Julieta A. Rabanos

Back to (Law as) Fact. Some Remarks on Olivecrona, Scandinavian Legal Realism, and Legal Notions as Hollow Words

Are you already subscribed?
Login to check whether this content is already included on your personal or institutional subscription.


The aim of this paper is to critically reconsider some of the main tenets underlying Karl Olivecrona’s works. The first two sections are devoted to a brief reconstruction of his position on methodology for the study of legal phenomena, including the endorsement of philosophical realism and the enterprise of demystifying legal language through linguistic therapy (§ 2), as well as his particular conception of legal notions as hollow words (§ 3). I will then provide a brief analysis of a central legal concept – that of “authorityµ – to show how Olivecrona’s methodological framework can be applied (§ 4). The last two sections are devoted to the analysis and evaluation of three possible criticisms of Olivecrona’s claims as a legal realist (§ 5) and some brief concluding remarks on the usefulness of Olivecrona’s approach for contemporary legal philosophy (§ 6).


  • Karl Olivecrona
  • Scandinavian Legal Realism
  • demystification of legal language
  • hollow words
  • legal methodology


Article first page

Trova nel catalogo di Worldcat