Submitted by Jacqueline Laing on Tue, 2011-04-26 21:40
|Title||Kelsen's Concept of the Authority of Law |
|Publication Type||Journal Article |
|Year of Publication||2000 |
|Authors||Celano, B |
|Journal||Law and Philosophy |
According to Kelsen, law is a sense content and law has authority. The combination of these two claims appears puzzling. How is it possible for a sense content to have authority? Kelsen's notion of `basic norm' seems to provide an answer to this question. Such an answer, however, simply leads to a new formulation of the question itself. How is a basic norm possible? Kelsen's multiple and tentative answers to this question turn out to be untenable. A different starting point might be provided by Kelsen's notion of `social power'. On closer scrutiny, however, an empowerment account of Kelsen's concept of the authority of law proves unsatisfactory. Thus, our review of some candidate models for a Kelsenian explication of the authority of law shows that none of them is a viable hypothesis. Kelsen's concept of the authority of law is, at bottom, unintelligible.