This book critically examines the conception of legal science and the nature of law developed by Hans Kelsen. It provides a single, dedicated space for a range of established European scholars to engage with the influential work of this Austrian jurist, legal philosopher, and political philosopher.
The introduction provides a thematization of the Kelsenian notion of law as a legal science. Divided into six parts, the chapter contributions feature distinct levels of analysis. Overall, the structure of the book provides a sustained reflection upon central aspects of Kelsenian legal science and the nature of law.
Parts one and two examine the validity of the project of Kelsenian legal science with particular reference to the social fact thesis, the notion of a science of positive law and the specifically Kelsenian concept of the basic norm (Grundnorm). The next three parts engage in a critical analysis of the relationship of Kelsenian legal science to constitutionalism, practical reason, and human rights.
The last part involves an examination of the continued pertinence of Kelsenian legal science as a theory of the nature of law with a particular focus upon contemporary non-positivist theories of law. The conclusion discusses the increasing distance of contemporary theories of legal positivism from a Kelsenian notion of legal science in its consideration of the nature of law.
Table of ContentsChapter 1: Introduction (Peter Langford, Ian Bryan and John McGarry).- Part I: Legal Science Before The Tribunal Of Validity.-Chapter 2: Hans Kelsen and the Social Fact Thesis (Lorenz Kähler).-Chapter 3: Natural Law and the Nature of Law: Kelsen’s Paradox (Pierre-Yves Quiviger).- Part II: Beyond Natural Law?.- Chapter 4: Natural Law Systematics: Is There a ‘Grundnorm’ in Natural Law? (Claes Peterson).- Part III: Kelsen’s Constitutionalism.- Chapter 5: Kelsen and Contemporary Constitutionalism: The Continued Presence of Kelsenian Themes (Paolo Carrozza).- Chapter 6: Constitutionalism and Value-Free Method: Kelsen’s Legacy in Contemporary Challenges (Valeria Giordano).- Part IV: Against Practical Reason.- Chapter 7: Hans Kelsen and Practical Reason (Francesco Viola).- Chapter 8: Kelsen and Legal Interpretation (Isabelle Lifante).- Chapter 9: Validity and Correctness in Kelsen’s Theory of Legal Interpretation (José Manuel Cabra).- Part V: Legal Science And Human Rights.- Chapter 10: Hans Kelsen’s Works and the Modern Theories of Human Rights (Véronique Champeil-Desplats).- Chapter 11: Kelsen on Democracy in Light of Contemporary Theories of Human Rights (Christine Chwaszcza).- Chapter 12: Individual Sovereignty: From Kelsen to the Increase in the Sources of the Law (Francescomaria Tedesco).- Part VI: The Triumph Of Legal Science?.- Chapter 13: Kelsen and the Necessity of God in the Natural-Law Doctrine (John McGarry).- Chapter 14: Kelsen on Natural Law and Legal Science (Jan-Reinard Sieckmann).- Chapter 15: An Enduring Critical Affair: Kelsen and the Natural Law Tradition (Pierluigi Chaissoni).- Chapter 16: Conclusion: Positive Law and the Kelsenian Project (Peter Langford, Ian Bryan and John McGarry).