In order to understand the concept of law, that is to understand what law is and does, Friedrich Kratochwil proposes to look at how we ‘use’ norms and relate them to actions. His approach promises less theoretical impasses and the ability ‘to go on’. These comments contend that a focus on ‘norm practice’ can only provide a particular understanding of how law functions. The article further suggests that the proposition and contestation of conceptions of law, including the uses of law these conceptions enable and legitimize, form part of the social practice of law. This calls for a comparative perspective.