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6 - The French Tradition of Legal Positivism

from Part II - History

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 January 2021

Torben Spaak
Affiliation:
Stockholms Universitet
Patricia Mindus
Affiliation:
Uppsala Universitet, Sweden
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Summary

Troper considers five types of legal positivists in French legal thinking, namely, the exegetical school, the sociological school and Léon Duguit, Carré de Malberg, the Vichy scholars, and the analytical legal positivists. He explains that Carré de Malberg put forward a theory of positive law that aims to be descriptive, according to which positive law is a product of the will of the state and the state possesses an innate capacity to obligate the citizens by means of its laws. He points out, however, that while Carré de Malberg’s description of French positive law aims to reveal an essence of the state, in reality the description proceeds from a set of abstractions that reflect his own normative theory of the state; and that this means that Carré de Malberg, while professing to espouse a methodological version of legal positivism, is actually closer to defending ideological positivism.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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