AN EVALUATION OF HERBERTL. A. HART’S CONCEPT OF RULE

AN EVALUATION OF HERBERTL. A. HART’S CONCEPT OF RULE

ABSTRACT

Hart’s The Concept of Law (1961) argues for a complex legal positivism which finds the source of legal authority in the acceptance by a community of a system of rules which is grounded in a fundamental rule of recognition that determines what is to be included among the legal rules. This sought to offer an alternative explanation to the concept of law differently from the popular utilitarian command doctrine which sufficiently describes criminal law, but is limited in describing legal system generally. This, of course, expresses the idea of obligation which takes law as a guide for behaviour and holds the fact that something is law to be a reason for following it than to be motivated by threat of punishment. To achieve this, Hart works out a strand of legal positivism intricately via a novel concept of the ‘minimum content’ of law that reveals legal and moral connection at some points. In view of this, using the expository, evaluative and hermeneutic methods the study establishes that, Hart’s discourse on rules is beyond mere sanction-threatening, which involves obligation-imposing rules that characterized a modern political society built on democratic principles.