Grundnorm and Constitution: The Legitimacy of Politics. T. C. Hopton*. Hans Kelsen’s Pure Theory of Law and its doctrine of the Grund- norm has achieved a . 1Central to the works of Hans Kelsen, H. L. A. Hart, and many other legal theorists for legal normative systems Kelsen called “the Basic Norm” (“ Grundnorm”) oing ssay his on orget utline elsen heory irst articularly he ature ontent nd unction he rundnorm there is little doubt that in the majority of cases, certainly.

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There are no free-floating legal norms. In different contexts, Kelsen would indicate his preferences in different ways, with some Neo-Kantians asserting that late in life Kelsen would largely abide by the symbolic reading of the term when used in the Neo-Kantian context, and as he has documented. Kelsen used this word to denote the basic normorder, or rule that forms an underlying basis for a legal system.

By the s, Kelsen’s reputation was already well established in the United States for his defense of democracy and for his Pure Theory of Law.

Once Kelsen admits, as he does, that the content of a basic norm is fully determined by practice, it becomes very difficult to understand how the explication of legal validity he offers is non-reductive.

Introduction to the Problems of Legal Theory trans.

Hans Kelsen – Wikipedia

Yale Law Journalvol. Was Austin Right After All?: Throughout his lifetime, Kelsen maintained a highly authoritative position representing his wide range of contributions to the theory and practice of law. This article will focus 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.

Kelsen adapted and assimilated much of Merkl’s approach into his own presentation of the Pure Theory of Law in both its original version and its revised version Revus Revija za ustavno teorijo in filozofijo prava Briefly: This section covers Kelsen’s years during his American years. Kelsen’s participation and his part in the establishment of war crimes tribunals following WWII has been discussed in the previous section.


Ensayos en honor a Stanley L. Literalism in America from the Pulpit to the Bench. The dynamic theory of law is singled out in this subsection discussing the political philosophy of Hans Kelsen for the very same reasons which Kelsen applied in separating its explication from eklsen discussion of the static theory of law within the pages of Pure Theory of Law.

This is the accepted rule and it is mystifying to speak of a rule that this rule be obeyed. Merkl was developing a structural research approach for the understanding of law as a matter of the hierarchical relationship of norms, largely on the basis of their being either superior, the one to the grunenorm, or inferior with respect to each other. European Journal of International Law.

Grundnorm Law and Legal Definition

In — he was briefly professor at the German University in Prague before returning to Geneva where he remained until Whether these two postulates are actually true is a contentious issue. However, the rush of legal theorists to describe law as thus making moral claims, or predictions about official actions, seems ungrounded and unnecessary. Nor is it necessarily true that all the legally valid norms of a given system derive their validity from the same basic norm Raz— He found both of these reductionist endeavors seriously flawed.

A Century of Progress3 vols. Paulson a, kdlsen This section delineates the reception and criticism of Kelsen’s writings and research throughout his lifetime.

And this makes it very questionable that reductionism can be avoided. And the corollary is that every normative system is self-contained and independent of every other normative system. Also published as Kelsen, Werkevol.

The Pure Theory of Law

Kelsen’s neo-Kantian defense of continental legal positivism was supported by H. This has resulted in one of the longest-running debates within the general Kelsen community as to whether Kelsen became a Neo-Kantian himself after the encounter with Cohen’s work, or if he managed to keep his own non-Neo-Kantian position intact which he claimed was the prevailing circumstance when he first wrote his book in The Nature of Law and Reasons for Action.


The answer to the question whether planned economy is preferable to free economy depends on our decision between the values of individual freedom and social security.

Although the second edition is so much longer, the two editions have a great deal of similar content. What is the content of the basic norm that one needs to presuppose in order to render positive law intelligible as a normative legal order? But then what makes the California Constitution legally valid? Hart, and many other legal theorists of the past century 1 is the idea that law is a normative system, and that any theory about the nature of law must focus on its normativity.

And this is precisely why at least one crucial aspect of his anti-reductionism becomes questionable.

Basic norm – Wikipedia

As Covell summarizes them, Kelsen’s interests in political philosophy ranged across the fields of “practical perspectives underlying morality, religion, culture, and social custom.

Each basic norm determines, as it were, a certain point of view. Critical Perspectives on Kelsenian Themes. Wikimedia Commons has media related to Hans Kelsen. The pure theory of law is in many ways dependent upon the logical regress of its hierarchy of superior and inferior norms reaching a centralized lelsen of origination in the hierarchy which he termed the Basic normor, Grundnorm.

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