Law and Philosophy

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 237–262 | Cite as

Law as tradition

  • Martin Krygier


This essay argues that to understand much that is most central to and characteristic of the nature and behaviour of law, one needs to supplement the ‘time-free’ conceptual staples of modern jurosprudence with an understanding of the nature and behaviour of traditions in social life. The article is concerned with three elements of such an understanding. First, it suggests that traditionality is to be found in almost all legal systems, not as a peripheral but as a central feature of them. Second, it questions the post-Enlightenment antinomy between tradition and change. Third, it argues that in at least two important senses of ‘tradition’, the traditionality of law is inescapable.


Legal System Social Life Social Issue Central Feature Important Sens 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Krygier
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of LawUniversity of New South WalesKensingtonAustralia

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