What seems more crucial to make a di erence pertains to the analysis of the modalities within which coercion action is exercised. In the context of a robbery, two purely subjective wills are at loggerheads, which have no other source but themselves and are not related – as wills – to anything other than themselves. e baili ’s situation is another matter altogether: he does not exercise his own subjective will, nor does the judge whose court order he implements, and nor, nally, does the legislator whose decision is grounded upon the law. Each in their own ways, they all act in accordance with an order that is superior to all of them and over which they have no control (and it is superior to the debtor, as shall be seen in a moment): they cannot change it as they please, as their actions have got to comply with it. And such compliance is not only the one they owe to the rules governing their respective formal skills, their empowerment, it is as much about integrating to substantive rules the content of the acts they decide to undertake. And the meaning of their compliance is altogether di erent from what compels a band of robbers to obedience: it aims to embody the objective rationality of authority acts, that is to say, a trans guration of de facto power (always subjective) into the power of reason. Legal determination can exist only insofar as what the authority decides is integrated into a set of rules, which, since these are beyond the decision maker’s control, warrant that his own will becomes irrelevant – insofar as possible. I call this trans guration a ‘general rationality requirement’, and it is the complex institutional system that guarantees this requirement is met. at complex is the essence of law. We might as well say it straight away: the legal norm is not what de nes the law; quite to the contrary, any prescription can only become legal to the sole extent that it belongs to the law, as a system that has been so organized.