The nature of international law
Title: The nature of international law
Citation: Dennis PATTERSON and Anna SÖDERSTEN (eds), A companion to European Union law and international law, Malden : John Wiley & Sons, 2016, pp. 16-25
ISBN: 9780470674390; 9781119037712
This chapter discusses the theory of international law. In analytic jurisprudence, at least since the latter half of the twentieth century, the primary debate in general jurisprudence has been between legal positivism and its most ardent critic, Ronald Dworkin. The positivist tradition is represented here by its two most important theorists, Hans Kelsen and H.L.A. Hart. During their careers, Kelsen and Hart clashed over the best understanding of legal positivism. For his part, Dworkin devoted the bulk of his critical attention to Hart's work. The chapter also focuses on the way in which each theorist builds his view of international law against the background of a more general jurisprudence. Hart argues that the differences between international law and municipal law might eventually be overcome. International law might be in a stage of transition that will bring it nearer in structure to a municipal system.
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