By applying theories developed out of the study of complex systems we have succeeded in showing how legal systems evolve out of the failure of simple normative systems to maintain consensus when faced with an environment rich in excess variety. We see that laws evolve from normative disappointments, precedence from the failure of laws to pertain to specific cases, and principles from the failure of precedence's to discriminate clearly between law and precedence.

Thus we come to the conclusion of our look Into the evolution of legal systems. Luhmann's concepts of differentiation and self-reflexivity, complimented by the complex concepts of hierarchical order and constraint meet the three requirements for an evolutionary system; a source of variety, a mechanism for selecting from among the variety, and a mechanism for fixing the choice. Luhmann's description of positive law is law which gains it validity from the fact that it can be changed. His concept of congruency communications becomes the criteria for the validation of the legal system. Finally, principles are the highest level of the legal system. Above that level the legal system Is just one element In a higher level system which emerges out of the interactions between it and other social systems as the cultures unique response to the universe.

bulletReturn to Table of Contents