Chapter

Sovereignty and Legally Limited Government

H. L. A. Hart

in Essays on Bentham

Published in print November 1982 | ISBN: 9780198254683
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681509 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198254683.003.0010
Sovereignty and Legally Limited Government

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Bentham's account of legislative power agrees with that of earlier political theorists, such as Hobbes and Locke, but he differed from them with regard to the nature of the artefact and in so doing brought into political and legal theory a new and uncompromisingly positivist strain of thought. It is of course true that Hobbes's theory of law as the command of a Sovereign resembled Bentham's in many respects, but it differed from his in holding that the command of the Sovereign only constituted law because it was given to subjects already under a prior obligation arising from their contract with each other to obey him.

Keywords: legislative power; sovereignty; Locke; legal theory; contract; positive law

Chapter.  8977 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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