The main area of research is ethical, logical, epistemological and ontological analyses of theories and concepts which are common to the different jurisprudential disciplines. The subject also contains other perspectives of the legal and jurisprudential questions at issue which have been drawn from the humanities, social and behavioural sciences.

Questions about the nature of law are central to jurisprudence. What is law? Should the law be analysed in terms of norms or rules or in terms of human behaviour? What is the relationship between law, coercion and morality and between the law and the State? How should we understand legal concepts such as right, obligation and validity? Do these concepts also have a moral implication? Is there a moral obligation to obey the law?

The question of a Rechtsstaat is another important area of study. What exactly is a Rechtsstaat? Can a state that is not democratic or that does not respect human rights still be a Rechtsstaat?

Another question concerns the legal argumentation, for example the question of what the so called legal method consists of. The subject also contains a history of ideas component in which inter alia the history of ideas development of legal theories, concepts and institutions like for example ownership, person, state governed by law and right are examined.

Current Research

Currently research is in progress regarding the need to adjust basic legal concepts, such as law, legal system, state governed by law, legal method and human rights in the light of the development of so called transnational law. Other projects examine how the concretizing of target standards of care differ between the public and private sector and in which way legal decision makers’ perception of justice and fairness influence their reasoning regarding the content of the applicable law.

Further, it is being examined how the EU after the Lisbon Treaty could coordinate policies in order to combat new criminal behaviours and how various forms of horizontal cooperation between authorities within and outside states look and function. Finally on the one hand the ability of legal positivist theories to explain the role that moral judgments play in legal thinking and legal analysis is being examined, and on the other hand the freedom of expression and its limits.


Minna Gräns


Australian National Network
University of Minnesota Law School

Research Projects

Last modified: 2022-10-03