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Essays on BenthamJurisprudence and Political Philosophy$
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H. L. A. Hart

Print publication date: 1982

Print ISBN-13: 9780198254683

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198254683.001.0001

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Legal Powers

Legal Powers

Chapter:
(p.194) VIII Legal Powers
Source:
Essays on Bentham
Author(s):

H. L. A. Hart

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198254683.003.0009

Bentham starts his analysis with the reduction of all legal powers to two main kinds, the second of which, though different from the first, is dependent upon it. These two kinds at first sight seem only to reflect the notion that there may be power over inanimate things as well as power over persons. But Bentham is too perceptive to make what would, in this context, be a misleading distinction, because he sees that persons up to a point are like inanimate things: they have after all physical bodies which can be handled or interfered with, moved or confined like things.

Keywords:   legal powers, inanimate things, Bentham, legal system, legislation, contracts

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