CFP: Existence and possibility of law - Special Workshop at the IVR World Congress 2022

Submission deadline: April 30, 2022

Conference date(s):
July 3, 2022 - July 8, 2022

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Conference Venue:

International Association for the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy
Bucharest, Romania

Topic areas


CFP for the Special Workshop

‘Existence and possibility of law’

at the 30th World Congress of the International Association for the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy (IVR), July 3-8, 2022, Bucharest, Romania   


Lorenz Kaehler (University of Bremen)

Vitaly Ogleznev (Saint Petersburg State University)

The workshop shall address the ontological question whether and in which sense law exists. Intuitively, it seems quite clear that there is law and belongs hence to the set of entities which exist. However, the concept of existence seems to be clearer for material things or events then for abstract objects such as norms. Whereas one can distinguish between existing and non-existing, merely fictitious material entities, it is less clear whether the same distinction applies to legal norms. Does a norm which lost its validity cease to exist (as theories that equate existence with validity suggest)? If not, does a norm which is merely part of a legislative proposal already exist because there is something to which one can refer and which one can discuss although it is not valid yet? Can one justifiably maintain that before a norm was created there already was the possibility of its existence? Or shall one rather, pace Meinong, distinguish the existence from other types of being and hence deny that law exists (although one would still maintain that there is law)? The workshop invites contributions about these and related ontological questions of law. They shall be approached from various perspectives, including positivist and non-positivist ones.


1. Please send an abstract (around 500-1000 words without references) to [email protected] or [email protected] by April 30, 2022.

2. All accepted speakers must register as IVR Congress participants (see

3. All accepted participants are expected to share at least an abbreviated version of their papers by May 31, 2022.

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