Hastings International and Comparative Law Review


Matt Halling


This note develops and analyzes a new legal vision consistent with recent activist literature about a participatory society. A participatory society (in this note) consists of collectively owned property, a decentralized state, and attempts to maximize citizen participation in politics. Rather than nation states, society is structured as a federation of councils deliberating and coordinating with each other to solve political issues. Participatory society's structure demands a "participatory law" be developed to manage it, and this note attempts to develop the overarching features of such a system. Once the basic legal model is outlined, the article then looks for comparisons with currently existing institutions so as to estimate how participatory law would work in practice. The article has three parts: the first develops a participatory legal vision, the second talks about this legal vision's similarities with international law, and the third part uses human rights treaties and compliance theory to better understand why people would comply with law generated by a participatory society.