1097 | HLA Hart’s ‘The Concept of Law’ – A Close Reading

Course Information

  • 2020-21
  • 1097
  • 5-Year B.A., LL.B. (Hons.), LL.M.
  • V
  • Mar 2021
  • Elective Course

This elective seeks to supplement the core course on jurisprudence through a systematic reading of HLA Hart’s “The Concept of Law” (CL). Its broad aim is to allow students to read the book in its entirety, and therefore to
appreciate its central claims in their complex interdependence.

CL is arguably the most influential text of modern legal philosophy. It provides not only an innovative account of social rules, but also a  sophisticated model of the legal system. Over the past fifty years, it has engendered a rich debate on the concept of law as well as associated notions such as coercion, morality, justice, validity, rules, obedience etc.

The underlying premise of this course is that CL, owing to its singular impact on the philosophical discourse of law, deserves to be understood and discussed in its fullness. This, not in order to create a group of acolytes, but
to provide students with a well-recognised foothold for their own conceptual investigations.