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

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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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