Legal Positivism? What Are You Talking About? ('De Quel Positivisme Parlez-Vous?')

F. Chevrette & H. Cyr, "De quel positivisme parlez-vous?" in MELANGES ANDREE LAJOIE, L. Rolland and P. Noreau, eds., pp. 33-60, Montréal: Thémis, 2008

29 Pages Posted: 26 Feb 2009 Last revised: 2 Aug 2017

See all articles by Francois Chevrette

Francois Chevrette

University of Montreal - Faculty of Law

Hugo Cyr

École nationale d’administration publique (ENAP)

Date Written: May 20, 2008

Abstract

Of all the concepts in use in the legal discourse, "legal positivism" is certainly one of the most polysemous. This is why one currently runs the risk of being misunderstood when making use of it. In particular, there is a sharp distinction between how legal theorists use the concept and how it is most often used by other legal scholars and legal practicioners. This paper attempts to succinctly present a typology of the different uses of the concept in order to facilitate more fruitful discussions. We have classified the different uses of the concept in three broad categories: (1) legal positivism as a methodological approach to the study of law; (2) legal positivism as a theory of law; and (3) legal positivism as an ideology. Each category is further subdivided so as to highlight different currents in the use of the concept within each category.

Note: Downloadable document is in French.

Keywords: Legal theory, legal positivism, legal formalism, legal stasis, monism, Hans Kelsen, H.L.A. Hart, legalism

JEL Classification: K10

Suggested Citation

Chevrette, Francois and Cyr, Hugo, Legal Positivism? What Are You Talking About? ('De Quel Positivisme Parlez-Vous?') (May 20, 2008). F. Chevrette & H. Cyr, "De quel positivisme parlez-vous?" in MELANGES ANDREE LAJOIE, L. Rolland and P. Noreau, eds., pp. 33-60, Montréal: Thémis, 2008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1349461

Francois Chevrette

University of Montreal - Faculty of Law ( email )

Montreal, Quebec H3T 1B9
Canada
(514) 343-7205 (Phone)
(514) 343-2199 (Fax)

Hugo Cyr (Contact Author)

École nationale d’administration publique (ENAP) ( email )

4750 avenue Henri-Julien
Montreal, Quebec H2T 3A5
Canada

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