Document Type


Citation Information

Please cite to the original publication


"When law succeeds, it puts itself out of business." That statement is not always true, of course. The term law is broad and imprecise. It certainly is true, however, for activist regulatory forms of law, such as environmental law. The purpose of law in the activist mode is to change the norms and behavior of a community or subcommunity. Complete success would eliminate the need for additional legal acts to reinforce the message and would undermine the law's continued reason for being. Conversely, the more obvious and intrusive legal machinery is at any given time or place, the less successful the law has been in achieving its ultimate goal of "voluntary" compliance.

Date of Authorship for this Version


Included in

Law Commons