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H.L.A. Hart

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Katelyn Cormier

on 27 February 2014

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Transcript of H.L.A. Hart

Recruited to the M15 in WW2

Married Jenifer Fischer Williams, they started their family and had 4 children

One of Hart’s sons was born with a disability, which perked his fascination in the mind and body problems

1946-1952 Hart was appointed as the new philosophy tutor at New College. Colleagues and people around him say his years in the Chancery and service made him well rounded in the areas of study he was speaking about and teaching
Herbert Lionel Adolphus Hart was born on July 18th 1907 in Harrogate, England

Parents; Simeon and Rose Hart were Jewish

Educated at Cheltenham College and Bradford Grammar School then New College, Oxford

Interest in classics, ancient history and philosophy

graduated with a bachelor’s degree and was admitted into the Chancery Bar from 1932-1940.

Biographical Information
Hart’s philosophy is a proponent of positive law. With Hart’s philosophy of law, he is trying to explain the development of primitive to “evolved” legal systems. He attempts to clarify the question of whether all laws may be properly conceptualized as coercive orders or moral commands. He believes there does not have to be a connection between law and coercion or between law and morality.

To describe all laws as coercive orders is misunderstanding the purpose and function of them, and to misunderstand their content and origin. Some laws give people powers or privileges without giving them duties or obligations. He defines legal positivism as “the theory that there is no logically necessary connection between law and morality.”

His philosophy is based on John Austin’s philosophy (The Province of Jurisprudence Determined) who thinks the exact opposite of him.

Concepts & Quotes
“Secondary rules may all be said to be on a different level from the primary rules, for they are all about such rules; in the sense that while the primary rules are concerned with the actions that individuals must or must not do, these secondary rules are all concerned with the primary rules themselves. They specify the way in which the primary rules may be conclusively ascertained, introduced, eliminated, varied and the fact of their violation conclusively determined.”

H.L.A (Herbert Lionel Adolphus) Hart (b.1907), British Philosopher. The Concept of Law, p.92, Clarendon Press (1961).

HLA Hart was well known for:
• The Concept of Law-1961
• Anglo-English Legal Theory
• As well as going against the view of legal positivism

Historical Context
"The Concept of Law" theory extremely different from other philosophers such as John Austin

John Austin’s theory was that law is the command of sovereign backed by the threat of punishment
HLA didn't believe in this theory

Hart was Jewish and grew up in the time period of WW2

HLA was recruited to the M15 during WW2 which was a security service that played a big role in combating enemy espionage, intercepting German communications and feeding misinformation back to Germany

Hitler, prime example of someone using punishment as a threat
Katelyn, Jaimey & Courtney
H.L.A. Hart
-In 1952 Hart because of his Chancery background was elected to the Oxford Chair of Jurisprudence. He was in this position from 1952-1968.
From 1959-1960 he was president of the Aristotelian Society.
In 1972 Hart was named the Principal of Brasenose College in Oxford.
He died on December 19th 1992.

After the war;
Hart started a career in philosophy at New College, when he started he had no intentions of applying philosophy to legal problems but, it was relevant to current concerns of his fellow philosophers
Hart came to the field of jurisprudence almost by accident
You can see that by HLA Hart’s Jewish heritage and role in WW2 that his life previous to making “the concept of law” theory played a huge role in making his theory.
Primary Rules of Obligation- laws that impose duties or obligations on individuals

In order for primary rules to function properly, Secondary Rules may also be necessary to help provide an authoritative statement of all primary rules, allow them to be changed if they are inadequate, and resolve disputes over interpretation. These two sets of rules must be combined to advance from “pre-legal” to “legal” stage of determination.

So, secondary rules of a legal system must include”

1. Rules of recognition

2. Rules of change

3. Rules of adjudication

Primary rules must be clear, intelligible and understood by everyone they apply to.

Hart also distinguishes between “external” and “internal” points of view of how the legal system should be described.

External- POV of an observer who does not necessarily have to accept rules of legal system, they are able to evaluate to which extent the rules of the legal system produce a regular pattern of conduct on the part of individuals to whom the rules apply

Internal POV- individuals who are governed by the rules of the legal system and who accept these rules as standards of conduct

Hart thinks that the foundations of a legal system do not consist, as Austin claims, of habits of obedience to a legally unlimited sovereign, but actually consist of adherence and acceptance of an ultimate set of primary and secondary rules

Two minimum requirements which must be satisfied for a legal system to exist:

1. Citizens must generally obey the primary rules of obligation

2. Public officials must accept secondary rules, change, and adjudication as standards of official conduct

Moral and legal rules may overlap- obligation to be honest and truthful or obligation to respect the rights of other individuals
"Herbert Lionel Adolphus Hart Facts." Herbert Lionel Adolphus Hart Facts. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2014. <http://biography.yourdictionary.com/herbert-lionel-adolphus-hart>.

Honore, Tony. "Legal Philosophy in Oxford > Legal philosophers > HLA Hart." Legal Philosophy in Oxford > Legal philosophers > HLA Hart. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2014. <http://www2.law.ox.ac.uk/jurisprudence/hart.htm>.

"The biography of Herbert Lionel Adolphus Hart." Poemhunter.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2014. <http://www.poemhunter.com/herbert-lionel-adolphus-hart/biography/>.

"Herbert Lionel Adolphus Hart Facts." Herbert Lionel Adolphus Hart Facts. Your Dictionary, n.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2014. <http://biography.yourdictionary.com/herbert-lionel-adolphus-hart>.
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