Can a Grund Norm Provide Sufficient Legitimacy to a Legal System Based on Norms?

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Submitted by: Rajwant Singh Bamel
Enrollment No.: 20091034
Section: A
Can a grund norm provide sufficient legitimacy to a legal system based on norms?

Law in a society may or may not be governed by the existence of the norms prevailing, but it is always influenced by them in one way or the other. To some people norms might be something that is imposed over them through their culture and tradition and they are coerced to follow them, while for others it might be something very sacred that has been followed over generations and they feel privileged to follow them. To answer the relation between norms, the grund norm and the legitimacy of law, we first need to understand what Kelsen means by the term ‘grund norm’. ‘Grund norm’ as defined by Kelsen is a norm which is presupposed in juristic thinking and is not a norm created by will of a legal organ. When Kelsen talks about the how the grundnorm is presupposed to be valid, he means that the basic norm, the one norm from which all norms are derived, has to be assumed to be valid. Only then all the current norms that are functional in our society can be validated through it. By supposing that the grund norm is valid all the existing norms can also be considered legitimate, as they are also somehow derived from the same basic norm. Grund norm is something from which the complete human behavior and his actions are deduced. All laws can be considered to be derived from that only. Human behavior and laws are deduced themselves from the highest norm that is the grund norm. For instance, in a University forms a rule that smoking is prohibited on campus, say this is the guideline set by UGC to all universities and has to be followed. UGC is an organization created by the stae, ruled by the legislature, and the legislature is completely ruled by the constitution. So, here in this case, the constitution is the grund norm. The guidelines set by UGC are derived through it and the rules set by the university authorities...
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