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Temporality of Law
McGeorge Law Review (2009)
  • Ali Khan, Washburn University

Temporality is an integral part of law. But legal commentary offers no analytical model to probe the fusion of law and temporality. This study proposes such a model and presents the four general principles of law's temporality. First, the principle of temporal correlation yields legally significant inferences. Although temporality per se is not the agent of change, events that occur within a short duration of time are presumed to be causally related. Second, the principle of temporal inertia carries the dynamics of normative change and stability. It illustrates the doctrine of precedent and prohibitive injunctions as manifestations of temporal inertia. Third, the principle of temporal triggers elucidates how law uses the point in time (t) and duration (delta-t) to both allocate and terminate powers, rights, and obligations. These time triggers, though arbitrary, contribute convenience and efficiency to the management of legal affairs. Finally, the principle of temporal cooperation delineates that time-sharing enhances productivity and utilization of assets. The workplace fortified with sovereign spatiotemporal borders may increase employee coordination and output, but cooperative flextime enmeshes work with socially gratifying lives. The framework of four principles invites lawyers, scholars, and judges to further explore the union between law and temporality.

  • temporality,
  • temporal competition,
  • temporal proximity,
  • flextime,
  • temporal cooperation
Publication Date
Citation Information
Ali Khan. "Temporality of Law" McGeorge Law Review Vol. 40 Iss. 1 (2009)
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