Sally Fitzgibbons Foundation

Beginning the Academic Essay

legal theorists = law is “what is”
natural law theorists = “what law ought to be”

law is about the separation of what is and what ought to be. the legal system is a freestanding system of “what is” and does not need to point beyond itself to other moral systems to justify its independence and autonomous existence

natural law theorists believe that law is based on something beyond the legal system and that is morality

1 Critique
Austinian command theory of law
understood legal positivism as a command by a sovereign backed by the threat of sanctions to which people are generally obedient
no scope for morality because the theory is freestanding

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