Carla Faralli

Legal Positivism under Scrutiny: Guido Fassò’s Criticism of Kelsenianism

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This essay analyzes Guido Fassò’s critique of Kelsenian legal positivism beginning with his lecture at the 1966 Pavia roundtable. In focus at the event were two texts by Norberto Bobbio and Uberto Scarpelli that were considered a synthesis of fifteen years of alliance between Kelsenianism and analytic philosophy. Fassò took issue with this alliance, criticizing the static nature of legal positivism, its unresponsiveness to history, and social demands. But then, striking a theme he would go on to develop especially in the 1970s, he also recognizes the need for positive legality, an element without which law would be left to the whims of the judges’ decision-making


  • Guido Fassò
  • Norberto Bobbio
  • Uberto Scarpelli
  • Legal Positivism
  • Natural Law Theory


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