Who presupposes Kelsen's basic norm? Is it possible to defend the
presupposition in a way that is convincing? And what difference
does the presupposition make? Endeavouring to highlight the role of
basic assumptions in the law, the author argues that the verb "to
presuppose', with Kelsen, has not only a conceptual but also a
normative dimension; and that the expression 'presupposing the
basic norm'is adequate in so far as it marks the
descriptive-normative nature of utterances made in specifically
Addressed to legal theorists in general, the treatise purports to
show that Kelsen's doctrine lends itself to an interpretation
according to which the very act of "presupposing" the Grundnorm can
be understood as a Grund, i.e. normative source of all positive
law; and, what is more, that this interpretation admits of
addressing the issue of the (formal) legitimacy of supra-national
and directly applicable rules and other norms.
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