Pure Theory of Law

The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd.
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Kelsen, Hans. Pure Theory of Law. Translation from the Second German Edition by Max Knight. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967. x, 356 pp. Reprinted 2005 by The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd. ISBN 1-58477-578-5. Paperbound. $36.95 * Second revised and enlarged edition, a complete revision of the first edition published in 1934. A landmark in the development of modern jurisprudence, the pure theory of law defines law as a system of coercive norms created by the state that rests on the validity of a generally accepted Grundnorm, or basic norm, such as the supremacy of the Constitution. Entirely self-supporting, it rejects any concept derived from metaphysics, politics, ethics, sociology, or the natural sciences. Beginning with the medieval reception of Roman law, traditional jurisprudence has maintained a dual system of "subjective" law (the rights of a person) and "objective" law (the system of norms). Throughout history this dualism has been a useful tool for putting the law in the service of politics, especially by rulers or dominant political parties. The pure theory of law destroys this dualism by replacing it with a unitary system of objective positive law that is insulated from political manipulation. Possibly the most influential jurisprudent of the twentieth century, Hans Kelsen [1881-1973] was legal adviser to Austria's last emperor and its first republican government, the founder and permanent advisor of the Supreme Constitutional Court of Austria, and the author of Austria's Constitution, which was enacted in 1920, abolished during the Anschluss, and restored in 1945. The author of more than forty books on law and legal philosophy, he is best known for this work and General Theory of Law and State. Also active as a teacher in Europe and the United States, he was Dean of the Law Faculty of the University of Vienna and taught at the universities of Cologne and Prague, the Institute of International Studies in Geneva, Harvard, Wellesley, the University of California at Berkeley, and the Naval War College.Also available in cloth.
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Publisher
The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd.
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Published on
Dec 31, 2005
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Pages
356
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ISBN
9781584775782
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Language
English
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Genres
Law / International
Law / Jurisprudence
Philosophy / Political
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This content is DRM protected.
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Arguably his most important work, Principles of International Law was published after Kelsen's retirement from the University of California at Berkeley in 1952. It is an important synthesis of Kelsen's earlier work on international law and jurisprudence. Any contribution by Professor Kelsen to international law is always welcome. This certainly applies to the book under review. It represents an attempt-which must be regarded as wholly successful-to apply to international law, in an introductory text-book not necessarily limited to specialists, many of Professor Kelsen's basic doctrines in the field of jurisprudence. In preparing this book the author has drawn on many of his previous writings on international law, but he has avoided the danger of putting before the reader a mere compilation of fragments. The very arrangement of the book is stimulating in its boldness and unorthodoxy. ( . . . ) [It is] a model of precision and clarity and . . . a stimulus to thought. If for no other reason, this Introduction to International Law is an outstanding and fully successful attempt-of which there are but few-to present the entirety of the international law of peace within the framework of a jurisprudential system. --Hersch Lauterpacht, British Yearbook of International Law 29 (1952) 509, 513 Possibly the most influential jurisprudent of the twentieth century, HANS KELSEN [1881-1973] was legal adviser to Austria's last emperor and its first republican government, the founder and permanent advisor of the Supreme Constitutional Court of Austria, and the author of Austria's Constitution, which was enacted in 1920, abolished during the Anschluss, and restored in 1945. He was the author of more than forty books on law and legal philosophy. Active as a teacher in Europe and the United States, he was Dean of the Law Faculty of the University of Vienna and taught at the universities of Cologne and Prague, the Institute of International Studies in Geneva, Harvard, Wellesley, the University of California at Berkeley, and the Naval War College.
Arguably his most important work, Principles of International Law was published after Kelsen's retirement from the University of California at Berkeley in 1952. It is an important synthesis of Kelsen's earlier work on international law and jurisprudence. Any contribution by Professor Kelsen to international law is always welcome. This certainly applies to the book under review. It represents an attempt-which must be regarded as wholly successful-to apply to international law, in an introductory text-book not necessarily limited to specialists, many of Professor Kelsen's basic doctrines in the field of jurisprudence. In preparing this book the author has drawn on many of his previous writings on international law, but he has avoided the danger of putting before the reader a mere compilation of fragments. The very arrangement of the book is stimulating in its boldness and unorthodoxy. ( . . . ) [It is] a model of precision and clarity and . . . a stimulus to thought. If for no other reason, this Introduction to International Law is an outstanding and fully successful attempt-of which there are but few-to present the entirety of the international law of peace within the framework of a jurisprudential system. --Hersch Lauterpacht, British Yearbook of International Law 29 (1952) 509, 513 Possibly the most influential jurisprudent of the twentieth century, HANS KELSEN [1881-1973] was legal adviser to Austria's last emperor and its first republican government, the founder and permanent advisor of the Supreme Constitutional Court of Austria, and the author of Austria's Constitution, which was enacted in 1920, abolished during the Anschluss, and restored in 1945. He was the author of more than forty books on law and legal philosophy. Active as a teacher in Europe and the United States, he was Dean of the Law Faculty of the University of Vienna and taught at the universities of Cologne and Prague, the Institute of International Studies in Geneva, Harvard, Wellesley, the University of California at Berkeley, and the Naval War College.
First published under the auspices of The London Institute of World Affairs in 1950. With a supplement, Recent Trends in the Law of the United Nations [1951]. "[A] number of reasons why this book is bound to appeal to delegates as a source of quotation. One such reason obviously is the international reputation of its author, particularly his prestige in European and Latin American countries. Another is the comprehensive and systematic character of the book, which covers almost all of the basic legal problems presented by the Charter. Most important, perhaps, is the fact that delegates - and other readers - are likely to be impressed with the fundamental approach of the book: its close analysis of the structure of rules and their inter-relationships; the eschewing of political and ideological considerations; the emphasis on legal duties rather than purpose and functions; the awareness of the creative role played by the law-applying organs. These guiding principles (which are derived from, though not logically dependent on, Kelsen's pure theory) are welcome elements in a study of this kind; they promise objectivity, toughmindedness and technical skill, attributes which in a legal treatise will command more respect than idealism or imagination. For these reasons, the book may exert a significant influence of developments in the United Nations." --Oscar Schachter, 60 Yale Law Journal 1951, 189-190. Possibly the most influential jurisprudent of the twentieth century, HANS KELSEN [1881-1973] was legal adviser to Austria's last emperor and its first republican government, the founder and permanent advisor of the Supreme Constitutional Court of Austria, and the author of Austria's Constitution, which was enacted in 1920, abolished during the Anschluss, and restored in 1945. He was the author of more than forty books on law and legal philosophy. Active as a teacher in Europe and the United States, he was dean of the Law Faculty of the University of Vienna and taught at the Universities of Cologne and Prague, the Institute of International Studies in Geneva, Harvard, Wellesley, the University of California at Berkeley, and the Naval War College.
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