Kelsen's Legal Positivism and the Challenge of Nazi Law

Pauer-Studer, Herlinde (2014) Kelsen's Legal Positivism and the Challenge of Nazi Law. In: UNSPECIFIED UNSPECIFIED, pp. 223-240.


Download (205kB) | Preview


Kelsen’s legal positivism has often been criticized for having supported the compliance of the German judiciary with Nazi law. Especially Kelsen’s insistence on the separation of law and morality was considered as a crucial deficiency. I reject that criticism. My argument is that Kelsen’s thesis that law and morality constitute two distinct normative spheres seems persuasive if one takes into account that the Nazi legal theorist’s program of a ‘unification of law and morality’ served to extend the authority and power of the Nazi-regime. I criticize, however, Kelsen’s relativist account of morality which made his position vulnerable to the post-war objections that legal positivism provided no safeguard against the Nazi perversion of law.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: Philosophie > Philosophische Disziplinen > Gesellschaftsphilosophie, politische Philosophie, Rechtsphilosophi
Philosophie > Philosophische Institutionen > Institut für Philosophie, Wien
Depositing User: Sissi Kemp
Date Deposited: 28 Oct 2015 19:57
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2016 14:30

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year