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John Austin is considered to be the father of analytical
or positivist thought.He is the founder of analytical
He also published Province of Jurisprudence
Determined in 1832.
In his classic work he dealt with the sources and nature
of law and an analysis of English legal system.
AUSTIN’S ANALYTICAL POSITIVISM
According to Austin the law may be divided into two
-Law of God-laws set by God for men.
-Human laws-laws set by men for men.
Law is command of sovereign.
No necessary connection between law and morals or
“law as it is” and “law ought to be”.
Legal system is a closed logical system.
Characteristics of analytical
SOVEREIGN-According to Austin the Sovereign is a determinate
human superior who receives habitual obedience from bulk of a
given society and is not in the habit of obedience to a like
COMMAND-According of Austin law prevails in the form of
command but it must be a command of sovereign.
SANCTION-There must be a provision of punishment in case
the law is disobeyed.There cannot be a law without punishment.
DUTY-As law is a command of sovereign,it is a duty of everyone
to obey it.
Austin theory of law
Law is command of sovereignity which is divided into
Prof.Razz pointed out four attributes of Austin’s
-It is not subordinate.Example-Indian contitution.
-Illimitable or unlimited.
Criticism on austin theory
Customs and convention ignored or overlooked.
No place for judge made laws i.e.precedent.
The word “Command” is over- emphasised.
Sanction alone is not means to induce obedience.
Sometimes the law is based upon religion.This aspect is not at all
considered by Austin.For eg. Private laws Hindu and Muslim
laws are based on religion.
Austin notion of sovereignity had becomes falsified in modern
system because sovereignity is split into-
Permissive character of law is ignored.
Merits of austin theory
The merit of Austin’s theory of law lies in its
simplicity.consistency and clarity of exposition.
Austin has correctly stated that sanction helps in
enforcement of law.
Austin’s theory separated law from moral.Law is
confused with religion and morals hence credit goes to
Austin for separating laws from morals.
Though there are some weaknesses in the
theory of law propounded by Austin,it has
great contribution to the study of
jurisprudence.He approached the problem
of definition of law from point of view of
maintenance of law,order and security in the