11 Ratio Juris 1 (1998)

handle is hein.journals/raju11 and id is 1 raw text is: 


Ratio Juris. Vol. 11 No. 1 March 1998 (1-11)


On Collective Actions.

Some Remarks on the

Theory of Legal Actions


AULIS AARNIO


Abstract. In this paper the author deals with collegial judicial decisions as a form
of human action. The scope is, however, limited to three questions: (1) What is the
structure and the status of the general theory of action; (2) Is this theory applicable to
such performative acts as judicial decisions; and finally, (3) Is it possible to speak
about action in connection with collective agents such as collegial courts? The author
defends the thesis that general theory of action as such is applicable to collective action,
too, because the difficulty is not in the structure of that theory, or in its individual
character, but specifically in the notion of collective will. This kind of will is
epistemologically always a result of a political procedure, and speaking about the
collective will presupposes the analysis of these procedures, because in practice
they and only they formulate collective motives, collective beliefs and the like.


1. Conceptual Specifications
1.1. The Problem
In my presentation, the focus lies on collegial legal actions as a form of human
action. The scope is, however, limited to three questions:
  (1) What is the structure and the status of the general theory of action
introduced by Georg Henrik von Wright;
  (2) Is this theory applicable to such performative acts as judicial decisions
or passing a statute; and finally,
  (3) Is it possible at all to speak about action in connection to collective
agents, especially with such highly institutionalized agents as collegial courts
or legislators?
  To elaborate these problems, some conceptual clarifications are necessary.


Blackwell Publishers Ltd 1998, 108 Cowley Road, Oxford OX4 lJF, UK and 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148, USA.

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