The “Sources” of the Law: Drawing Together Norm and Life

  • Adriana Cosseddu University of Sassari


Using Chiara Lubich’s conceptualization of individuals as one “human family,” Cosseddu explores a fundamental tension in legal theory between on the one hand the freedom of persons for whom law is written, and the norms necessary for regulating life in common on the other. The interpretive key Cosseddu offers for bridging this tension is “relationality,” by which the other is construed not as an object to be acted upon but as a fully personal subject who coexists with me and for me. Thus, the law serves justice by identifying situations of comfort and pain and offering the possibility of rebuilding a logic of free gift in relations. The author positions the concept of restorative justice as a “privileged space for ‘dialogue’ and reciprocity,” and suggests that from the perspective of mutual love, the purpose of law is not to maintain boundaries but to bridge the voids in human experience.