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  • 11/08/2022

Britannica is the ultimate student resource for key school subjects like history, government, literature, and more. Although many scholars argue that “the boundaries between public and private law are becoming blurred”, and that this distinction has become mere “folklore” (Bergkamp, Liability and Environment, 1–2). In the 18th century, Adam Smith presented a philosophical foundation for explaining the relationship between law and economics. The discipline arose partly out of a critique of trade unions and U.S. antitrust law.

While laws are positive “is” statements (e.g. the fine for reversing on a highway is €500); law tells us what we “should” do. Thus, each legal system can be hypothesised to have a basic norm instructing us to obey. Kelsen’s major opponent, Carl Schmitt, rejected both positivism and the idea of the rule of law because he did not accept the primacy of abstract normative principles over concrete political positions and decisions.

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