Kelsen’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:
Kelsen’s Theory of Legal System

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This chapter discusses Kelsen's theory of legal system, emphasizing both its similarity to and its difference from Austin's theory. It argues that Kelsen's theory is inadequate and that its shortcomings are due to the fact that it is based on the principles of origin and independence. Any theory based on the principles of efficacy, origin, and independence is open to objections similar to the objections raised in this study against Austin's and Kelsen's theories.

Keywords: legal system; legal theory; Kelsen; Austin; identity criterion; independence

Chapter.  10671 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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