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Hart's Rule of Recognition

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Hart’s Rule of Recognition

The concept of law according to Hart is a system of rules and the rules are the sole basis of a legal system. According to hart legal system is nothing but a combination of primary and secondary rules. Rule of recognition is a kind of secondary rules which validates a legal system and which is central, foundational and essential to every legal system. But this view of hart has been criticized by other legal positivists who have pointed out some lacuna in the Hart’s doctrine as well as they raised some valid questions which is also necessary to be considered. Hart describes rule of recognition as a foundation of a legal system.

H.L.A Hart was considered as one of the great legal positivist in the theory of analytical positivist jurisprudence. Analytical jurisprudence has made a systematic analysis of legal concept by different thinkers during different period. Among the positivist thinkers Hart is one of them who very efficiently criticize his earlier positivist theory with an explicit motive to describe the legal system of a society. In his book “THE CONCEPT OF LAW”, published in 1961, He has made an attempt to describe the development of legal system from primitive to evolved legal system. According to him 1“law is best understood as the union of primary and secondary rules, the primary rules are the rules of obligation whereas the secondary rules are dependent upon the primary rules which allow the creation, extinction and alteration of primary rules.” The difference between the two types of rules are primary rules impose duties, concern actions involving physical movements or changes whereas the secondary rules confer powers and they provide for operations which lead not merely to physical movement or changes but to the creation or variations of duties or obligations. At the beginning hart has suggested to imagine a primitive...

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