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The Concept of Law

The Concept of Law (3rd edn)

HLA Hart, Joseph Raz, and Penelope A. Bulloch
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date: 04 December 2023

III. The Variety of Lawslocked

III. The Variety of Lawslocked

  • H. L. A. HartH. L. A. Hartlate Professor of Jurisprudence, Principal of Brasenose College, and Fellow of University College, University of Oxford


Celebrated for their conceptual clarity, titles in the Clarendon Law Series offer concise, accessible overviews of major fields of law and legal thought. This chapter examines objections to the simple model of law as general orders backed by threats. These objections fall into three main groups. Some of them concern the content of laws, others their mode of origin, and others again their range of application. All legal systems, at any rate, seem to contain laws which in respect of one or more of these three matters diverge from the model of general orders.

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