Reading Principia Iuris

Res Publica 17 (4):317-325 (2011)
This paper illustrates the main features of Luigi Ferrajoli’s theoretical approach to law, as they are developed in his Principia Juris . These include his opposition to the traditional perspective of natural law; his anti-cognitivist orientation; and, finally, his fundamentally normative approach. Among the numerous problems discussed in Ferrajoli’s compendious book, the paper focuses on his definition of constitutional democracy. In particular, the paper discusses the way in which Ferrajoli defines the complementarity between democracy and rights; Ferrajoli’s own criticism of T. H. Marshall’s idea of citizenship; and the importance that the distinction between ‘decidable’ and ‘non-decidable’ rights have in Ferrajoli’s own system. Other issues of interests that are briefly discussed include the constitutionalisation of private law, and the defence of different kinds of liberty-rights
Keywords Normativism  Democracy  Rights  Citizenship  Private law  International law
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DOI 10.1007/s11158-011-9166-y
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Gaetano Mosca (1939). The Ruling Class. London: Mcgraw-Hill Book Company.

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