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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: 21 July 2024

VII. Formalism and Rule-Scepticismlocked

VII. Formalism and Rule-Scepticismlocked

  • 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 first explains the open texture of law, which shows that there are, indeed, areas of conduct where much must be left to be developed by courts or officials, striking a balance between competing interests that vary in weight from case to case. It then discusses the varieties of rule-scepticism, finality and infallibility in judicial decision, and uncertainty in the rule of recognition.

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