Ryndiuk Vira

Yearly journal of scientific articles “Pravova derzhava”
Volume 34 (2023), 58-68 p.

DOI: 10.33663/1563-3349-2023-34-58-68

Ryndiuk Vira. The legal norm in the context of modern approaches to the understanding of legal

The legal norm is one of the basic categories of legal science, its definition is foundin all encyclopedic legal dictionaries, as well as in any textbook or study guide on legal theory. At the same time, the question of the legal norm and its structure remains oneof the most controversial in theoretical legal science. The starting point for forming anidea of a legal norm is one or another concept of legal understanding (natural law, legal positivism, or sociological jurisprudence) within which this theoretical-legal phenomenon is studied.

In the context of the natural-law type of legal understanding, legal norms are laws of a social nature that regulate human behavior, discovered, known by the legislator and reflected in the form of legislation. And within the framework of legal positivism, a legal norm is a universally binding rule of conduct established or sanctioned by state power, regardless of whether it is fair and moral or not. It is noted that these two different approaches to understanding the legal norm reveal two different aspects of it through such paired categories of dialectics as content and form.

The content of the legal norm is the rules of behavior expressed through the subjective rights and responsibilities of participants in social relations. In contrast to the traditional approach of building a logical norm according to the rule: “if à then à otherwise”, in the dialectical theory of law, for the first time, a legal norm is consideredon the basis of the dialectical method as a process of necessity. It is precisely because of the form of the norm that a powerful subject in the process of rule-making activity recognizes this or that rule of conduct as necessary (obligatory), and the sanction is of decisive importance in this process.

The main difference in the understanding of the legal norm in the positivist and sociological concepts of legal understanding is that the second considers the legal norm as a rule of behavior of subjects, which can be ensured, in addition to the state, by another force (a certain collective, individual, etc.). In the latter case, so-calledstate-legal norms or corporate norms are varieties of legal norms. Within the dialectical theory of law, the opinion is substantiated that the criterion for distinguishing legal norms as one of the types of social norms is the specificity of the disposition of legal norms – rules of behavior expressed through the subjective rights and obligations of real participants in social relations, which are sanctioned as norms.It was concluded that depending on one or another theory of legal understanding,when formulating the definition of a legal norm, emphasis is placed on its various signs, properties, sides, aspects. 

It is noted that the idea of a legal norm as a complete legal phenomenon in relation to other social norms can be formulated using the dialectical method and such paired dialectic categories as content and form, individual and general.

Key words: legal norm, natural law, legal positivism, sociological jurisprudence,social naturalism, dialectical theory of law, dialectical method.


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