kelsen21st – 3rd September 2013, Edge Hill University, UK

Hosted by the Department of Law and Criminology, Edge Hill University, UK in association with, and generously supported by,  acf_logo



Co-organised by Dr Peter Langford, Department of Law and Criminology, Edge Hill University; Dr Ian Bryan, Lancaster Law School, University of Lancaster; Dr John McGarry, Department of Law and Criminology, Edge Hill University.

Hans Kelsen is one of the central figures in the development and elaboration of a theory of law as theory of legal positivism. This will be the first ever, interdisciplinary Workshop in English to reflect upon the relationship between Kelsen’s theory of legal positivism and the natural law tradition. It will involve an extensive and original examination of the topic by a group of internationally recognised experts in the fields of philosophy, political and legal theory.

This examination will enable a comprehensive interrogation of the coherence and effectiveness of Kelsen’s approach to the natural law tradition. It will examine this question from a number of distinct, but complementary levels.

  • The first will involve a critical investigation of Kelsen’s interpretation of the representatives of the natural law tradition (Dante, Althusius, Wolff, Rousseau); and the degree of dependence, of the theory of positive law, upon these interpretations.
  • The second will involve a comparison of the relationship to natural law between Kelsen and other prominent legal and political theorists or traditions (Bauch, Cassirer, Cohn, Strauss, Verdross).
  • The third will entail a critical examination of Kelsen’s theory of positive law through a consideration of the coherence and structure of Kelsen’s critique of the natural law tradition.
  • The fourth will, on the basis of contemporary theories of law, legal systematics and human rights, critically analyse the continued viability of Kelsen’s theory of positive law.

Workshop programme is available here.

To register, please complete the online form.

For further information about the Workshop please contact Dr Peter Langford. Queries relating to Workshop registration and payments should be directed to Nicola Kenny.