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Regardless of the view taken of the nature of law, the controversy about which, as has been well pointed out, is in large part due to the failure on the part of jurists to discuss the same thing, it remains obvious that law must be manifested in a variety of forms. By forms of law is not intended the particular type of law such as statutes, constitutions, decisions, etc., dependents upon the particular governmental agency responsible for their enunciation. But by forms of law in the sense here contemplated we understand the character of the legal delaration as regards the extent to which that declaration is applicable as law. A study of forms of law in this sense involves a consideration of the particular kind of intellectual conception employed to express the legal doctrine. The Continentals, in using the word form in much the same sense, speak of it as the method of ordering thought. In other words, the term denotes the essential conceptions of thought involved in expressing law, with the pure form designating the uniform method of ordering. In this character, a consideration of forms of law involves the problems of the manner in which legal precepts function and the mode of application of the same by the courts.
Date of Authorship for this Version
Forms of Law and Moral Content, 22 Illinois Law Review 259 (1927)