Weber's Rationalization Of Law

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Weber specifies formal and substantive rationality in terms of law making (legislation) and law finding (adjudication) as the two central aspects of law. Weber categorizes law making and law finding processes based on their rationality and formality. This leads to a classification of law as rational or irrational according to either their formal or substantive aspects. As a result, a fourfold ideal-typical types of law emerges; formally rational, formally irrational, substantively rational and substantively irrational.
According to substantive viewpoint, rationality occurs when law making and law finding reflect general norms that exist outside the contours of legal principles and logical generalizations of law itself. Law is considered to
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Oracles involve proclamations of law that are judges to be divine or sacred because of the authority of their source, an ordeal on the other hand is when the accused is subjected to a painful task and the completion of which determines his guilt or innocence. Since, there are no general standards of legal decision making in such cases, formally irrational law is said to be unpredictable. Whereas law is formally rational when it is solely based on general characteristics that affect the facts of the case.
Weber believes that rationalization of modern law in western societies takes on the specific form of formal rationalization. Rationalized Law according to him is formal ad abstract, epitomising the disillusionment of the modern world.
The formal rationalization of law implies that laws are codified, impartial, and impersonal. The impartiality of modern law is revealed in its objective to be applied equally and fairly to all. Modern law is impersonal by being applied regardless of the personal characteristics of those
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Status contracts allow for a change in the position of the parties involved, typically by invoking some magical or divine power. Purposive contracts do not affect the status of the parties involved but only aim to achieve some specific result or performance. Weber believes formal rationalization in the case of purposive contracts increases liberty because it allows people to calculate the legal consequences of their conduct. Formally rational law and capitalism tend to go hand in hand, but the relation is not

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