Gustav Radbruch vs. Hans Kelsen: A Debate on Nazi Law

Ratio Jurisprudence, Vol. 18, No. 2, pp. 162-178, June 2005

17 Pages Posted: 23 Sep 2010

See all articles by Frank Haldemann

Frank Haldemann

University of Geneva - Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

Date Written: June 2005

Abstract

Can the label “law” apply to rules as amoral as the enactments of the Nazis? This question confronted the courts in Germany after 1945. In dealing with it, the judges had to take sides in the philosophical debate over the concept of law.In this context, the prominent voices of the legal philosophers Gustav Radbruch and Hans Kelsen could not go unheard. This paper draws on what could have been the“Radbruch-Kelsen debate on Nazi Law.” In examining the debate, it will argue for a substantive account of the morality of the law, as expressed in Radbruch’s Formula.

Keywords: Kelsen, Radbruch, positivism, natural law, law and morality, validity of law

Suggested Citation

Haldemann, Frank, Gustav Radbruch vs. Hans Kelsen: A Debate on Nazi Law (June 2005). Ratio Jurisprudence, Vol. 18, No. 2, pp. 162-178, June 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1680846

Frank Haldemann (Contact Author)

University of Geneva - Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights ( email )

Villa Myonier
120B rue de Lausanne
Geneva, 1211
Switzerland

HOME PAGE: http://www.master-transitionaljustice.ch/faculty/professors-and-lecturers/

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