THE MECHANICS OF LAWS
The science of laws seeks the answers to two questions: What are laws made of (structure) and what do they do (mechanics)?
The first question is answered by studying the structure, or “anatomy,” of each law. This is a relatively simple task because the words and punctuation of a law comprise its entire structure, from which a scientific investigator may determine such features as the law's purpose and sanction.
The results of the study of the structure of laws will establish the data base from which the performance of laws can be derived, and will be used to create a classification system of laws, analogous to classification systems that are used in other engineering sciences such as aeronautics, pharmacology, and electronics.
The answer to the second question, "What do laws do?" is a much more complicated. The answer requires scientists to describe the mechanics of laws, which is the relationship between the structure of a given law (cause) and the changes it produces (effects). To derive this information accurately and thoroughly, scientists must measure, analyze, and record the sum of the physical-world consequences of the enforcement of a specified law. This analysis is analogous to the testing and validation procedures that are now used to confirm the effectiveness and safety of a pharmaceutical or the airworthiness of a prototype aircraft.
A given law produces multiple effects, such as its impact on the problem it addresses and the costs and other burdens that it posits upon society. That is, the effects of a law are the changes that the law makes upon the physical world, including the human rights, living standards, and quality of life standards of the people.
The relationship between the structure of a law (cause) and the changes that it produces (effects) defines the mechanics of the law.
The task of gathering accurate data of the outcomes of laws by scientists may be relatively simple for single purpose laws but it will be exceedingly difficult if not impossible for multi-purpose laws such as omnibus laws. Also, since laws interact with one another, the derivation of an accurate description of the relationship between a given law and an observed societal outcome will be a significant challenge when hundreds or thousands of interacting laws contribute to that outcome.
A major task of the science of laws, therefore, is to identify and apply analytical methods that are effective for deriving knowledge of the mechanics of laws. Whenever possible, the descriptions of the structure and mechanics of laws will be quantified so that mathematical models of the operations and performance of laws may be formulated.
The conclusion of the scientific evaluation of a particular law will be a scientific report that is submitted by one or more scientists for publication in the peer-reviewed scientific literature. As scientific reports are accepted and published, the body of reliable knowledge of the structure and mechanics of laws will grow, and the purpose of the investigative science of laws will thus be satisfied.
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