The Hierarchical Model and H. L. A. Hart's Concept of Law

Revus 21:141-161 (2013)
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Abstract

Law is traditionally related to the practice of command and hierarchy. It seems that a legal rule should immediately establish a relation between a superior and an inferior. This hierarchical and authoritharian view might however be challenged once the phenomenology of the rule is considered from the internal point of view, that is, from the stance of those that can be said to “use” rather than to “suffer” the rules themselves. A practice oriented approach could in this way open up a more liberal, and also somehow less parochial and ideological, road for legal theory. This is – it is argued in the paper – the programme, or better, the promise we can find in Herbert Hart’s main work, The Concept of Law. The article tries to render this promise more transparent while, nonetheless, not eschewing the blind sides of its narrative and argumentative strategy

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Massimo La Torre
University of Hull

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