16: “On A Recent Theory of ‘Legal Obligation'”


Abstract: This paper, by the late Bruno Leoni, was originally published in the Italian journal Il Politico in 1966. In the article, Leoni reviews H.L.A. Hart’s The Concept of Law (1961). Hart first analyzes the concept of law by resorting to the classical concept of “obligation.” But he later tries a “fresh start” by resorting to the concept of “secondary rules.” In his review, Leoni argues that the former attempt is confronted with serious difficulties, and that the latter attempt (to which professor Hart possibly resorts in view of overcoming some of said difficulties) is ultimately inconsistent with the former.