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Kelsen, Hart, and legal normativity

O AVTORJU
Frederick W. Thomas Professor of Law and Philosophy at the University of Minnesota (USA)
AVTOR
Brian H. Bix
SOAVTOR
TIP DOKUMENTA
Strokovni članki
KLJUČNE BESEDE
KEYWORDS
Hans Kelsen, H. L. A. Hart, legal normativity, law and morality, moral obligation to obey the law, Basic Norm
NASLOV SEKCIJE
Revusov forum
SECTION
Discussion
PUBLIKACIJA
Revija Revus
ŠTEVILKA PUBLIKACIJE ABS
34
LETO
2018
ZALOŽNIK
Klub Revus - Center za raziskovanje evropske Ustavnosti in demokracije
POVZETEK
SUMMARY
This article focuses on issues relating to legal normativity, emphasizing the way these matters have been elaborated in the works of Kelsen and Hart and later commentators on their theories. First, in Section 2, the author offers a view regarding the nature of law and legal normativity focusing on Kelsen's work (at least one reasonable reading of it). The argument is that the Basic Norm is presupposed when a citizen chooses to read the actions of legal officials in a normative way. In this Kelsenian approach, all normative systems are structurally and logically similar, but each normative system is independent of every other system – thus, law is, in this sense, conceptually separate from morality. Second, in Section 3, the author turns to Hart's theory, analyzing the extent to which his approach views legal normativity as sui generis. This approach raises questions regarding what has become a consensus view in contemporary jurisprudence: that law makes moral claims. The author shows how a more deflationary (and less morally-flavored) understanding of the nature of law is tenable, and may, in fact, work better than current conventional (morality-focused) understandings.
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