Elements of a Theory of Norms

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:
Elements of a Theory of Norms

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Ideally the theory of legal system should be treated as part of a general theory of norms. In the present confused state of the general theory, however, there is much to recommend an attack on the problems of the theory of legal system in isolation. But such isolation can never be complete; and it is a fact that the greatest legal philosophers, including those discussed here, have developed their own theories of norms as the foundation of their jurisprudential theories. This chapter examines (1) Kelsen's doctrine concerning a certain class of statements, here called normative statements; (2) Bentham's account of the structure of laws in terms of acts and ‘aspects of the will’; (3) and Kelsen's account of the existence of legal norms.

Keywords: theory of norms; legal system; Kelsen; Bentham; legal theory; normative statements

Chapter.  10112 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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