Kelsinian jurisprudencethe school of jurisprudence based on the writings of Hans Kelsen. It is based upon a pure theory of law that attempts to explain law without the detail of any given system and without being polluted by politics or theories of justice. It is based upon an ordering of norms and relies upon the grundnorm, a justification for the whole system. The grundnorm justifies any ‘ought’ statement declaring the legal consequences of an act. An example of a grundnorm is ‘the founders of the first constitution ought to be obeyed.’ It provides the test of validity of other norms in the legal system. As it is the final determinant of validity it cannot itself be validated. The grundnorm is presupposed; it is a hypothesis or even a fiction. The grundnorm is not of the legal system but is a necessary postulate to support its validity. See HARTIAN JURISPRUDENCE.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006