Authority and Authorship

Andrei Marmor

in Positive Law and Objective Values

Published in print May 2001 | ISBN: 9780198268970
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191713187 | DOI:
Authority and Authorship

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This chapter considers the essential relationship between authority and authorship and suggests that there is no authority without authorship. It argues that legal authority must be attributable to persons who can form a judgement on how others ought to behave and communicate such a judgement to their putative subjects. This personal conception of authority has been recently criticized by Jeremy Waldron, and earlier by H. L. A. Hart in his discussion of John Austin's jurisprudence. The chapter argues that Waldron's impersonal conception of authority fails because it ignores the crucial distinction between theoretical authority and practical authority. Hart's criticisms of Austin's personal conception of authority, however, are defensible only to the extent that they target Austin's rather crude definitions of sovereignty. The chapter also examines the role of legislative intent in the interpretation of statutes.

Keywords: authority; authorship; Jeremy Waldron; legal authority; H. L. A. Hart; sovereignty; legislative intent; statutes; practical authority; John Austin

Chapter.  11564 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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