A note on a few thoughts today: One way of studying law in time is to figure out if there are natural or recurring patterns in the way legislation develops, thinking about legislation very much like a form of biological organism. Let us start with the large, and naturally ill-defined questions:
I) Does legislation naturally evolve in any specific fashion if left completely to its own devices? Are there intrinsically motivated convergences in the way legislation develops over time? For example: would it be correct to state that the arc of regulation bends towards incumbencies?
II) Can we say something about the evolution of complexity in legal systems over time? Is Swedish law today less or more complex than it was 150 years ago? How would we measure legal system complexity?
III) Is legal change continuous or discrete — if we look at laws over time do they change by shifting punctuated equilibria or through slow, gradual shifts? (A thought: why should legal systems evolve different from any other systems? And if the follow a standard evolutionary path – does that then mean that we should see punctuated equilibria)
IV) If we use an evolutionary analogy: how much of legal change is drift and how much is legislation? Can we describe and quantify selection pressures and mutations?
Devising methods and models for answering these questions is not easy, but I do not think it needs to be impossible either.