Vanderbilt Law Review

Article Title

The Pure Theory of Law


Reginald Parker

First Page



There is hardly a theory of law about which there exists so much confusion in the minds of so many scholars as about Hans Kelsen's theory, which is commonly known under the name "Pure Theory of Law." If, for instance, a scholar of the stature and standing of Professor Northrop maintains that Kelsen locates the basic norm of the Austrian Constitution of 1920 "in the earliest Constitution of 1867,"'then it seems that there is still room, indeed an intellectual demand, for a brief and simple exposition of Kelsen's theory. We shall attempt it in the following article not without avoiding the temptation to oversimplify crucial problems.