Hans Kelsen born, 11 Oct. 1881, in Prague. Parents: Adolf (1850–1907) and Auguste (née Löwy, 1860–1950) Kelsen.
1883 Family moves from Prague to Vienna.
1887–91 Hans attends evangelical primary school.
1891–2 Attends public primary school.
1892–1900 Attends classical Gymnasium.
1900–1 Serves on active military duty.
1901 Begins law study at University of Vienna.
1905 Publishes The Political Philosophy of Dante (Leipzig and Vienna, iv, 152-pp.).
1905–10 Conducts research on problems in the theory of public law (culminating in the treatise Main Problems, 1911, below).
1906 Takes doctorate in law.
1908–9 Spends 3 semesters in Heidelberg, conducting research.
1909–10 Lecturer, Export Academy, Vienna. 1911 Publishes Main Problems in the Theory of Public Law (Tübingen, xxvii, 709-pp.).
1911 Applies successfully for Habilitation (licence to hold university lectures), submitting Main Problems as thesis, and is admitted as Privatdozent (private lecturer), Faculty of Law, University of Vienna.
1912 Marries Margarete Bondi (2 daughters: Anna, born 1914; Maria, born 1915).
1913 Publishes On Unlawful Acts of the State (Vienna, 113-pp.).
1914–18 Establishes and edits the Austrian Journal of Public Law, Vienna (3 volumes); Aug. 1914 (World War I): is called to active duty, serves primarily in Ministry of War, Vienna, until Oct. 1918.
* We have drawn on Rudolf Aladár Métall’s Hans Kelsen. Leben und Werk (Vienna: Franz Deuticke, 1969) for numerous entries.
(p.140) 1918 Oct.: commences work, at behest of Chancellor Karl Renner, on drafting of new Austrian constitution.
1917–19 Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Vienna.
1919–30 Professor, Public and Administrative Law, University of Vienna.
1919 Establishes and edits the Journal of Public Law, Vienna (23 volumes running to 1944, Kelsen plays no role after 1934).
1920 Publishes The Problem of Sovereignty (Tübingen, x, 320-pp.); publishes Socialism and the State (Leipzig, iv, 129-pp.); publishes On the Nature and Value of Democracy (Tübingen, 38-pp.); 1 Oct.: Austrian Federal Constitution, in whose conception and drafting Kelsen played a major role, is adopted.
1921 Kelsen is appointed to Constitutional Court for ‘life term’.
1922 Edits monograph series ‘Vienna Studies in Constitutional Law and Politics’ (Kelsen active to 1929); publishes Sociological and Legal Concepts of the State (Tübingen, iv, 253-pp.); publishes Legal Science and the Law (Leipzig and Vienna, 135-pp.).
1923 Publishes Austrian Constitutional Law (Tübingen, viii, 256-pp.).
1925 Publishes General Political Theory (Berlin, xiv, 433-pp.).
1926 29–30 Mar.: responds to Erich Kaufmann at meeting of the Association of German Teachers of Public Law, Münster; establishes, with Franz Weyr and Léon Duguit, the bilingual (French and German) International Journal for Legal Theory, Brno, Czechoslovakia (13 volumes running to 1939); delivers Hague Lectures, Academy of International Law (Kelsen’s first Hague Lecture series).
1926–8 Dispensation cases reach the Constitutional Court. (Courts of general jurisdiction had held that administrative authorities’ dispensations, permitting remarriage in Roman Catholic Austria, were invalid. These judicial rulings are overturned by the Constitutional Court, with Kelsen taking the lead. The Christian Social Party is prompted to take steps leading to ‘constitutional reform’ and, by means of it, the ouster of Kelsen from the Court, 1930, below.)
1927 24–5 Mar.: Kelsen responds to Max Wenzel and Hermann Heller at meeting of the Association of German Teachers of Public Law, Munich.
(p.141) 1928 23–4 Apr.: delivers main paper, ‘Nature and Development of Judicial Review’, at meeting of the Association of German Teachers of Public Law, Vienna.
1929 25–6 Apr.: participates in meeting of the Association of German Teachers of Public Law, Frankfurt; 7 Dec: ‘constitutional reform’, including reorganization of the Constitutional Court, is passed in the Parliament.
1930 Feb.: Constitutional Court justices, among them Kelsen, are removed from office as one result of the ‘reform’; Kelsen accepts offer of professorship at University of Cologne.
1930–3 Nov.-Apr.: Professor, Public International Law, University of Cologne.
1931 Publishes Who Shall Be the Guardian of the Constitution, (Berlin, 56-pp.) in reply to Carl Schmitt.
1932 Delivers Hague Lectures, Academy of International Law (Kelsen’s second Hague Lecture series).
1932–3 Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Cologne.
1933 30 Jan.: Nazis seize power in Germany; 7 Apr.: Kelsen is dismissed from his university post, on the authority of the notorious ‘Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service’, which removes those of Jewish ancestry from their positions in the civil service; spring: the Kelsen family leaves Germany; 10 May: Kelsen is named ‘Foreign Honorary Member’, American Academy of Arts and Sciences; summer: accepts offer at Graduate Institute for International Legal Studies, Geneva.
1933 Autumn: commences teaching and research in Geneva.
1934 Publishes Pure Theory of Law, 1st edn. (Vienna, xxi, 168-pp., and biblio.), the first appearance of the work translated here.
1936 20 Apr.: receives honorary doctorate, University of Utrecht; accepts offer of professorship at Charles University in Prague, to be held jointly with appointment in Geneva; 18 Sept.: receives honorary doctorate, Harvard University.
1936–7 Winter term: attempts to deliver lectures at Charles University in Prague, but political harassment, including blatant anti-Semitism and threats on Kelsen’s life, makes it impossible.
1939 Resolves to leave Europe.
(p.142) 1940 May: departs from Geneva.
1940 21 June: Hans and Margarete Kelsen arrive in New York.
1940–2 Kelsen works as ‘research associate’ at Harvard Law School, with stipend from the Rockefeller Foundation.
1940–1 Delivers Oliver Wendell Holmes Lectures, Harvard Law School, published in 1942 as Law and Peace in International Relations (Cambridge, Mass., xi, 181-pp.).
1941 Sept.: receives honorary doctorate, University of Chicago.
1942 Spring term: Mary Whiton Calkins Professor, Wellesley College.
1942–5 Autumn-spring: visiting lectureship, Department of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley.
1944 Publishes Peace through Law (Chapel Hill, NC, xii, 155-pp.).
1945 Publishes General Theory of Law and State (Cambridge, Mass., xxxiii, 388-pp., and appendix); spring-summer: legal adviser, United Nations War Crimes Commission, Washington, DC.
1945–52 Professor, Department of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley.
1946 Publishes Society and Nature (London, viii, 391-pp.).
1947 24 June: is named ‘honorary professor’, University of Vienna.
1949 25 June: is named ‘honorary professor’, University of Rio de Janeiro; publishes Political Theory of Bolshevism. A Critical Study (Berkeley, iv, 60-pp.).
1950 Publishes Law of the United Nations (London, xvii, 903-pp.).
1951 21 July: receives honorary doctorate, National University of Mexico.
1952 28 Jan.: receives honorary doctorate, University of California, Berkeley; publishes Principles of International Law (New York, xvii, 461-pp.); delivers valedictory lecture, ‘What is Justice?’, University of California, Berkeley.
1952–3 Visiting Professor, Graduate Institute for International Legal Studies, Geneva.
1953 Delivers Hague Lectures, Academy of International Law (Kelsen’s third Hague Lecture series).
1953–4 Visiting Professor of International Law, United States Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island.
(p.143) 1954 Receives honorary doctorate, University of Salamanca (Spain).
1955 Publishes Communist Theory of Law (London, viii, 203-pp.); publishes Foundations of Democracy (Chicago, 101-pp.), a version of Walgreen Lectures, University of Chicago.
1957 Publishes Collective Security under International Law (Washington, DC, vi, 275-pp.); publishes What is Justice? (Berkeley, 397-pp.), a collection of papers.
1959–71 (approx.) Conducts research on the theory of norms, the work of his ‘later period’, marked by scepticism and tacit defence of ‘will’ theory of law.
1960 5 Apr.: is named ‘honorary professor’, National University of Mexico; 9 June: is awarded the prestigious ‘Premio Feltrinelli’, Italian Academy of the Lincei; publishes Pure Theory of Law 2nd edn. (Vienna, xii, 498-pp.).
1961 20 July: receives honorary doctorate, Free University of Berlin; 18 Sept.: receives honorary doctorate, University of Vienna; 27 Sept.: receives honorary doctorate, New School for Social Research, New York.
1963 7 Nov.: receives honorary doctorate, University of Paris.
1967 1 June: receives honorary doctorate, University of Salzburg.
1973 19 Apr.: Kelsen’s death, Berkeley, California.
1979 General Theory of Norms (xii, 362-pp.) is published in Vienna.
1985 The Illusion of justice. A Critical Examination of Plato’s Social Philosophy (x, 485-pp.) is published in Vienna. (p.144)