A Diachronic Index and Glossary to Pure Theory of Law by Hans Kelsen
191 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2017 Last revised: 19 Dec 2017
Date Written: 2017
“Pure Theory of Law” is not an analysis of a particular legal order, but is a general theory of positive law. “Positive” law in this context refers to laws that are posited within a legal system, in contrast to laws of nature or moral norms. Kelsen analyses positive law independently of any political theory or ideology to produce a general science of law. The broad scope and applicability of “Pure Theory of Law” makes it a valuable source for research and writing across jurisdictions and in almost any area of law. Surprisingly for such a highly regarded and influential book, the English version of “Pure Theory of Law” has no index. This present index aims to provide scholars with a key to access “Pure Theory of Law”.
Kelsen’s tightly packed generalisations and conceptual arguments, which are intended to apply generally to all laws and legal systems, are not accessible to all readers. The Index attempts to present Kelsen’s theories in a manner that enables readers to apply them to any area of law and to take full advantage of Kelsen’s wisdom. The authors call their work an “index” because it most closely resembles that literary form. However, the work and its companion, “A Diachronic Index and Glossary to What is Justice?, Collected Essays by Hans Kelsen” http://ssrn.com/abstract=3054394 attempt much more. Each has features of a concordance, and each finds conceptual links between Kelsen’s insight and legal institutions and reasoning in areas of law that he never considered. A paper that uses the Indexes to examine such links is John Prebble, "Kelsen, the Principle of Exclusion of Contradictions, and General Anti-Avoidance Rules in Tax Law": http://ssrn.com/abstract=2645423. The Indexes are presented on SSRN as PDFs designed to print on A5 stock to make books of approximately 150 pages. The PDFs are searchable electronically. Both works may also be viewed in Microsoft Word Outline View, which offers extra searching options. Readers who would like to search the Indexes in Outline View may obtain Microsoft Word versions from the first named author.
Keywords: Hans Kelsen, index, philosophy, jurisprudence, Pure Theory of Law
JEL Classification: KOO
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation