A.V Lundstedt- Scandinavian Realist

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Brief Historical Background of A V Lundstedt

Lundstedt (1882-1955) was a Swedish jurist and a proponent of Scandinavian Legal Realism. He was also a professor of Law at the University of Uppsala in Sweden, from 1914 to 1952. Similarly to Haegerstrom, Ross and Olivercrona, he resisted the exposition of rights as metaphysical entities- contending that realistic legal analysis should dispense with such ideology. Beyond being a prominent tort law scholar, Lundstedt was also a social democratic member of the Swedish Parliament from 1929 to 1948. The body of his work can be viewed as an attempt to revolutionise the field of jurisprudence by transforming the law into a catalyst for political and social reform.

Legal Knowledge and Legal Science

Lundstedt is regarded by some as the most extreme and buoyant of the Scandinavian realists. Lundstedt advocated that legal science should be conceived of as a real science, and to that end he rejected traditional legal science. His main objection to traditional legal science was that it employed metaphysical concepts; inter alia, “right”, “duty”, “wrong –doing” and “guilt”. The focal point of his theoretical work was his sustained attacks towards what he termed the method of justice. The method of justice is the turn of phrase used by Lundstedt to denote traditional legal science, (derived from the traditional method of natural law), which holds that human beings are persons endowed with legal rights and duties. He was of the view that the term “right” and other metaphysical concepts employed by traditional legal science, were all illusory concepts ; that they were naught else but an intellectual play with expressions of feeling - as if something real were designated thereby. Such concepts could not be used because they did not refer to any natural facts - therefore the terms were devoid of any conceptual meaning. To cement the sphere of legal knowledge as a bonafide, real science – legal science must be an...
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