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The Grundnorm

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What is The ‘Grundnorm’ ?
Grundnorm is a German word meaning "fundamental norm." and Kelson’s pure theory of law based on pyramidical structure of hierarchy norms is sought validity from it . The jurist and legal philosopher Hans Kelsen coined this term to determine and gives validity to other norms derived from it . The validity of the Grundnorm can’t depend on any other norm it must be presupposed . As Kelson says that , “ by formulating the Grundnorm , we don’t introduce into the science of law any new method . We merely make explicit what all jurists, mostly unconsciously assume when they consider positive law as a system of valid norms and not only as a complex of facts and at the same time repudiate any natural law from which positive law would receive its validity . That the Grundnorm really exist in the juristic consciousness is the result of a simple analysis of actual juristic state means. The Grundnorm is the answer to the question how and that means under what condition – are these juristic statements concerning legal norms, legal duties , legal rights and so on , possible .”(1)

1. Raymond Wacks : Understanding Jurisprudence

In other hand it seems that the validity of this norm rests not on another norm or rule of law , but is assumed for the purpose of purity . It is therefore a hypothesis about the reality behind the law but explicitly as a methodological maxim , a norm of method which is ontologically neutral . Kelson brings this term Grundnorm or basic norm for answering a question of legal theory , why is law obeyed ? His answer was legal norms are objectively valid and they derive their ultimate validity from the Grundnorm. He considers legal science as a pyramid of norms with Grundnorm at the apex . The subordinate norms are controlled by norms superior to them in hierarchical order . However Grundnorm…...

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