The Formal and Substantive Aspects of Law


Law is the body of norms promulgated in a society that governs behavior. Its purpose is to guide the conduct of people, to enable them to study, internalize and apply it. It should be accessible to ordinary people and act as a framework to settle disputes and protect them from abuses of power. To do this, it is important for the judiciary to be independent and for government officials to be accountable. It is also essential for legal procedures to be fair and transparent.

Principles of the Rule of Law

The rule of law is an important foundation of a constitutional democracy. It ensures that laws apply equally and fairly to everyone. The rule of law divides powers between the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary. It also ensures that people are able to know what their rights and responsibilities are, and that the laws are made by representatives of the people. The rule of law also protects the right of individuals to remain silent and to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

According to the Principles of the Rule of Law, laws must be fair and protect the fundamental human rights of everyone in a society. This principle is also the substantive guarantee of the rule of law. It is important to note that the rule of law distinguishes between governments that do not follow it and governments that do. For example, while Nazi Germany had elements of rule of law, it was not a rule of law society.

Legal norms

Legal norms are rules or principles that a sovereign power enforces in a society. These norms regulate social relations and determine the rights of individuals within a governing jurisdiction. They are essential to society and should be respected. If they are not respected, there are consequences. But how do we ensure that we comply with these rules?

Legal norms are the basic building blocks of the legal system. They are the basis for law and other forms of legislation. They also help us model and retrieve legislation.

Formal aspects

The formal aspects of law are the laws and rules that are independent of the substantive content. These features of law are often referred to as procedural. Nevertheless, they are sometimes interrelated with substantive content and have important implications. One prominent example is the United States Constitution. The Constitution is designed to protect the rights of citizens and limit the power of government, and its language and rules should reflect those values.

While formal law is composed of written rules and institutional processes, informal law is the unwritten or customary aspects of the legal system. In the absence of these elements, the process of justice may be illegitimate and popular justice may be ineffective.

Procedural aspects

This chapter examines the role of procedural aspects of law in social policy. The elaboration of legal rules and institutional change affecting legal process are examined. The author also notes the conditions necessary for a legal process that is responsive to social needs. While procedural aspects of law are important, they are not the only aspect of law.

Substantive values

Substantive values in law are the rules by which we judge and apply law. They are not only the rules of the law, but also the values that society places on them. A good jurist does not forget these values, but uses them to make decisions. He or she will analyze the precedents and the statutory law to apply these values in concrete cases. The primary goal of a judge is to apply these rules and make them valuable for society.

In the U.S., substantive values in law are those that govern the behavior of citizens in the society. Laws may be created by statutes or common law, but their purpose is to protect individual rights. For example, a statute enacted by the state or federal government could give an employee the right to sue his or her employer for employment discrimination.