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I.V. Mal'tsev 

On the Concept of Legal Symbols within Scope of the Institutional Legal Approach

2019. No. 4. P. 100–121 [issue contents]
The article analyzes the approaches to study the phenomenon of legal symbols in thescience of law. The author pays attention to the fact that the existing approaches tostudy the symbols restrict the scope of their comprehension to the analyzing the legalforms within the historical-legal and technical-legal paradigms. The historical-legalapproach restricts the scope of the respective research works to the issues of the legalform building, where the notion of a ‘symbol’ is correlated to the notion of a ‘custom’.Here, beyond the historical context, the category of legal symbols frequently loses all andany legal significance and cannot be considered as the corresponding legal institution.Within the scope of the technical-legal approach symbols are considered just as asupplementary tool of the legal regulation or a tool of the legal technique. These methodsare unable to unfold the whole nature of symbols and do not allow us to solve the issue oftheir legal institutionalization. The author gives critical assessment of those researchers’considerations on the legal symbols, which are ambiguous in terms of the terminologicalborders of this scope, warning about the risk of penetration of questionable theoreticalstructures into the positive law. The research applies the institutional-legal approach tosymbols supported by induction through the search for the objects, which can be includedinto the notion of a ‘legal symbol’ as an intersectional legal institution with consideration ofthe important characteristic features of this concept, mentioned in the general scientificconcepts and the science of law, as well as with consideration of the terminologicalpractice expressed in the acts of law. The author’s definition of the legal symbols withinthe scope of the institutional-legal approach is based on the complex of the followingsignificant features: conditional character (conventionality); multiple meaning; specialvalue; exclusive legal correlation with the bearing subject; uniqueness; stability; legalmediation; 8) external objectification in a special form. The mentioned features allow usto distinguish the legal symbols from a broader category of social symbols, as well as todemarcate them from the adjacent sign phenomena with the legal importance.
Citation: Mal'tsev I. (2019) Ponyatie pravovykh simvolov v ramkakh institutsional'no-yuridicheskogo podkhoda [On the Concept of Legal Symbols within Scope of the Institutional Legal Approach]. Pravo. Zhurnal Vysshey shkoly ekonomiki, no 4, pp. 100-121 (in Russian)
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