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Legal Identity

 

Explanations > Identity > Legal Identity

Description | Discussion | See also

 

Description

The legal person is a physical body that has rights and duties on one hand and certain behaviors and capability on the other.

Companies and other entities are also legal bodies in law, with defined rights and duties. Incorporated bodies are entities in their own right with defined rights and duties, whilst unincorporated bodies are collections in which rights and duties are held against its members.

Rights and duties are attached to certain attributes of the person, from their job to their nationality. These are described in law and regulation.

The inner person, whilst it may be discussed in legal contexts is seldom of interest unless, for example, there are medical circumstances where a person may be criminally insane or otherwise incapable. Emotional states such as anger are not acceptable as reason for transgression of the law.

Groups for whom laws may be varied and behaviors excused include:

  • minors (children)
  • the insane and mentally incapable
  • drugged and drunken people
  • judges,
  • heads of state, members of government and diplomats
  • aliens (foreigners)

Discussion

Law seeks to describe unambiguously, describing 'whatness' that is determinate and clear. It seeks purpose, meaning, value and significance. 

Law is also a law unto itself: 'nothing is more senseless than to attempt to understand the law from a vantage point extrinsic to itself' (Weinrib, 1988). 'Legalness' can thus only be proven by legal examination. The rules of chess cannot be changed from outside the game and its ruling body, and only they can define the rules.

This makes things pretty circular, but that's how it is: to define it externally would be to open the external definer to questioning as to its legality, thus creating an infinite regression.

See also

 

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