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A Life of H.L.A. HartThe Nightmare and the Noble Dream$
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Nicola Lacey

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199202775

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199202775.001.0001

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Law in the Perspective of Philosophy: Causation in the Law, The Concept of Law

Law in the Perspective of Philosophy: Causation in the Law, The Concept of Law

(p.209) Chapter 9 Law in the Perspective of Philosophy: Causation in the Law, The Concept of Law
A Life of H.L.A. Hart

Nicola Lacey

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the publication of Causation in the Law and The Concept of Law. Causation in the Law represents a thoroughgoing application of the linguistic philosophical analysis to law. It presents a spirited defence of the idea that causation in law is indeed a distinctive ground for the attribution of liability, and a persuasive critique of the causal minimalist position as collapsing questions of the ground of liability (causation) into questions about its scope or extent (policy factors affecting the extent of damages or the scope of the rule), and, in doing so, as blurring what is argued to be the proper division of labour between judge and jury, between law and fact. In The Concept of Law Hart claimed to set out a general, descriptive theory of law: a theory of law as it is, and not an ideal theory of what law ought to be. This would be at once a contribution to ‘analytical jurisprudence’ and to ‘descriptive sociology’. In other words, Hart sought to elucidate a concept of law which would be relevant to all forms of law, wherever or whenever they arose.

Keywords:   linguistic philosophical analysis, Causation in the Law, The Concept of Law, philosophy of law, causation

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