Perspectives on theory of legal interactionism


legal interactionism
legal sociology
legal philosophy
rule of law


To clarify the nature and existence of the norm, we need to be aware of the domains through which it can be analysed. Wibren van der Burg, through the theory of legal interactionism, considers that the study of the norm, construction and its effects must be achieved through three main areas: legal sociology, legal philosophy and as a measure of completion and uniformity, the legal doctrine.[i]An interdisciplinary approach leads to the best conclusions;[ii]otherwise four debates have emerged between the three disciplines in the understanding and interpretation of the norm. First of all, the distinction between the norm written(institutional) and the norm practised(interactive). Philosophers and lawyers support institutional norm theory, while sociologists embrace the interactive norm.[iii]


[i]The importance of the legal doctrine specializing in civil systems, considered as sources of the norm, was well defensible. The legal doctrine is very important as it creates the legal vocabulary and the ideas that the legislator uses later. The doctrine sets out how the norm should be interpreted and understood. Often, the legislator offers the expression and effect of tendencies developed in doctrine or adopted norms that were created by theorists in Rene David, John E. C. Brierley, Major Legal Systems in the World Today. For example, in the People's Republic of China, the doctrine is not considered the source of law. More details see in Jiangyu Wang,Corporate Law in China. Regulation of Business Organizations in a Socialist Market Economy, University of Singapore, Edward Elgar Publishing Limited, 2014.

[ii]Saane Taekemaand Bart Van Klink, On the Border. Limits and Possibilities of Interdisciplinary Researchin Saane TAEKEMA and Bart van Klink(eds), Law and Method Interdisciplinary Research into Law,  Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, 2011, pp. 8-9; Also see Douglas W. VICK, Interdisciplinarity and the Discipline of Law,31(2) Journal of Law and Society, 2004, pp. 163–93 quoted by Sanne Taekemaand Wibren van der Burg, Towards a Fruitfull cooperation between legal philosophy, legal sociology and Doctrinal Research: How Legal Interactionsim may Bridge Unproductive Oppositions, Law, Society and Community. Socio Legal Essays in Honour of Roger Cotterell, Edited by Richard Noblesand David Schiff, Ashgate Pub., London, 2014, p.131.

[iii]Sanne Taekemaand Wibren van der Burg, op. cit. p. 131