This volume provides the first English translation of Hans Kelsen's and Carl Schmitt's influential Weimar-era debate on constitutional guardianship and the legitimacy of constitutional review. It includes Kelsen's seminal piece, 'The Nature and Development of Constitutional Adjudication', as well as key extracts from the 'Guardian of the Constitution' which present Schmitt's argument against constitutional review. Also included are Kelsen's review of Schmitt's 'Guardian of the Constitution', as well as some further material by Kelsen and Schmitt on presidential dictatorship under Article (...) 48 of the Weimar Constitution. These texts show Kelsen and Schmitt responding to one another, in the context of a debate focused on a concrete constitutional crisis, thus allowing the reader to assess the plausibility of Kelsen's and Schmitt's legal and constitutional theories. (shrink)
Three paradigms of legal positivism -- The pure theory of law : science or political theory? -- Kelsen's principles of legality -- Kelsen's theory of democracy : reconciliation with social order -- Democratic constitutionalism : Kelsen's theory of constitutional review -- Kelsen's legal cosmopolitanism -- Conclusions : the pure theory of law and contemporary positivism.
‘Bill Scheuerman’s ‘The End of Law’ offers a compelling case for the claim that Carl Schmitt’s constitutional theory is not authentically democratic. This does not entail, however, that Schmitt’s views are of no relevance for understanding the contemporary crisis of democracy. Schmitt’s arguments offer a blueprint for the populist-authoritarian subversion of democracy. Defenders of democracy are therefore well-advised to engage with Schmitt’s ideas.’.
Neo-Republicans claim that Hobbes’s constitutional indifferentism (the view that we have no profound reason to prefer one constitutional form over another) is driven exclusively by a reductive understanding of liberty as non-interference. This paper argues that constitutional indifferentism is grounded in an analysis of the institutional presuppositions of well-functioning government that does not depend on a conception of liberty as mere non-interference. Hence, indifferentism cannot be refuted simply by pointing out that non-domination is a distinctive ideal of freedom. This result (...) does not suffice to defend the strong version of indifferentism put forward by Hobbes. But it does point to an important limitation of neo-republican constitutional theory: Neo-republicanism will amount to a distinctive paradigm of constitutional thought only if it is understood in a way that conflicts with Hobbes’s understanding of the institutional presuppositions of well-functioning government. It is doubtful that we have good reason to embrace neo-republicanism, so understood. (shrink)
Christopher Wellman has argued that legitimate states enjoy a right to freedom of association that necessarily includes a right to exclude immigrants. This paper shows that Wellman’s argument for this conclusion is unsound since it is based on a construction of collective rights that is inapplicable to the rights of a state.
Hans Kelsen's critique of John Austin has so far attracted little attention among legal theorists. This article argues that Kelsen's attack on Austin anticipated the key elements of Hart's rejection of the Austinian conception of law as sanction-backed sovereign command. At the same time, the way in which Kelsen presents his critique of Austin's conception of sovereignty reveals important differences in purpose and intention between Kelsen's Pure Theory of Law and Hart's legal theory. The Pure Theory of Law is animated (...) by an ideal of legality that is alien to purely descriptive jurisprudential approaches in the Hartian tradition.The article concludes that this difference between Kelsen and Hart merits further exploration and that it might help to show that the Pure Theory of Law is still relevant to contemporary legal theory. (shrink)