The expressive function of law is the effect of law to create or validate social norms beyond the fear of punishment.[1][2] For example, the criminalization of homosexuality may be maintained in order to express disapproval of homosexuality, even if it is not regularly enforced.[3]

See also


  1. ^ McGinn, Thomas A. (2015). "The Expressive Function of Law and the Lex Imperfecta". Roman Legal Tradition. 11: 1.
  2. ^ Funk, P. (2007). "Is There An Expressive Function of Law? An Empirical Analysis of Voting Laws with Symbolic Fines". American Law and Economics Review. 9 (1): 135–159. doi:10.1093/aler/ahm002.
  3. ^ Goodman, Ryan (2001). "Beyond the Enforcement Principle: Sodomy Laws, Social Norms, and Social Panoptics". California Law Review. 89: 643–740. doi:10.2307/3481180. JSTOR 3481180.

Further reading