Applicability of Hans Kelsen’s ‘Grundnorm’
Volume III, Issue II, 2020
Kelsen took this argument very seriously. He observed that the actions and events that constitute, say, the enactment of a law, are all within the sphere of what “is” the case, they are all within the sphere of actions and events that take place in the world. The law, or legal norms, are within the sphere of “ought”, they are norms that purport to guide conduct. Thus, to get an “ought” type of conclusion from a set of “is” premises, one must point to some “ought” premise in the background, an “ought” that confers the normative meaning on the relevant type of “is”. Since the actual, legal, chain of validity comes to an end, we inevitably reach a point where the “ought” has to be presupposed, and this is the presupposition of the basic norm. The author will discuss the applicability of the ‘Grundnorm’ of Kelsen in today’s scenario.