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Legal Positivism
(393 words)

[German Version]

Legal positivism is the jurisprudential doctrine that only effective statutory (“positive”) law (Law and jurisprudence) can be called “law in the strict sense” (see also positivism). Here there is a need to distinguish between sociological and normative legal positivism. Sociological positivism examines the facts of the real organization of a society. Normative positivism emphasizes instead the deontic aspects of positive law. Current debate is focused on normative positivism.

In his posthumous (1861) Lectures on Jurisprudence, Austin, building on Gust…

Cite this page
Hruschka, Joachim, “Legal Positivism”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 17 November 2019 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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