The following research questions were broadly identified: 1. What is legal positivism? 2. What is Austin`s Law? 3. What are the attacks and criticisms of Austin`s theory of legal positivism? 4. What are the differences between Austin and Bentham? Legal positivism, a dominant movement of the 19th century, gained popularity among English jurists and jurists of the world, mainly thanks to the work of John Austin. He developed a legal positivism within the School of Analytical Jurisprudence that contributed significantly to a scholarly study of what law is. The motivation for writing an article on jurisprudence is that the scholarly study of law sees links with other social sciences such as politics, international relations, psychology and sociology. The study of Austinian legal positivism and its relevance to modern society has been important in determining that a legal theory should not be overlooked as a minimum relevance to actual legal practice. Austin`s legal positivism captures insights into the current circumstances of the law.
This article has comprehensively examined the main elements of Austin`s theory as a logically compelling philosophy concerning the character of the law. His theory is critically tested to examine whether it was consistent in his time, in modern times, and relevant to other jurisdictions. The author describes the development of legal positivism in the English legal tradition, and then presents Austin`s theory of law as well as some of the scholarly criticisms. Then, the theory is critically evaluated in relation to the revival of natural law at the Nuremberg trials. Despite views that his theory was irrelevant and practical to modern societies, it was defended as an important insight into the nature of the law. Thomas Poole and David Dyzenhaus (eds.), Theorists of Constitutional Crisis: Oakeshott, Hayek and Schmitt on Law, Liberty and State (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).