This essay stresses that the fact is that laws/rules are much more resilient than the various theorists would suggest. Actual life is more complex than the models that they put forward. For example, in most countries speeding laws are routinely ignored by the vast majority of the population. If the speed limit is 70 mph nearly all cars in the middle and fast lane will be going faster. Cars may be traveling at 80mph but will probably not be going at 100 mph. There is an unwritten (but well understood) “rule” that the police will not stop you if you are going at 75 or 80, but will if you are going at 100.
This paper makes a conclusion that while laws must, by their very nature, be absolute: an act is either legal or illegal, a contract is either binding or non-binding; the rules of society are more flexible. They relate to the laws, and often influence how far laws are obeyed (or otherwise) and act as the glue that allows a society to be both flexible and stable. If laws become too remote from the rules that society is developing they either become irrelevant (and are thus ignored) or are changed. This interpretation of the relationship between rules and laws is in fact positivist in nature as their relationship is “validated” by the common adherence of the population to them. The rule is that speeding at 80 is acceptable, but not at 100. The law needs to set an exact figure, and it provides a territory for the rule to work within.