CFP: Legal Tools and the Instrumental Dimension of Law: Theoretical and Practical Reflections

Submission deadline: May 10, 2024

Conference date(s):
July 7, 2024 - July 14, 2024

Go to the conference's page

This event is available both online and in-person

Conference Venue:

Soongsil University, Seoul
Seoul, South Korea

Topic areas


Law is conceived as a means to achieve ends. This signifies that law can be intentionally created and applied to achieve specific objectives. Nevertheless, there has been insufficient reflection on the distinct legal tools available within and outside the legal arena for the realization of these ends. Theoretical analyses of this instrumental dimension of law frequently focus on its role as a specific social technique, as exemplified in the work of Kelsen. However, these analyses often neglect various considerations. For example, the functions of norms extending beyond mere directives in the realization of ends through the law, the role of bodies interpreting and applying the law, or the involvement of legal actors in strategic litigation to advance these ends.  

Now this debate assumes a new dimension with the questions raised by numerous contemporary legal tools or innovations. Instruments such as nudges, symbolic or communicative legislation, visual law, or possibilities allowed by technological developments, such as the use of artificial intelligence in regulation, or the use of collective intelligence in the production of law, represent just a few of the recent additions to the legal sphere. This workshop aims to advance the theoretical and practical understanding of the instrumental dimension of law, particularly as it relates to these legal tools.

Conceptual, normative, and practical approaches (e.g. study of cases, jurisprudential analyses, or studies legal officials’ behavior) are welcome. Submissions are invited to explore, but are not limited to, the following questions: 

1. To what extent do current practices for achieving ends through law align with theoretical frameworks regarding the instrumental role of law? 

2. In what ways do possibilities afforded by technological developments, such as the use of artificial intelligence in regulation, impact the conceptualization of the instrumental dimension of law? 

3. What role do innovative legal tools play in shaping the effectiveness of law in achieving specific ends, and how can their potential be harnessed for optimal outcomes? 

4. To what extent does the incorporation of collective intelligence in the production of law influence the dynamics of legal decision-making and the attainment of ends within the legal system? 

5. How do the potential risks associated with the utilization of new legal tools (such as nudge, symbolic law or algorithmic regulation) interact with the potential benefits for the rule of law and democracy, and what strategies can be employed to maximize the positive impacts while mitigating the potential negative consequences within legal frameworks? 

  Participants can send their abstracts (under 500 words) to the convenors by March 31st, 2024.


Agnès Díaz Castellano (University of Genova, Italy) [email protected]

Diego Almonacid Almarza (University of Genova, Italy) [email protected]

Supporting material

Add supporting material (slides, programs, etc.)


Custom tags:

#Legal Theory, #Theory of Legislation, #Legal Philosophy