Food for Thought: Max Weber and Law’s Rationality

Society Sui Generis – Max Weber, Modern Disenchantment, and the Rationalization of Law

Continuing our exploration of classical sociological theory and law, this week we look at the work of Max Weber, and his approach to themes of instrumental rationality and bureaucracy. Weber’s conceptualization of law as a specific kind of order differentiated by the presence of a ‘staff’ whose purpose is to compel compliance remains highly influential. Our case study for this week will be the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in the case of R. v. Collins [1987].

Food for thought:

What characteristics would a formally rational system of law possess?

Is modern Canadian law formally rational? Discuss! Use contemporary examples to illustrate your response.

Students in CRIM 3305 may take until October 28 to submit a post in response to this food for thought question.


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