Austin’s Theory of Legal System

Joseph Raz

in The Concept of a Legal System

Second edition

Published in print July 1980 | ISBN: 9780198253631
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681417 | DOI:
Austin’s Theory of Legal System

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This chapter begins with a brief discussion of how Austin's theory of legal system is virtually a by-product of his definition of ‘a law’. Both the theory and the definition revolve around and presuppose the applicability of one concept — the concept of sovereignty. It then considers his concept of sovereignty, and proceeds to discuss his criterion of existence, his criterion of identity, and his theory of the structure of a law, which lays the groundwork for his theory of the structure of a legal system.

Keywords: sovereignty; existence criteria; identity criterion; legal system

Chapter.  8534 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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