Five Theses about the Rule of Recognition

  • Sebastián Figueroa Rubio
Keywords: Rule of Recognition, Rules of Change, Conventions, Social Norms


This article critically reviews five theses advocated by Jorge Rodríguez in his book Teoría analítica del derecho regarding the rule of recognition and the grundnorm. The theses are the following: (1.) the best interpretation of the grundnorm is the one that understands it as a definitional scheme; (2.) the rule of recognition is not a conventional rule; (3.) the rule of recognition is not a social norm of conduct; (4.) the rule of recognition is equivalent to the first historical constitution; (5.) the rule of recognition is reducible to rules of change. The critical review of these five theses aims to defend the idea that the rule of recognition can be understood as a social norm and to question whether it can be reduced to rules of change.

Analytical Theory of Law. A debate