Sanction and obligation in Hart's theory of law

Ratio Juris 21 (3):404-411 (2008)
Abstract
Abstract. The paper begins by challenging Hart's argument aimed to show that sanctions are not part of the concept of law. It shows that in the "minimal" legal system as understood by Hart, sanctions may be required for keeping the legal system efficacious. I then draw a methodological conclusion from this argument, which challenges the view of Hart (and his followers) that legal philosophy should aim at discovering some general, politically neutral, conceptual truths about law. Instead, the aim should be to discover the values because of which certain things in the world are classified as law and others as non-law. Focusing on those would give us a more insight to the roles law plays in society, as well as more illuminating answers to traditional jurisprudential questions like the status of law in evil regimes.
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