command theory

(redirected from imperative theory)

command theory

or

imperative theory

(associated with Jeremy Bentham and John Austin) is based on the notion of commands issued by a sovereign. Bentham did not insist that the sovereign power be single, indivisible and answerable to no one. The habit of obedience to the commands of the sovereign is an important aspect of the theory. The basic idea involves the incorporation of sanctions, which are penalties laid down in a law for the contravention of its provisions. While explaining criminal law reasonably adequately, it is much more difficult to incorporate aspects of civil law.

See HARTIAN JURISPRUDENCE, KELSINIAN JURISPRUDENCE, REALISM.