legal contexts

november 2020

The legal contexts facet is our attempt to describe the impact of law and legal work on the world and people. This facet is all about outputs, outcomes and effects - actual and potential.

It's undoubtedly an ambitious endeavour to seek to describe such things. Our aim is to do at a fairly high level, drawing topics together in ways that are practically relevant to law and legal work.

One other point to emphasise is that we envisage more detailed taxonomies taking over from the leaf nodes of the legal contexts taxonomy in many places, in so far as there is a need for more detailed categorisation.

We're not going to try to explain in prose at this stage why we've made the calls that we have, but we'd welcome challenge and discussion so we can improve it.

At this stage, we haven't developed definitions of each concept but this is a topic for discussion - though we also propose to discuss seeking to automate categorisation against the taxonomy rather than expecting a wide body of users to master and apply detailed definitions.

Please have a look at the relevant Nov 2020 draft visualisation on this website, but here is a plain text version of the draft:

private life

  • individual > care / problems / self-actualisation
  • resources > work / accommodation / property
  • family > relationships / children / succession


  • commerce > stakeholders > sectors > products & services
  • regulation > financial stability / pricing & competition / safety, quality & fairness
  • cross-border > trade / investment / services

world & community

  • state > public functions & revenues / constitution & rights / international relations
  • society > speech & thought / crime & misconduct / migration
  • environment > nature & climate / built environment / non-national domains

There's lots to debate here, including the border between state / society, individuals and business. Our basic thought on this is that it is practically useful to draw such a distinction even if arbitrary decisions sometime have to be made as to allocation of edge cases.

This and other topics will be the subject of some consultation events in 2021 Q1 as outlined here. Please participate!