I feel honoured to be your guest here, and am pleased to have this opportunity to lecture on my academic passion—“The Formal Character of Law”. Law has several fundamental characteristics. My main thesis is that formality is one of these. I define a “formal” feature of law as one that is in some way independent of the substantive content of the law. For example, the definitiveness of a legal rule is a formal feature of the rule's configuration, and is independent of the substantive content of the rule. Formal configuration is one thing, and substantive content another. But as we will see, there are different ways in which a formal feature may be independent of substantive content, and there are still other, related, senses of formal.