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IAS Fellows’ Public Lecture – Four Models of Legal Obligation

February 7 @ 7:00 pm


Public Lecture by Dr Stefano Bertea, University of Leicester


In this lecture, Dr Stefano Bertea intends to provide an overview of different theoretical approaches to the specific kind of obligation engendered by the law.

The presentation will thus have a quality that is predominantly both introductive and interpretive, since it is meant to set out the basics of four different accounts of legal obligation, which contemporary legal theorists champion. These are:

  1. the account of legal obligation as an intra-systemic requirement;
  2. the idea of legal obligation as a social demand;
  3. the view of obligation as a political constraint;
  4. the theory of legal obligation as rational necessity.

As it tends to be the case with interpretive hypotheses, the reconstructions of the current approaches to legal obligation offered in this talk will be tentative, theory-laden, and open to challenge. Indeed, one could envision other ways of providing a bird’s eye view of the current debate on how legal obligation is best conceptualised. But, for all that, Dr Berteas is committed to the view that the proposed reconstruction does not distort the landscape of existing accounts of legal obligation, to the effect that the resulting map is hardly arbitrary.

Registration is not required to attend in person. To watch online please register here.



February 7
7:00 pm


Stephenson College, Platform 3 (Main Building)


Institute of Advanced Study

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