A Proposed Classification of Legal Symbols

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Despite the wide variety of legal symbols, there is currently no scientific comprehensive classification of them. The author has researched and analyzed the classifications of legal symbols available in the existing legal literature, according to various criteria, such as the form (method) of external expression, subject of legal regulation, subject of law, state structure, semantic meaning, sphere of public relations, degree of stability of the form, method of origin, and functional role.

A system of symbols existing within the legal system of modern society is proposed as follows: 1) according to the external form (subject, symbols–actions, pictorial, sound, having a material expression, and not having one); 2) in relation to the law (legal symbols and symbols having legal significance (used in law); 3) according to the method of legal protection (protected by measures of administrative law, civil law, criminal law); 4) according to the type of law in which symbols may take place (symbols of substantive and procedural law); 5) on a territorial basis (federal, symbols of the subjects of the Federation, local self-government bodies); 6) by the author of the creation (state and non-state); 7) by content (as a rule of law and as a means of legal technique).

In conclusion, the proposed classifications are not the only ones in science and do not exhaust the possible grounds for dividing legal symbols. The multiplicity of classifications is explained by the variety of symbols functioning in the legal system, which in itself determines the objective need for further research into the nature and social purpose of their various types.

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About the authors

Natalia S. Goncharova

Russian State University of Justice

Author for correspondence.
Email: g_natascha123@mail.ru

Lecturer of the Department of Criminal Law

Russian Federation, Voronezh


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