The 'Authority' of Law: Joseph Raz Reconsidered
13 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2020 Last revised: 18 May 2020
Date Written: March 8, 2020
The article presents a critical reassessment of the legal philosophical writings of Joseph Raz. The critique develops from the author’s previous argument that law is – contra recent near-consensus – best understood as “the command of the sovereign, backed by force.” Given that this is the distinctly defining feature of law, Raz’s extended preoccupation with “reasons for obeying law” is misplaced and even nonsensical.
Keywords: H.L.A. Hart, Ronald Dworkin, Joseph Raz, jurisprudence, coercion, positivism, coercive model, John Austin, Jeremy Bentham, Oliver Wendell Holmes, gunman, command theory, definition of state, definition of sovereign, game theory, Interpretivism, service conception, internal perspective
JEL Classification: K10, K33, K42, C7, H1
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation