The Creation of Normative Facts

Law and Philosophy 19 (2):263-281 (2000)
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Abstract

In Kelsen's formalist and reductionisttheory of law, the concepts of `authority' and`competence' may be explained exclusively in termsof those norms on which the validity of other legalnorms or of legal acts is dependent. Kelsen describesthe nature of these norms in different ways; at leastthree different conceptions can be distinguished. Arational reconstruction of the most plausible of theseconceptions will understand sentences expressing such`norms of competence' either to state truthconditions for normative sentences of a lower level orto state criteria for an act to be a legal act. Inboth functions, norms of competence regulate thecreation of normative facts.

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