Bringing together world-class scholars who have devoted themselves to the study of legal obligation, this book addresses key dimensions of the current debate: providing novel insights and perspectives, as well as critically discussing the leading theories of legal obligation.
The notion of legal obligation is widely regarded as fundamental by both legal practitioners and legal theorists. For the language that explicitly refers to obligation is pervasive insofar as paradigmatic legal materials make reference to obligation either directly, by specifying what a subject is obligated to do, or indirectly, by attributing rights, privileges, powers, permissions, and other normative statuses to both single individuals and groups. There is, then, broad agreement that obligation constitutes a central element in legal studies. At the same time, however, there is considerable disagreement among contemporary legal theorists about how legal obligation can or should be elucidated. This book accounts for both the significance of obligation in law and the variety of views of legal obligation championed in legal philosophy today.
With contributions from renowned theorists, this book will be invaluable for scholars and students of legal theory, legal philosophy, and jurisprudence.
Table of Contents
1. Contemporary Theories of Legal Obligation: A Tentative Critical Map
2. Two Kinds of Normativity
3. Legal Obligation as Practical Necessity by Law
Dietmar von der Pftorden
4. Hans Kelsen as an Outlier: The Defence of a Radical Norm Theory
Stanley L. Paulson
5. Some Heretical Thoughts on Legal Normativity
Brian H. Bix
6. Normativity for Positivists
7. Unstated Legal Obligations
8. Legal Obligation and the Criminal Law
R. A. Duff
9. Could Legal Obligations Possibly be Moral Obligations?
10. Persuade or Obey: Crito and the Preconditions for Justice
11. Towards a Taxonomy of Normative Defeaters
Josep Joan Moreso
Stefano Bertea is Associate Professor of Law at the University of Leicester and DFG Research Fellow at the Goethe University of Frankfurt.