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Idea and Reality of Law. Gustav Radbruch’s Rechtsphilosophie

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The essay takes its cue from the publication of the Italian edition of Radbruch’s Rechtsphilosphie to support the need for a complete and systematic examination of his theoretical path. In the first part, it examines the fundamental elements of Radbruch’s system (justice, utility, legal certainty) in the development of his thought, of which he highlights the originality with respect to the theories of legal positivism and natural law of the time. The second part of the essay is dedicated to the concept of relativism, an idea capable of explaining many things of the Radbruch’s system. This notion of relativism is compared with the positions of Max Weber and Hans Kelsen. Finally, it is shown how the theoretical but not practical relativism professed by him also founds the absolute value of human rights.


  • Justice
  • Utility
  • Legal Certainty
  • Relativism


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