant to read and
understand written law, not create it.
Normative Jurisprudence: (Austin) examining law ―as it ought to be‖, evaluating legal theories, ―what is
the purpose of law‖ What is the proper function of law? What sorts of acts should be subject to
punishment? Judges must look at the intentions behind the laws through their own experience and
determining what out to be instead of what is. When written law does not cover specific situations, judges
must use their own discretion.
Command Theory of Law: (Austin) All laws are commands; non-optional, Law is a coercive method of
social control. Commands must have a certain pedigree in order to be legally valid, it matters who issues
the commands. A sovereign is the only legitimate source of commands.
Formalism : (Mill) Notion that legal rules form a consistent and complete whole from which the answer
to any legal question can be logically deduced simply by discovering the applicable rule and applying it to
the facts of the case. Any legal question can be deduced from law. Judicial reasoning can yield
determinate legal results, we can see why they apply laws in accordance to the rules. There is a separate
realm of law and everything will follow in its accordance
Abstraction : The law should operate at a high level of abstraction that excludes consideration of the
social context. By remaining abstracted it does not adhere to any particular culture or set of norms which
leads it to be fair. The law is broad enough to be applicable, but stipulates details enough the be relative.
Neutrality : (Mill) legal principles and law aren‘t based on any particular group‘s conception of good or
moral, this is a goal of law, not a reality, there is a group influencing the law in particular as law is
created. Laws are obviously are not culturally neutral, they aim to be neutral
Negative Liberty : (Berlin) The freedom from coercion, or interference with, individuals‘ private actions,
by other people. (i.e. freedom in the inverse; free from, not free to do). Mill‘s ONLY understanding of freedom, which is insufficient, individual could contract/extinguish wishes (free?), Might be manipulated
by others and made to feel free.
Positive Liberty : (Berlin) Freedom to do (something), represents the ability to fulfill one‘s own potential.
This is a social liberal notion, that one allows a positive space for government to support individuals (eg.
Government can create the conditions that allow individuals to achieve their goals, so long as individuals
consent/ask for this.)
Legal-Rational Authority : (Weber) belief in the legality of enacted rules, consistent system of abstract
rules that have been intentionally established ―a system of consciously made rational rules‖. Relationships
seen as ‗membership‘ in an ―organization‖, individual right/duties as a ‗member‘ of the organization (i.e.
do not owe obedience to individual, but to impersonal order) Members equal before the law;
economic/social differences levelled.
Traditional Authority : (Weber) modelled on the relation between a ‗master‘ and ‗servant‘, fundamental
difference in social position/natural endowments (i.e. Social hierarchy justified by a ‗natural‘ order) based
on model of an ‗orderly household‘‘; natural participation & routine
Charismatic Authority : (Weber) devotion to exemplary character of an individual person (i.e. certain
quality not accessible to the ordinary person) authority only legitimate only if followers accept
claim/meaning, seen to have a calling which interrupts and challenges everyday routines. not bound to
intellectually analysable rules (supernatural?) inherently unstable authority; transcend life of the
household & society
Social Facts : (Durkheim) ―ways of acting, thinking, and feeling, external to the individual, and endowed
with a power of coercion, by reason of which they control him.‖ Certain structures in society are so
powerful that they control the actions of individuals and can be studied objectively, as in the natural
sciences. Social facts may be characterized by their ability to resist change. They have a coercive quality,
and their violation is met with some type of sanction, or at least some type of resistance. Ex. Laws,
Repressive Sanctions : (Durkheim) Consists ―essentially in suffering, or at least in some disadvantage
imposed upon the perpetrator of a crime. Their purpose is to hurt him through his fortune, his honour, his
life, his liberty, or to deprive him of some object whose possession he enjoys‖ (Durkheim, p. 37).
Punishment, serve as an example of what to do or not to do.
Restitutive Sanctions : (Durkheim) Does not necessarily imply any suffering on the part of the
perpetrator, but consists merely in restoring the previous state of affairs, re-establishing relationships
which have been disturbed from their normal form. Pay dues to society to restore order.
Historical Materialism : (Marx) History is a struggle between classes. Historical materialism looks for
the causes of developments and changes in human society in the means by which humans collectively
produce the necessities of life. Questions who has been the owner of wealth throughout history.
Proletariat : (Marx) This refers to the working class. Did not possess property, were underpaid and
overworked. Created a class struggle with the bourgeois who had economic power.
Bourgeois : (Marx) The law acts on behalf of the capitalist class (the bourgeoisie). Bourgeoisie rose from
oppressed class under feudalism to become dominant. Property owners, owners of wealth
Legal Instrumentalism : (Marxism) Sees law as an instrument that protects the interests of the
bourgeoisie but law is also used to protect them in ways of property and criminal law, not just
economically. Ideology : A system of ideas that forms a lens through which we view the world.
Civil Liberties: Outlined by Mill, also referred to as individual freedoms. It is the classical liberal theory
focussing on the appropriate role of the law and government in the lives of citizens. Civil liberties include:
freedom from slavery or forced labour, freedom of expression, freedom of religion
Ethnocentrism: This theory suggests that some groups consider themselves to be superior and this
superiority leads them to believe their way is the only one ―right‖ way of reasoning. This presents a
challenge when trying to create social change.
Myth of Equality: Suggests that equality ignores the real value of seeing people as ―equals‖. In reality,
people are not treated as equals and society uses this myth of equality to ignore sexism and racism.
Mischief Rule: Refers to one of the methods of interpretation of statute law by the courts. It suggests that
attention should be given to the problem that the statute was intended to solve. The rule requires the Court
to identify the relevant pre-Act common law and from that the ―mischief‖ or injustice/defect that the Act
was designed to remedy.
Positive Policy Making: Refers to the legal theory that sanctions are intended for specific purposes and
goals in which society tries to prevent individuals from doing harm or being immoral. Positive
policymaking occurs when policies cause both negative sanctions and positive rewards
Proscriptive Policy Making : Function to bring forth negative sanctions. Rules and laws that don‘t
reward but instead are reinforced by punishment, promotes deterrence.
State of nature – not necessarily good or bad, chaotic, rational
Purpose of government – to secure natural rights, property and liberty
Representation – ensures governments are responsive to the people, safeguard against oppression
Impact on founders – protect people from government, natural rights must be secured
Humans are guided by reason & governed by natural laws
Natural law: law is a reflection of the moral order
One must preserve oneself and not harm others in their enjoyment of health, liberty and
Free to pursue our own vision of the good
Gov‘t was to serve the people
Limited delegation of power, for limited purposes, revocable if government failed to
meet its obligations
―Wherever law ends, tyranny begins‖ – law was intended to prevent tyrannical rulers
Advocated for separation of powers between the legislature and the executive
But no independent judiciary or process of judicial review
Legislation is established by majority vote (only property holders)
Emphasis on the consensual nature of government.
Believed that non-propertied labouring class was lacking in reason
He believed that ―equality‖ was incompatible with civil society. Lead to:
―the protection of the industrious & rational against the lazy & quarrelsome is essential to
public happiness or the common good.‖ Hobbes:
Human beings are inclined towards disorder, rivalry, discord and chaos
Developed ―social contract theory‖
Method of justifying political principles via agreement made among suitably situated
rational, free and equal persons
Conclusion: we ought to submit to the authority of an absolute- undivided and unlimited-
Under the social contract, all individuals cede their natural rights for the sake of protection
Order and Civility are the effect of subjection to the sovereign
The sovereign is not subject to legal limitation
The creator of the law cannot be limited by the law (it can be altered by their will)
Rejected separation of powers, as this would generate conflict within the divided
sovereign handicapping its ability to preserve social order.
state of nature – war, no morality, constant fear
Purpose of government – to impose law and order to prevent state of war
Representation - Governments are designed to control, not necessarily represent
Impact on Founders – Governments must be designed to protect people from themselves
Liberty: not the right of doing what one pleases.
Rather, ―liberty is a right of doing whatever the law permits‖ (conferred under law)
Liberty exists only if people are free from tyranny
To prevent tyranny (abuse of power, arbitrary control, etc.) ‖power should be a check to power‖
The way to do this?
Separation of institutional powers (leg, executive & judicial.)
Independent judiciary central to Montesquieu‘s scheme
Judiciary is the point of most direct confrontation between gov‘t, law and individual, it can serve
as best barrier against lawless gov‘t actions
Judiciary: its role is to preserve of the rule of law
Judges and juries should be drawn from the people to sit for a temporary duration
Ensured a complementary connection between culture and the law
Task of judging is very difficult, Canadian society is becoming increasingly diverse
Judges function within this broader social, economic and political context
A need for ―social context education‖
Training that includes a critical reflection of social context issues (gender, race, class,
ability, sexual orientation etc) with respect to law and the act of judging
Believed that jurisprudence provides judges with an opportunity for self-reflection
Separates law into the following legal theories: Natural Law, Legal Positivism, Legal Realism,
Austin gave positivism its first systematic statement
Legal philosophy (jurisprudence) has two tasks
Analytical jurisprudence (―law as it is‖) Normative jurisprudence (―law as it ought to be‖)
The failure to separate these tasks would create moral and intellectual confusion
Law can impose sanctions
Austin‘s positivism encompasses the ―Command Theory of Law‖
Law is a species of command that must have a certain pedigree in order to be valid
Laws are commands and are non-optional, we have no choice but to obey
Law is coercive method of social control
Commands must have a certain level of legal validity
Who makes the commands matters, we separate the legitimate commands from those that are
illegitimate by examining the source of them
the sovereign is the person/persons who make law
Sovereign is to be determined empirically and the question of the source of the sovereign‘s
legitimacy is a separate question
Provided another perspective on legal positivism
Critiqued Austin‘s theory
Fatal confusion between concept of being obligated (under a duty) and being obliged
(forced) to do it
Austin‘s theory forces us to say that we are obligated or duty bound to surrender our
money to a gunman in a stickup
By Austin‘s logic (command theory) the gunman, because he issues a command, is
People should feel obligated to obey the law, not obliged
Law as a system of rules
Primary Rules: rules that tell people how to act in particular circumstances
Secondary Rules: rules about rules
A legal system needs a union of both types of rules
English philosopher and economist; classical liberal theorist
Liberalism - an ideology and a political tradition which holds that liberty is the primary political
Looks at what the law ought to do and sees connection between what is rational and what is legal
Focus on appropriate role of law and gov‘t in lives of citizens
Support a free market and a small role for the state- with free thinking and liberty the people will
compete and work to innovate; thus, helping society
The liberal metaphor is that the world consists of a multitude of independent individuals who have
somehow, at some time, entered into an accord (social contract) to establish common ties for the
―The only freedom which deserves the name, is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so
long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it‖
We can pursue freedom so far that it doesn‘t impede on someone else‘s freedom
What kind of power can society legitimately exert over the individual?
Although Mill doesn‘t subscribe to the notion of a social contract, he does acknowledge a mutual
―Everyone who receives protection [...] owes a return [&] each should be bound to
observe a certain line of conduct towards the rest.‖ His focus is then on ―Conduct‖: (not thought)
Not injuring the (rightful) interests of one another
Bearing his/her share of the labours & sacrifices for defending society or its members from injury
or molestation (i.e. a kind of mutual social responsibility)
Citizens decide - as a group - whether the values and interests of society ought to change. No
individual has the right to do/impose this on others
Harm Principle - Interference with the liberty of an individual is only justified to prevent harm to
others. Otherwise, the individual is ‗sovereign‘, and should be allowed to manage her/his own
affairs in any way s/he likes – but ―stand the consequences‖
This includes the right to be self-destructive
Mill regards liberty as a requirement for human advancement, both individual and ultimately
collective; Need to take risks and be challenged.
Mill believes liberty is defined as the appropriate area for individual human action to be unlimited
by governmental intervention.
To Mill, this is the area where an individual‘s action has only a direct effect on him or herself.
Mill acknowledges that such actions may indirectly affect others, but there is no legitimate state
interest in limiting this kind of action.
(i.e. Free insofar as it does not harm others)
A legitimate government respects the free will of individuals, democracy
Government only to monitor and regulate individual freedoms when they start affecting the liberty
Liberal philosopher who developed his two concepts of liberty based off of Mill‘s work
As an eight year old, he witnessed the Bolshevik Revolution that installed Lenin and instituted
the ‗Soviet Reign of Terror.‘
Escaped to England with family where he was educated.
His early experience with totalitarianism had a significant impact on his life‘s work. In all his
writings we find a strong defence for liberty and liberal, pluralistic society
Two Concepts of Liberty—negative and positive liberty
Negative Liberty - The freedom from coercion, or interference with, individuals‘ private
actions, by other people (i.e. freedom in the inverse; free from, not free to do)
Mill‘s ONLY understanding of freedom, which is insufficient
Individual could contract/extinguish wishes (free?)
Might be manipulated by others and made to feel free
Positive Liberty - Freedom to do (something). Represents the ability to fulfill one‘s own
This is a social liberal notion, that one allows a positive space for government to
(eg. Government can create the conditions that allow individuals to achieve their
goals, so long as individuals consent/ask for this.)
Critical reasoning leads us to freedom, knowledge liberates by eliminating irrational fears, we are
able to discern rationally intelligible laws (decide ourselves) Weber:
German sociologist, philosopher and political economist
Wanted to understand the processes of rationalisation, secularisation and disenchantment
associated with the rise of capitalism and modernity (ie dis/order in society)
Order exists when conduct is oriented to maxims
(i.e. people consciously or unconsciously take into consideration some stable set of
commonly accepted assumptions and rules of behaviour)
Individuals may orient their conduct to the maxims (the rules) because of coercive
sanctions or because they feel the law is legitimate.
There is no unique cause, but rather several forces together exerting an influence.
Developed three theories of authority
Traditional Authority - modelled on the relation between a ‗master‘ and ‗servant‘
(i.e. Social hierarchy justified by a ‗natural‘ order). Based on model of an ‗orderly
household‘‘; natural participation & routine
validity of the order comes from habit, custom and tradition; modeled upon the
relationship of servant/master, father/child; premised on a relationship of unequals;
what Weber calls ―the pathos of distance;‖ -associated with the economic
regulation of the ―oikos‖ (household).
Charismatic Authority – devotion to exemplary character of an individual person
(i.e. certain quality not accessible to the ordinary person). This type of authority is only
legitimate only if followers accept the claim/meaning of the leader. A charismatic leader
seems to have a calling which interrupts and challenges everyday routines, not bound to
intellectually analysable rules (supernatural?). Inherently unstable authority.
Charismatic authority rests on the appeal of leaders who claim allegiance because
of the force of their uncommon or exceptional personalities. rests on ―devotion to
the exceptional sanctity, heroism, or exemplary character of an individual person‖
Legal-Rational Authority - belief in the legality of enacted rules, consistent system of
abstract rules that have been intentionally established. Relationships seen as
‗membership‘ in an ―organization‖ where there are individual right/duties as a ‗member‘
of the organization (i.e. do not owe obedience to individual, but to the impersonal order).
Members are all equal before the law; economic/social differences levelled
Rational legal authority is anchored in impersonal rules that have been legally
established. Notion of ―formalistic impersonality‖. The rule of law as an example –
assures predictability, calculability and stability. Notion of ―bureaucracy‖ is
important here – for Weber, bureaucratic organizations were an attempt to subdue
human affairs to the rule of reason (i.e. to make it possible to conduct the business
of the organization "according to calculable rules."
Weber saw two dimensions of law in two degrees
Formally Irrational laws: Decision making rests on magic, the oracle, or revelation
Substantively Irrational laws: Each concrete situation determines the decision. Each
case employs any one of a number of ethical, political, ideological, moral or emotional
Formally Rational laws: Internal rules are applied to all similarly situated cases in an
identical manner. Rules are abstract and general.
Substantively Rational laws: Examples include plea-bargaining, affirmative action, the
defence of necessity, UN definition of human rights, etc. Laws that focus on individual
rights Weber sees law evolved from a substantively rational system to a formally rational one
Main form of contract is the purposive contract, all are endowed with formally equal rights. The
legal system is perceived as autonomous from economic and political manipulation.
The individual as a bearer of rights now enters many transactions without committing his/her
whole personality. Transactions entered are now guaranteed by the state. We now live in a
Sees law as providing order and stability Law is a way to warn those who might destabilise this
order The type of law (and punishment) present in society is an indication of society‘s values and
identity (i.e. death penalty? Diversity of values?) So law gives a sense of place and indication of
how to behave? If law reflects our values is crime and punishment part of this process? (i.e. do
we need crime/criminals to remind us of our shared values & ID?)
Used sociology to explain how society functions. Sought to find a scientific basis for explaining
Regarding social order, Durkheim asked: What is the basis for social order?
Functionalism - The analysis of social and cultural phenomena in terms of the functions they
perform in a sociocultural system. In functionalism, society is conceived of as a system of
interrelated parts in which no part can be understood in isolation from the whole. A change in any
part is seen as leading to a certain degree of imbalance, which in turn results in changes in other
parts of the system and to some extent to a reorganization of the system as a whole. The
development of functionalism was based on the model of the organic system found in the
Three elements of functionalism
The general interrelatedness, or interdependence of the system‘s parts
The existence of a ―normal‖ state of affairs, or state of equilibrium, comparable to the
normal or healthy state of an organism;
The way that all the parts of the system reorganize to bring things back to normal.
Example of a virus: Organisms depend on everything working properly and efficiently. A virus
causes disequilibrium in the organism. Equilibrium will be restored through an auto-immune
response to attack the virus and restore the organism to its normal or healthy state
Durkheim believed that one could objectively show how social structures work through
quantifiable methods. His first rule to accomplishing this was to consider social facts as things.
Social facts - ―ways of acting, thinking, and feeling, external to the individual, and endowed with
a power of coercion, by reason of which they control the individual.‖ Ex. Laws, morals
Certain structures in society are so powerful that they control the actions of individuals and can be
studied objectively, as in the natural sciences.
Social facts may be characterized by their ability to resist change. They have a coercive quality,
and their violation is met with some type of sanction, or at least some type of resistance.
For Durkheim, law is intimately connected with the nature of solidarity.
Durkheim adopted an essentially collectivist approach to understanding society which involved
different forms of ―solidarity.‖ Solidarity operates in various societies like a ―social glue‖
values, customs and beliefs that everyone shares in a collecting binding Society produces two forms of solidarity: mechanical and organic. Society develops form a
primitive (mechanical) form to a higher (organic) form.
Mechanical Solidarity - solidarity in ‗primitive‘ societies. Close-knit society, as society
becomes more complex, through the division of labour, mechanical solidarity breaks down
and is replaced by organic solidarity.
Organic Solidarity - Mutual dependence is the bond. Greater division of labor between
Two forms of sanctions that keep solidarity in check, the form of law prevalent in society indicates
the type of social solidarity that is present. The type of sanction (punishment) prevalent in a society
corresponds with the strength of the bond of social solidarity.
Repressive Sanctions - Consist essentially in suffering, or at least in some disadvantage
imposed upon the perpetrator of a crime. Their purpose is to hurt him through his fortune,
his honour, his life, his liberty, or to deprive him of some object whose possession he
enjoys. Punishment (vengeance?). Serves as an example of what not to do.
Restitutive Sanctions - Do not necessarily imply any suffering on the part of the
perpetrator, but consist merely in restoring the previous state of affairs, re-establishing
relationships which have been disturbed from their normal form. Pay dues to society to
Like Weber, sees law as providing order and stability
Conflict theorist, developed a powerful critique of capitalism.
Does not see law as the expression of common values of a society
Society not formed or structured upon consensus, instead societies are divided by class conflicts
(Proletariat vs. Bourgeoisie )
Modern bourgeoisie is the product of a long course of development – a series of revolutions, but it
has not done away with class antagonisms. Established new classes, new conditions of oppression,
new forms of struggle in place of old ones.
―The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal,
idyllic relations. It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his ‗natural
superiors,‘ and has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest,
than callous ‗cash payment.‖
Unlike Durkheim and Weber, Marx did not see his sociology isolated from political action, but
they were all ―evolutionary social theorists‖, legal systems evolved with socio-eco system.
Marxism is composed of three tenets
Dialectical and materialist philosophy of history
Critique of political economy (critique of capitalism)
Socialist politics (advocacy of proletarian revolution)
Economic relationship of society is represented by Marx‘s base and superstructure model
Base = its economic structure
Superstructure = its totality of beliefs, illusions, modes of thought, views of life, ideals, ideas, &
the institutions (ie law) that produce/reify this. Classic Marxism: Society is structured upon a base (its economic structure) which determines its
superstructure (its totality of beliefs, sentiments, morality, illusions, modes of thought, forms of
consciousness, views of life, ideals, ideas, & so on).
The base determines (conditions) the superstructure, yet their relation is not strictly causal, because
the superstructure often influences the base; the influence of the base, however, predominates
Law is part of the superstructure. i.e.