Contemporary Perspectives on Legal Obligation  book cover
1st Edition

Contemporary Perspectives on Legal Obligation

Edited By

Stefano Bertea

ISBN 9780367261986
Published July 28, 2020 by Routledge
202 Pages

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Book Description

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

Stefano Bertea

2. Two Kinds of Normativity

Jaap Hage

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

Giorgio Pino

7. Unstated Legal Obligations

Dale Smith

8. Legal Obligation and the Criminal Law

R. A. Duff

9. Could Legal Obligations Possibly be Moral Obligations?

Ezequiel Monti

10. Persuade or Obey: Crito and the Preconditions for Justice

Margaret Martin

11. Towards a Taxonomy of Normative Defeaters

Josep Joan Moreso



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Stefano Bertea is Associate Professor of Law at the University of Leicester and DFG Research Fellow at the Goethe University of Frankfurt.