This paper examines the question of the identity of legal systems of non-monistic accounts of law. It critically analyses approaches to individuation based on validity, the nature of individual norms as well as the purposes for which they are applied, arguing that the latter approach as endorsed particularly by Raz, offers the most convincing approach to the question of individuation. Raz’s own criteria however, the paper argues, is under-inclusive and misses important reasons why a norm should be individuated in a particular way. The paper defends an approach to individuation which builds upon and expands Raz’s approach. This approach emphasizes the political importance of legal systems as providing the basis for criteria of individuation. These criteria are also relevant for Dworkin’s account of law as integrity which, the paper argues, also relies on an understanding of individuation notwithstanding Dworkin’s claims to the contrary.
Mac Amhlaigh, Cormac S, Taking Identity Seriously: On the Politics of the Individuation of Legal Systems (March 26, 2021). Edinburgh School of Law Research Paper No 2021/08.