Short & Simple – Imagine that you have a big box full of different toys, each one from a different time and place in the world. Some of the toys are from ancient Rome, some are from medieval Europe, and some are from modern America. Each toy is different, and each one tells a story about the time and place where it was made.
Now, imagine that you want to understand how the toys in the box work and how they are different from each other. One way to do this is to look at each toy individually, and try to figure out how it works and what it is for. This is like the analytical school of jurisprudence, which focuses on understanding the individual pieces of the law.
Hans Kelsen was a lawyer and philosopher who studied the analytical school of jurisprudence. He believed that the law is like a big puzzle, with lots of different pieces that fit together to make a complete picture. Kelsen’s approach to the analytical school of jurisprudence was to study the individual pieces of the law and figure out how they fit together to make the whole picture.
Hans Kelsen was an Austrian jurist and legal philosopher who is known for his contributions to the field of jurisprudence and his development of the pure theory of law. His most important work, “The Pure Theory of Law,” was published in 1934 and outlined his views on the nature of law and legal systems.
According to Kelsen, the law is a system of norms that are created and enforced by the state. He argued that the law is distinct from moral or ethical considerations, and that it is a product of human activity rather than divine or natural law. Kelsen also believed that the law is a hierarchy of norms, with each level of the hierarchy deriving its authority from the level above it.
To illustrate his concept of the hierarchy of norms, Kelsen used the example of a criminal law that prohibits theft. In this example, the norm that prohibits theft is derived from the constitution, which is the highest level in the hierarchy of norms. The constitution is derived from the will of the people, and it is the supreme source of legal authority in the state. The norm that prohibits theft is also derived from the criminal code, which is the next level in the hierarchy of norms. The criminal code is derived from the constitution, and it specifies the specific crimes that are prohibited by law.
Kelsen’s views on jurisprudence have been influential and have had a lasting impact on the study of law and legal systems. His concept of the law as a hierarchy of norms has been widely adopted by legal positivists, and his emphasis on the importance of clarity and precision in the use of legal language has had a significant impact on legal scholarship.
In addition to his concept of the hierarchy of norms, Hans Kelsen also developed the concept of the basic norm, which is an important part of his thoughts on jurisprudence. The basic norm is the fundamental principle that underlies the legal system, and it is the ultimate source of legal authority in the state. According to Kelsen, the basic norm is the highest level in the hierarchy of norms, and all other norms in the legal system are derived from it.
Kelsen believed that the basic norm is a hypothetical construct, and that it cannot be directly observed or experienced. Instead, it is a postulated principle that is used to explain and justify the existence and authority of the legal system. Kelsen argued that the basic norm is a necessary assumption for the study of law, and that it is essential for understanding the nature and function of the legal system.
The concept of the basic norm has been influential in legal scholarship, and it has been adopted and adapted by a number of different legal theories. For example, some scholars have argued that the basic norm is a social contract, in which individuals agree to obey the laws of the state in exchange for the protection and benefits that the state provides. Others have argued that the basic norm is a moral principle, such as the principle of respect for human dignity or the principle of equality before the law.
Overall, Hans Kelsen’s thoughts on jurisprudence are characterized by his concept of the law as a hierarchy of norms, his emphasis on the importance of clarity and precision in the use of legal language, and his development of the concept of the basic norm. These ideas have had a significant impact on the study of law and legal systems, and they continue to be influential in contemporary legal scholarship.