Kelsen, Hans

(1881–1973)
   Kelsen, who came from Prague, was the architect of the constitution of the First Austrian Republic, issued in 1920. Widely known as a professor of constitutional and administrative law, he was also a philosopher and a practicing magistrate. He served on the bench of the Austrian Constitutional Court from 1921 to 1930, when he left Austria for a professorial position in Cologne. He taught there until 1933. Of Jewish extraction, he then went to Geneva and Prague and, in 1938, to the United States, where he lectured at Harvard for two years. In 1942, he was called to the University of California at Berkeley, where he taught for 10 years until 1952. He later died in California.
   From the standpoint of jurisprudence, Kelsen was a legal positivist, believing that law was essentially a creation of the state, rather than an expression of social or ethical standards found in society at large. Legal codes were therefore the practical realization of norms that governments expected their citizens to follow. He reinforced this view, which he called pure theory of law, with an epistemological dualism that owed something to Immanuel Kant. Human consciousness, he argued, was endowed to think in terms of Being (Sein) and What Ought to Be (Sollen). Neither category was a logical derivative of the other; it was What Ought to Be and its construction by those who spoke for the state that gave law its form and substance.
   Writing during a period of intense ideological and societal polarization in Austria, Kelsen and the successor to his chair at the University of Vienna, Adolf Julius Merkl (1890–1970), had a receptive audience among those whom he taught. The students, who were to become the country’s judges, lawyers, civil servants, and commercial functionaries, were heavily influenced by his thinking. As finished jurists, they constituted what came to be called the Vienna School of Legal Theory.
   See also Judiciary.

Historical dictionary of Austria. . 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • KELSEN, HANS — (1881–1973), jurist, whose pure theory of law made him one of the most famous legal theoreticians of the 20th century. Born in Prague, Kelsen was taken to Vienna when he was 14. He studied at the universities of Vienna, Heidelberg, and Berlin,… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Kelsen, Hans — ▪ American scholar born Oct. 11, 1881, Prague, Bohemia, Austria Hungary [now in Czech Republic] died April 20, 1973, Berkeley, Calif., U.S.       Austrian American legal philosopher, teacher, jurist, and writer on international law, who… …   Universalium

  • Kelsen, Hans — (1881–1973) Austrian jurist and philosopher of law. Kelsen is known for the most rigorous development of a ‘positivist’ theory of law, i.e. one that rigorously excludes from its analysis any ethical, political, or historical considerations, and… …   Philosophy dictionary

  • Kelsen, Hans — ► (1881 1973) Jurista austríaco. En su teoría del Estado se inspira la llamada escuela de Viena. Fue el autor de la Constitución austríaca de 1920 …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Kelsen — Kelsen, Hans …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Kelsen — Hans Kelsen Hans Kelsen, né le 11 octobre 1881 à Prague sous l Empire Austro Hongrois, décédé le 19 avril 1973 à Orinda en Californie, est un juriste austro américain, fils d une famille juive de Bohème et de Galicie. Dans le… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • KELSEN (H.) — KELSEN HANS (1881 1973) Juriste et théoricien de la science du droit, né à Prague, mort à Berkeley (États Unis). En 1911, Hans Kelsen est privatdocent, puis, de 1919 à 1929, professeur de droit public à Vienne; il enseigne ensuite à Cologne (1930 …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Hans Kelsen — Busto de Hans Kelsen en la Universidad de Viena. Hans Kelsen (Praga, 11 de octubre de 1881 – Berkeley, California, 19 de abril de 1973) fue un jurista, político y filósofo del derecho austríaco de origen judío …   Wikipedia Español

  • Hans Kelsen — Hans Kelsen, né le 11 octobre 1881 à Prague sous l Empire austro hongrois, décédé le 19 avril 1973 à Orinda en Californie, est un juriste austro américain, fils d une famille juive de Bohême et de Galicie. Dans le domaine du… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Hans Kelsen — (October 11, 1881 – April 19, 1973) was an Austrian American jurist. Biography Kelsen was born in Prague to Jewish parents. He moved to Vienna with his family when he was two years old. Having graduated from the Akademisches Gymnasium, he studied …   Wikipedia

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