Hans Kelsen (1881–1973)

Bardo Fassbender

in The Oxford Handbook of the History of International Law

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199599752
Published online December 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Law

Hans Kelsen (1881–1973)

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Hans Kelsen was one of the most significant legal scholars of the 20th century. His work has been studied wherever legal theory is studied. Kelsen was a theorist and philosopher who renewed legal positivism and found new answers to the fundamental question of how law is to be constructed and understood. He gained a worldwide reputation for his ‘pure theory of law’ (Reine Rechtslehre)—a view of law ‘purified of all political ideology and all elements of natural sciences’. A substantial part of his work of the 1930s and 1940s was devoted to then-pressing problems of international law, in particular the maintenance of international peace through international organizations and international courts.

Keywords: legal positivism; pure theory; legal theory; Hans Kelsen; international law; international peace

Article.  2789 words. 

Subjects: Law ; History of Law ; International Law

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