On the evening of March 6, Professor Keith Hawkins, the Emeritus Professor of Law and Society at Oxford University, Fellow of Oriel College,Oxford University, and formerly Visiting Professor of the Centre for Analysis of Risk and Regulation (CARR) at the London School of Economics, was invited to give a lecture to students of the School of Law of SCNU. The title of the lecture was "The Reality of Law." Professor Chen Yonghong, vice dean of the School of Law, presided over the lecture.

Keith Hawkins takes the central position of legal rules as a starting point to explore the reality of law in practice. He believes that there are various problems with legal rules. The most obvious is that the rules are not automatically applied, but are used by those who choose whether to take action and how to take action. The concept of choice implies the introduction of discretion, a concept that poses difficulties for formalist lawyers. Discretion is controversial, and lawyers do not believe it. They regard it as an embodiment of arbitrary or capricious behavior. Discretion, in the real world, is often governed by rules. If discretion creates problems in practice, legal rules will also cause problems. This is because the meaning of legal rules is not as clear and self-evident as formalist lawyers like to claim. In the real world of legal practice, one of the consequences of the rule problem is the extent to which lawyers and legal officials have to rely on discretion: to decide whether or how to use the law. Therefore, discretion is not only inevitable, but also the core of the legal order.

At the end of the lecture, the students asked Keith Hawkins several questions, and he answered them one by one. Keith Hawkins put discretion into the context of sociology of law, which broadened the academic horizons of students, and boosted their enthusiasm for exploring legal theory and practice.

Source from the School of Law

Translated by Tang Suying

Proofread by Edwin Pieter Baak 

Edited by Li Jianru

What to read next:

A Delegation led by the Dean of the Peabody College of Education, Vanderbilt University visited SCNU
On 1 June, a delegation of five scholars led by Camilla Benbow, Dean of the Peabody College of Education of Va
A Delegation Led by the President of Emporia State University Visited SCNU
On May 29, Allison Garrett, President of the Emporia State University of the United States, visited South China
SCNU Confucius Institute at University of Latvia Received Commendation Letter from Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
On May 28, the Confucius Institute at the University of Latvia received a letter of commendation from the Latvia
SCNU Signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with the University of Macao
On August 23, a delegation including Mr Song Yonghua, rector of University of Macao, Yang Zhixin, director of t
The "2018 Guangdong-Gyeonggi-do International Exchange Summer Camp for University Students" Successfully Held
On August 30, the closing ceremony of the "2018 Guangdong Province - Gyeonggi-do International Exchange Summer Cam
The First International Joint Laboratory Co-established by SCNU and University of Milano-Bicocca Unveiled
On July 9, the "South China Normal University - University of Milano-Bicocca International Joint Laboratory of Qua
UNESCO High Commissioner Visited SCNU
On March 11, Wang Libing, director of the Section for Educational Innovation and Skills Development (EISD), UNESCO
SCNU to Build a Post-Graduate Cultivation Foundation with the Penang Du Zhong Education Foundation, Malaysia
On September 10, a delegation of 11 members from the Penang Independent Education Foundation of Malaysia visited
Silicon Valley & Singapore (International Class) Set Off Again
From August 16 to 31, SCNU once again launched the Innovation and Entrepreneur Pioneer Training Camp (Internationa
The Signing Ceremony of International Cooperation & Establishment of the International United College of South China Normal University
On the afternoon of November 10th, the signing ceremony of International Cooperation & Establishment of the Intern