The Design of Laws

  • Virgilio Zapatero Gómez
Part of the Legisprudence Library book series (LEGIS, volume 6)


The enlightened ideal of legislation was always to apply reason to the production of laws. Advances in social sciences can help us develop better laws. In order to achieve this goal it can be very useful to apply the techniques of public policy analysis to the legislative process, thus renewing the old ideal of the law as voluntas ratione animata. These instruments will not allow us to reach absolute rationality but are nevertheless necessary to achieve, at least, a bounded or limited rationality. A project of this type demands a legislative methodology based on problem solving that goes far beyond the mere technique of legal drafting. There is a whole series of tasks in the norm planning phase among which the following can be highlighted: the precise definition of the social problem to solve, the establishment of the objectives pursued by the norm, the analysis of the different solutions available to the legislator and their evaluation according to criteria not only of justice, but also of efficacy (compliance by the addressees), effectiveness (attainment of legislative objectives) and efficiency (cost-benefit analysis).


Public policies Bounded rationality Legal drafting Legislative planning Problem definition Goal-setting Legislative evaluation Justice Office of legislative policies 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Virgilio Zapatero Gómez
    • 1
  1. 1.Facultad de DerechoUniversidad de Alcalá de HenaresAlcalá de HenaresSpain

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