Can we escape Normativism in Public Law?

Public Law (as any other field of law) tries to achieve certain goals by certain orders (norms). Norms, thus, have an important role to play in regulating und limiting state activities especially in democratic states with a rule of law. Obligations arising from these norms are expressed in fundamental rights as well as in the principle of legality. Therefore normativism is necessarily linked with the concept of a constitution and the law based on it. This contribution will argue that an “objective” understanding of law responds best to the requirements of democratic states under a rule of law.
However: Despite their normative character legal orders can not only be assessed from a normative perspective. Moreover, every account of constitutional law has to accept that legal provisions are created to solve certain factual problems and to establish and ensure social facts. But neither perspective on constitutional law is feasible without talking its normative character into account.