​Law has been said to serve competing goals, notably:

  1. Legal certainty

    societal order, trust and predictability; based on the ‘positivity’ of law

  2. Justice

    treating equal cases equally, and unequal in proportion of their inequality; based on distributive and corrective justice

  3. Purposiveness

    instrumentality in achieving policy goals; based on the prerogative of the democratic legislator

As Radbruch has noted, these goals are not always compatible in practice, requiring acuity in sustaining them as generic and constitutive principles of law while making justifiable decisions.

Legal protection refers to ‘practical and effective’ remedies for individuals to exercise their rights, making sure that substantive law strikes the right balance when addressing power imbalances, while procedural law sees to it that justice is done, legal certainty upheld and instrumentality safeguarded - also when economic or other power must be overruled. This entails that the research is based on a procedural conception of the Rule of Law, complementing the substantive and formal conceptions.