Can Legal Science Be Empirical? – University of Copenhagen

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17 July 2013

Can Legal Science Be Empirical?

Jakob v.H. Holtermann, Mikkel Jarle Christensen and Mikael Rask Madsen publishes the article “Kan retsvidenskaben være empirisk? Om aktualiteten af Alf Ross’ empiriske vending i retsfilosofien” (English: ”Can Legal Science Be Empirical? On the Continuous Relevance of Alf Ross’s Empirical Turn in Jurisprudence”) in Retfærd, Nordic Journal of Law and Justice (2013, issue 2, vol. 141).

Taking Alf Ross’s legal realist project as its starting point the article discusses whether legal science is a discipline in its own right or whether it is ultimately to be considered a part of social science, in particular sociology. The article’s conclusions thus has a bearing on the lines to be drawn from Ross’s distinct version of Scandinavian legal realism to the noticeable empirical turn in present day legal science as witnessed by movements such as New Legal Realism, Empirical Legal Studies, Law and Economics, and the notion of Naturalism in jurisprudence.

Read more here (in Danish)

English abstract