Hart and Positivism

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Joshua Brown
Hart and Positivism

According to Hart law consists of primary and secondary rules. The primary rules are the rules that are “rules of obligation.” (Hart. Pg 204) This means that primary rules are rules that obligate a person to do something or to not do something. For example, the first Amendment, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceable to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” (http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html#Am1) The first Amendment is an example of a primary rule because it directly affects the people of the United States of America by allowing them to have the freedom of religion, press and expression. This is an example of obligating a person not to do something, which means that the person is not obligated to have any other religion other than their own, for example.

The second part of law is the secondary rules. Secondary rules only affect primary rules. This means that a secondary rule can help clarify, alter, eliminate, bring into effect, verify or determine whether a primary rule has been broken. For example the only reason we have the first amendment of the United States Constitution is because of Article 5 of the U.S. Constitution which states, The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to...
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