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Human rights

David Ingram

Constitutional Law

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Reconciling Positivism And Realism: Kelsen And Habermas On Democracy And Human Rights, David Ingram Oct 2013

Reconciling Positivism And Realism: Kelsen And Habermas On Democracy And Human Rights, David Ingram

David Ingram

It is well known that Hans Kelsen and Jürgen Habermas invoke realist arguments drawn from social science in defending an international, democratic human rights regime against Carl Schmitt’s attack on the rule of law. However, despite embracing the realist spirit of Kelsen’s legal positivism, Habermas criticizes Kelsen for neglecting to connect the rule of law with a concept of procedural justice (Part I). I argue, to the contrary (Part II), that Kelsen does connect these terms, albeit in a manner that may be best described as functional, rather than conceptual. Indeed, whereas Habermas tends to emphasize a conceptual ...