An Axiomatic Theory of Law

Res Publica 17 (4):343-354 (2011)
Abstract
This paper presents in outline Luigi Ferrajoli’s axiomatic and general theory of law, as developed in his lifelong work Principia Iuris . The first section focuses on the three main aspects of the theory: the methodological, the theoretical and the pragmatic, which respectively represent the theory’s syntax, semantics and its pragmatics. Ferrajoli identifies three deontic gaps of norms: firstly, the one between their validity and efficacy ; secondly, the one between their justice and validity ; and finally, and most importantly, the one between validity and existence (i.e. normative force). The presence of such gaps is, according to Ferrajoli, the extraordinary innovation that entrenched constitutions have brought into modern legal systems, by establishing norms that are superior to statutes and case law. In this sense, all normative phenomena (except for the constitution itself) can be conceived both as norms and as facts. In the second section the role of juridical science is briefly discussed
Keywords Axiomatisation  General theory of law  Deontic gap  ‘Unlawful law’  Constitutionalism  Juridical reason
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References found in this work BETA
Norberto Bobbio (1988). Reason in Law. Ratio Juris 1 (2):97-108.

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