The sense of Legal Positivism (II) Prescriptive Legal Positivism as a Human Right

Abstract

Continúa aquí defendiéndose el iuspositivismo "prescriptivo" o "ético" ya esbozado en la primera parte de este artículo (Doxa, núm 25): entender el iuspositivismo como una teoría normativa (no conceptual ni descriptiva) sobre la forma del Derecho como gobierno de reglas claras y precisas empíricamente aplicables sin recurrir a opiniones morales. Ahora se muestra cómo lo anterior constituye un derecho humano vinculado a la democracia y a la igualdad: los derechos humanos incorporan la idea del imperio de la ley, pero de la ley positiva en ese sentido formal. En consecuencia, la tarea de articular los derechos humanos es de los gobiernos y los parlamentos, no de los tribunales ni de la Constitución, siendo el control judicial sustantivo sobre las leyes algo básicamente antidemocrático. Por último, la disputa conceptual entre el iuspositivismo incluyente y el excluyente debe reformularse como una disputa moral y política sobre qué órgano ha de determinar el contenido de las reglas y sobre si la regla de reconocimiento debe o no contener criterios morales.“Prescriptive” or “ethical” legal positivism, which was outlined in the first part of this article (Doxa, No. 25), is now further argued for. Positivism should be regarded as a normative (rather than conceptual or descriptive) theory as to what a legal system ought to be like formally, namely, the governance of clear and specific rules that can be empirically applied or followed without recourse to moral contentions. Now it is argued how the latter amounts to a human right associated with democracy and equality: what is embedded in human rights is not just any rule of law but the rule of positive law in such formal sense. As a consequence, the responsibility for implementing human rights is a task for governments and legislatures, not courts nor the Constitution–substantive judicial review of legislation being fundamentally undemocratic. Finally, conceptual disputes between inclusive and exclusive legal positivists should be re-expressed as moral and political disputes about which body should determine the content of rules and about whether or not the rule of recognition should contain moral criteria within it

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