This text is an innovative handbook that combines traditional issues of law theory with a special focus on theories of justice and human rights. An essential introduction to the world of law, this book discusses the basic concepts of legal knowledge, its functions, the structural and historical features of positive law, the means and tools that the discipline uses in its applications to social life. However, the text also reviews law's raison d'tre in the light of new challenges created by globalised societies. Which goods and values does law help achieve? Which theories of justice does law help define? What rights - such as human rights, the theoretical underpinnings of which do away with public attribution or endorsement - has law allowed to acknowledge and sanction? The volume does not adopt a historical approach, but rather addresses specific topics, even though it uses philosophical knowledge and elements of legal and philosophical history in order to facilitate the reader's understanding.
Contents: 1. Law's Functions - 2. The Aims and Values of Law - 3. Means and Instruments - 4. Legal Practices - Index of Names
Francesco Viola teaches Philosophy of Law at the University of Palermo. Giuseppe Zaccaria teaches Law Theory and Human Rights at the University of Padua.