Authority and authorisation

Law and Philosophy 19 (2):201-222 (2000)
Abstract
The core of Kelsen's strong views onauthority emerging from his concept of law is this:Authority of law, authority in law andauthority about law are one and the same thing.The conceptual problems suggested by these threedifferent prepositions must and can be solved in onefell swoop. Kelsen's core view will first be probed bygiving an account of what is a promising approachoffered in a fairly early text, Das Problem derSouveränität, namely, what it means to`set' or `posit' the law. Inevitably, this leadsto an interpretation of the Grundnorm, one thatintends to accommodate as many Kelsenian emphases aspossible. The Grundnorm will be presented as ashield against hypostatising authority. From there,some characteristics will be inferred of the type ofauthority that arises from Kelsen's account of legalknowledge, which will be called, somewhat polemically,authority without an author.
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