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Rule of Recognition, Sovereignty, Neo-Positivism, International Law, Basic norm in international law, Hart (H.L.A.)

Subject Categories

Conflict of Laws | International Law | Law | Legal History | Legal Theory | Public Law and Legal Theory


The question "Is international law really law?" has not proved troublesome, according to Hart, because "a trivial question about the meaning of words has been mistaken for a serious question about the nature of things." Hart defends international law in Bentham's terms as "sufficiently analogous" to municipal law. It is important to see in what way this analogy is viewed by Hart in order to determine whether the reasoning he offers is too high a price to pay for accepting a neo-positivist into the circle of those who hold that international law is really law.