Natural Law and the Basic Norm of the Irish Constitution
Durham Law School
December 1, 2012
(2012) 30 (19) Irish Law Times 298-300
This paper deals with the relationship between the basic norm of the Irish Constitution as conceived of by Hans Kelsen, and natural law. I argue that the basic norm of the Irish Constitution is 'one ought to obey the Irish constitution' and not 'one ought to obey the natural law'. I reach this conclusion by arguing firstly that the natural law cannot invalidate a provision of the Irish constitution and secondly one cannot conceptually describe the basic norm of a legal order as 'one ought to obey the natural law' as such would be repugnant to Kelsen's positivist conception of the legal order.
Keywords: Natural Law, Hans Kelsen, Basic Norm, Grundnorm, Irish Constitution, Jurisprudence, Constitutional Law, Pure Theory of Law, Positivism, Ireland, Public Law
Date posted: November 29, 2012