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Article

Power Conferring Legal Rules as Coercive Offers?

Tretyakov S. V.

This paper deals with the question of if and to what extent power-conferring legal rules can be treated as coercive and whether the concept of coercive offers can help to substantiate the coer- civeness of power-conferring in law. In his recent book, The Force of Law, Frederick Schauer claims that power-conferring legal rules are coercive.1 There are several ways to interpret this claim. In this piece I would like to explore one route of interpretation of this interesting and contro- versial claim, i.e., whether one can use a highly controversial concept of "coercive offers" to sub- stantiate this claim. First, the very concept of coercive offers requires clarification. In fact, there are several distinct ways to interpret it and I explore them below. The second point is whether the coer- cive offers concept is applicable in the context of the power-conferring legal rules. Two influential theoretical models of coercive offers are analyzed and critically evaluated and their ramifications for the coerciveness of the power-conferring legal rules are demonstrated. In my view, the only pos- sible route to substantiate the coerciveness claim from the vantage point of coercive offers concept is through the distributive non-neutrality of law narrative.