Vol 19 No 2 (2019)
Proceedings of the First Civil Law – Common Law Forum in Legal Theory

Some Consequences of Law’s Artifactuality: Comments on Roversi’s Theory

Lucila Fernández Alle
Gerona University
Analisi e diritto, 2/2019
Published January 26, 2020
  • law as an artefact,
  • conceptual analysis,
  • history,
  • function,
  • structure


Roversi’s theory of law as an artifact raises some interesting questions, some of them concerning what kind of analysis follows from the characterization of law as a socio-ontological entity, if any. In this paper, I will present some remarks regarding the different ways to understand the artifactuality of law, and how they may affect our theories to explain legal phenomena and legal institutions. Against the scepti- cism about legal phenomena founded in its artifactual character, I will argue that this premise, as it is defended by Roversi, actually takes us closer to a non-sceptic kind of analysis. Then, I will defend the idea that a conceptual analysis of law as an artifact needs to provide an explanation of the changeability of law and legal institutions and I will present different candidates to that purpose. Finally, I will consider whether the relation between structure and function – present in every artifact – can affect the unity of Roversi’s theory.