Pure theory of law german reine rechtslehre is a book by legal theorist hans kelsen first published in 1934 and in a greatly expanded second edition effectively a new book in 1960. Pure theory of law is concerned only with that part of knowledge that deals with law and does not include anything which does not belong to law as subject matter and therefore it frees the science of law from the foreign elements according to this theory of law the science of law includes legal norms and does not recognise natural realities. The pure theory of law first published mon nov 18 2002 substantive revision mon jan 4 2016 the idea of a pure theory of law was propounded by the formidable austrian jurist and philosopher hans kelsen 1881 1973 see the bibliographical note kelsen began his long career as a legal theorist at the beginning of the 20th century. A landmark in the development of modern jurisprudence the pure theory of law defines law as a system of coercive norms created by the state that rests on the validity of a generally accepted grundnorm or basic norm such as the supremacy of the constitution. Pure theory of law is a book by legal theorist hans kelsen first published in 1934 and in a greatly expanded second edition in 1960 the second edition appeared in english translation in 1967 as pure theory of law the first edition in english translation in 1992 as introduction to the problems of legal theory
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