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Law without the state (also called transnational stateless law, stateless law, or private legal orderings) is law made primarily outside of the power of a state.

Such law may be established in several ways:

  • Non-state actors may create it,[5][6] for instance in the form of "soft law".
  • According to various anarchist theories, it could result from how a society would organize itself without formal government.[7]


  1. ^ Berman, Harold J. (1983). Law and Revolution: the Formation of the Western Legal Tradition.
  2. ^ Emily Kadens, 'Myth of the Customary Law Merchant' (2011) 90 Texas Law Review 1153.
  3. ^ van Schooten, H.; Verschuuren, J. (2008). International Governance and Law: State Regulation and Non-state Law. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.
  4. ^ JC Bekker Seymour's Customary Law in Southern Africa 5 ed (1989).
  5. ^ Schultz, Thomas (2014). Transnational Legality: Stateless Law and International Arbitration. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199641956.003.0004.
  6. ^ Schultz, Thomas (2007). "Private legal systems: what cyberspace might teach legal theorists". Yale Journal of Law and Technology. 10 (151).
  7. ^ Chartier, Gary (2012). "Anarchy and Legal Order: Law and Politics for a Stateless Society". Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.