David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Law and Philosophy 19 (2):283-310 (2000)
`Authority', `competence' and other related concepts are determined on the basis of the concept of law as a dynamic order of norms. The norms which regulate the processes of norm creation establish empowerments (Ermächtigungen). The material domain of validity of the empowering norm is called `competence'. The concept of `person' in relation to empowering norms yields the concepts of `organ' and `authority'. The spatial domain of the validity of these norms is the spatial or territorial jurisdiction. This paper analyses the basic norm and its legal functions; it considers the irregularity of legal acts and norms, as well as the legal consequences thereof, namely nullity and annulment. Additionally, the Kelsenian `Tacit Alternative Clause' is criticized and a possible solution to the problem of irregular norms is offered through new definitions of the existence, validity and legitimacy of norms.
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