This article considers the narratives of law through the lens of the form-substance devide. Different legal theories have provided for opposite definitions of law, legal rules and individual rights, enhancing their identity as due to some substantive content or, on the contrary, to some formal-functional features. The form-substance antinomy reflects both institutional and theoretical reasons. It bears down on the relations envisaged among rights, norms and ends. Different conceptions of rights are best understood as a special articulation of those three terms, and offer different patterns for rights, depending on their relation-opposition with collective ends, ethical values, legislation. The following pages show how in contemporary constitutional democracies the identity of the constitutional fundamental rights and the reason for their being fundamental are due to the functional role they play (as validity criteria in the structure of a legal order), and to their place among main collective ends.
- legal philosophy
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/gianluigi_palombella/11/