Tag Archives: Jurisprudence


An Evaluation of the Positions of Hart and Dworkin on the Role of Judges Faced with Hard Cases

lady-justice2‘Hard cases’ is a general name for those cases where the law is not clear as to who the judge should rule in favour of, which are normally due to a lack of relevant precedent. This role of judges is controversial among philosophers because if there are such gaps in the law it would appear that when decisions are made, the substance of the new ‘law’ created would be chosen by them. Read the rest of this entry

‘Hard Cases’ For Judges


An Assessment of the Positivist Critique of the Natural Law Claim that Law and Morality are Inseparable

hitler460The central claim in the positivist approach to the place of morality is that the law draws its authority from the legitimacy of the law-making body and that this has nothing to do with morality. So long as certain conditions (varying between philosophers) are fulfilled, such as that the laws this body makes are generally respected, that they are made known for citizens to learn if they wish, and that the specific law was passed according to the correct procedures in that system, it qualifies as an authoritative law. Another way of putting this is that it is the form of the law, solely those factors that are extrinsic to that law itself which determine its authority. Read the rest of this entry

Legal Positivism and the Separation Thesis