Course:Law3020/2014WT1/Group G/System Of Rights
Dworkin- Law, principles, and Rights Currently one of the most dominant figures in jurisprudence and a great influential legal philosopher, Ronald Dworkin has contested almost every aspect of legal positivist theory rejecting much of H.L.A. Hart’s work in the area. Dworkin begins his criticism of legal positivism by outlining three foundational propositions that he contests. The first proposition Dworkin disagrees with concerns the positivist belief that law can be understood as a system of rules.(pg. 235) Dworkin doesn’t believe that positivism can explain the normativity of law. (235)The third proposition that he contests is that which Hart believes judges exercise discretion when there is no legal rule to apply.(235) For Dworkin the law contains more than rules, hence his theory of the role of principles in the law. The role of principles in law undermines what Dworkin believes to be the positivist position. Although positivists don’t completely deny the existence of principles, they dismiss their importance in relation to the hard cases in which they feel judges should exercise their discretion.
When case law is irrelevant to the case at hand, H.L.A. Hart