Thisbook addresses issues concerning the shifting contemporary meaning of legalcertainty. The book focuses on exploring the emerging tensions that existbetween the demand for legal certainty and the challenges of regulatingcomplex, late modern societies. The book is divided into two parts: the firstpart focusing on debates around legal certainty at the national level, with aprimary emphasis on criminal law; and the second part focusing on debates atthe transnational level, with a primary emphasis on the regulation oftransnational commercial transactions.Inthe context of legal modernity, the principle of legal certainty-the idea thatthe law must be sufficiently clear to provide those subject to legal norms withthe means to regulate their own conduct and to protect against the arbitraryuse of public power-has operated as a foundational rule of law value. Eventhough it has not always been fully realized, legal certainty has functioned asa core value and aspiration that has structured normative debates throughoutpolitical modernity, both at a national and international level.Inrecent decades, however, legal certainty has come under increasing pressurefrom a number of competing demands that are made of contemporary law, inparticular the demand that the law be more flexible and responsive to a socialenvironment characterized by rapid social and technological change. Theexpectation that the law operates in new transnational contexts and regulatesevery widening sphere of social life has created a new degree of uncertainty,and this change raises difficult questions regarding both the possibility anddesirability of legal certainty.This book compiles, in one edited volume, research from a range ofsubstantive areas of civil and criminal law that shares a common interest inunderstanding the multi-layered challenges of defining legal certainty in alate modern society. The book will be of interest both to lawyers interested inunderstanding the transformation of core rule of law values in the context ofcontemporary social change and to political scientists and social theorists.
Legal Certainty in a Contemporary Context
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