The volume brings together a collection of original papers on some of the main tenets of Joseph Raz's legal and political philosophy: Legal positivism and the nature of law, practical reason, authority, the value of equality, incommensurability, harm, group rights, and multiculturalism.
In Section I, Kelsen introduces the legal order as an aggregate of norms and considers the question of the basis of the validity of a norm. He then turns, in Section II, to a series of questions that arise in connection with “unconstitutional” statutes. Finally, in Section III, Kelsen defends at length a monistic interpretation of the relation between the international and domestic legal orders. (Translator's summary.).
Hans Kelsen's legal philosophy and legal theory is regarded by many in the field as the most influential theory in this century. This volume makes available some of the best work extant on Kelsens' theory, including papers newly translated into English. It covers topics such as competing philosophical positons on the nature of law, legal validity, legal powers, and the unity of municipal and international law, as well as shedding light on Kelsen's intellectual milieu and his intellectual debts.
Whereas fundamental norms in the juridico‐philosophical tradition serve to impose constraints, Kelsen's fundamental norm—or basic norm —purports to establish the normativist character of the law. But how is the basic norm itself established? Kelsen himself rules out the appeals that are familiar from the tradition—the appeal to fact, and to morality. What remains is a Kantian argument. I introduce and briefly evaluate the Kantian and neo‐Kantian positions, as applied to Kelsen's theory. The distinction between the two positions, I argue, is (...) reflected in an ambiguity in the use of the term “regressive.”. (shrink)
At the heart of this book is the age-old question of how law and morality are related. The legal positivist, insisting on the separation of the two, explicates the concept of law independently of morality. The author challenges this view, arguing that there are, first, conceptually necessary connections between law and morality and, second, normative reasons for including moral elements in the concept of law. While the conceptual argument alone is too limited to establish a sufficiently strong connection between law (...) and morality, and the normative argument alone fails to address the nature of law, the two arguments together support a nonpositivistic concept of law, toppling legal positivism qua comprehensive theory of law. (shrink)
The separability thesis claims that the concept of law can be explicated independently of morality, the normativity thesis, that it can be explicated independently of fact. Continental normativism, prominent above all in the work of Hans Kelsen, may be characterized in terms of the coupling of these theses. Like Kelsen, H. L. A. Hart is a proponent of the separability thesis. And–a leitmotiv–both theorists reject reductive legal positivism. They do not, however, reject it for the same reasons. Kelsen's reason, in (...) a word, is the normativity thesis. Hart, however, grounds his theory in social fact. In place of the reductive thesis of the legal positivist tradition, and in sharp contrast to Kelsen's normativity thesis, Hart defends a non‐reductive version of what the author terms the facticity thesis. (shrink)
Authority qua empowerment is theweak reading of authority in Hans Kelsen's writings.On the one hand, this reading appears to beunresponsive to the problem of authority as we know itfrom the tradition. On the other hand, it squares withlegal positivism. Is Kelsen a legal positivist?Not without qualification. For he defends anormativity thesis along with the separation thesis,and it is at any rate arguable that the normativitythesis mandates a stronger reading of authority thanthat modelled on empowerment. I offer, in the paper,a prima (...) facie case on behalf of a stronger reading ofauthority in Kelsen. I go on to argue, however, thatthe textual evidence weighs heavily in favour of theweak reading. Both nomostatics and nomodynamics arepervasive points of view in the Pure Theory of Law,and both reflect species of empowerment as theendpoint of Kelsen's reconstructions. (shrink)
In jurisprudential circles the year 1981 might well be dubbed the year of Hans Kelsen, with no fewer than three symposia celebrating the hundredth anniversary of his birth. The Association for Legal and Social Philosophy in the United Kingdom held a conference on Kelsen in Edinburgh in April, giving special attention to “legal epistemology” in the Pure Theory of Law. A symposium of the Austrian Association for Legal and Social Philosophy, held in the Schloss Retzhof near Graz in May, was (...) devoted to Kelsen's political theory and critique of ideology. And the Hans Kelsen Institute in Vienna sponsored a symposium in September on Kelsen's posthumously published work, the Allgemeine Theorie der Normen. All three events were marked by significant international participation, and they point to continuing widespread interest in Kelsen and the Pure Theory of Law. (shrink)
In his introductory section, Christian Dahlman points to various “absurdities” or “self-contradictions” generated by the basic norm. I adduce arguments showing that these “absurdities” or “self-contradictions” do not arise - not, at any rate, from Dahlman's premises. In his central section, Dahlman sets out three purported problems and claims to resolve them by appeal to one or another of the “three basic norms” that he adumbrates. None of these problems is resolved by Dahlman. Specifically, I adduce arguments showing that the (...) first problem is a straw man of Dahlman's own making, his resolution of the second problem turns on his confusion of the fictitious basic norm in Kelsen's post-1960 period with the basic norm of ostensibly normative import in Kelsen's classical or neo-Kantian phase, and, finally, Dahlman's resolution of the third problem turns on his confusion of Kelsen's basic norm with H. L. A. Hart's rule of recognition. I close with remarks on Kelsen's own conception of the juridico-theoretical problems he faced. (shrink)