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Table of Contents

1. Introduction; Part I. Law As It Is: 2. British legal positivism: philosophical roots and command theories; 3. Herbert Hart's new beginning and new questions; 4. Germanic legal positivism: Hans Kelsen's quest for the pure theory of law; 5. Realism in legal theory; Part II. Law and Morality: 6. Natural law tradition from antiquity to the Enlightenment; 7. John Finnis' restatement of classical natural law; 8. Separation of law and morality; Part III. Social Dimensions of Law: 9. Sociological jurisprudence and sociology of law; 10. Radical jurisprudence: challenges to liberal legal theory; 11. Economic analysis of law; 12. Evolutionary jurisprudence; Part IV. Rights and Justice: 13. Fundamental legal conceptions: the building blocks of legal norms; 14. Justice.

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Offers a logically structured, comprehensive, well-researched and accessible overview of legal theory and philosophy.

About the Author

Suri Ratnapala has taught jurisprudence, constitutional law and constitutional political economy for thirty years, principally at the University of Queensland but also occasionally at universities in the US, UK, Germany, Italy and the Czech Republic. He held the Chair of Public Law at the TC Beirne School of Law until his retirement in 2015. Ratnapala's postgraduate teaching has included the supervision of a large number of successful Ph.D. students. The value of his contributions has been recognised through a number of international awards and fellowships including a Sir Anthony Fisher Memorial Award, a John Templeton Foundation Award and a Centenary of Australian Federation Medal. In 2012, he was invited to become a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law. The Academy invites only 'persons of exceptional distinction in the discipline of law who are demonstrably committed to the objects of the Academy'. His book Welfare State or Constitutional State (1990) won the Sir Anthony Fisher Award. Suri Ratnapala is a co-author and contributing editor of a number of other books.


"Professor Ratnapala's book [provides] an accessible overview of the various schools of thought, and of their place in the history of ideas, while also identifying, with a respectfully light touch, the deficiencies in the effort of each school to explain what it is that the courts are doing and why they are doing it. Professor Ratnapala's wide-ranging survey provides a comprehensive study of all the schools of jurisprudence, while at the same time avoiding the temptation to accord some of these schools only a superficial treatment. It will be a useful book for students and for practising lawyers interested in knowing what the students are banging on about. Hopefully, that means all of us. Speaking for myself again, I particularly appreciated the gentle but effective discussion of the place of the school of critical legal studies in the jurisprudential firmament." --Hon. Justice Patrick Keane, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court of Queensland

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