Collective Law-Breaking – A Threat to Our Lifes and Liberty

Reflections on the Law in Light of Collective Law-Breaking

Examples of collective law-breaking have existed since ancient times. Seneca recognized that the larger the number of perpetrators, the more lacking in scruples the individual becomes. The law is clearly an inalienable desideratum of human society. Anthropologically and sociologically it has an undisputed raison d’être. However legal history teaches us that the law may not stray too far from what is socially acceptable if it wants to be observed. This implies an understanding of the “substance of the law” that says that the law should be observed just because it is the law. If a citizen can make a distinction between the law as enshrined in statute and what he perceives to be the law, then the law is no longer identical with its mandatory observance. The result is collective law-breaking.

Reflections on the Law in Light of Collective Law-Breaking  (Edition 2012) by Christoph G. Paulus

The Limits of Law Enforcement

The concept of democracy suggests a correspondence between normative collective will and actual collective action. But when law is handed over to state institutions, the threat of collective law-breaking increases. This can be a sign of social progress, but can also appear as a constitutionally alarming lack of law enforcement. The state should aim at a correspondence between norm and action, either by pursuing the implementation of the diktat of norms “educationally”, or by wisely abandoning the notion of perfect normative standards.It is crucial that the legal system remain credible and does not lose consistency over the course of time.

The Limits of Enforcement (Edition 2012) by Wolfgang Schön

Wolfgang Schön

It is important to recognize that it is in the individual’s self-interest to submit to regulations that restrict his or her personal sovereignty, but which offer protection and security in exchange. The law can only fulfill its civilizing role when it reflects the ethical and moral requirements of a society, and both reflects and works alongside technical, social, and societal changes. Only then can we expect observance of the law.

Introduction Speech at CONVOCO! Forum 2012 of Corinne M. Flick

A government that intents on introducing reforms needs a clear strategic vision for each individual sector, strategies that can be communicated to the people in a way that is easy to understand. This is fundamental to popular participation. If the people of a country do not understand the very concepts by which they are ruled, those concepts can have neither credibility nor clout, and will not achieve long-term success. It is a vital part of good governance that the people being governed feel ownership of and participation in the process by which their country is run.

A Plea For “Good Governance” (Edition 2012) by Shaukat Aziz

The Result — or the Subject — of Collective Lawbreaking

Ingolf Pernice

The law cannot protect us from collective law-breaking. Defending the regulating effect of the law and its observanceis the task of the individual and lies in all our interests.The law is the condition of freedom, just as a functioning economic and monetary union is a prerequisite for the protection of assets in Europe.

The Financial Crisis as the Result- or the Subject – of Collective Law-Breaking  (Edition 2012) by Ingolf Pernice 

To learn more about this topic, read the Convoco Edition Collective Law-Breaking – A Threat to Liberty or visit our website to watch the videos of the Forum 2012. 

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