From validity to valency by Professor Pauline Westerman

From validity to valency by Professor Pauline Westerman

This is a past event

The development of international and European law challenges the familiar concept of law as an edifice erected on the solid foundations of a Kelsenian basic norm. In this contribution Westerman analyses the shortcomings of the still persistent building-metaphor and suggests that an alternative network-metaphor is to be preferred. If we judge normative systems by the degree in which actors and rules are connected we may clarify more easily the ways in which different normative systems overlap and relate to each other. We may also begin to understand why soft law may provide for weighty reasons for action whereas ‘hard law’ fails to do so. 


Professor Pauline Westerman holds a chair in the Philosophy of Law at the University of Groningen. She is also a member of staff at the Academy for Legislation in the Hague. After having published her latest book Outsourcing the Law: A Philosophical Perspective on Regulation (Elgar 2018) she turned to European and international law as examples of non-centralised normative orders. Pauline Westerman is appointed member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Science since 2010.  

Professor Pauline Westerman
Hosted by
School of Law
Hybrid Event - KING'S COLLEGE KCF7

On Campus Venue KCF7. For online access please email