Fernando D'Aniello

When a State Dies. Notes on Hans Kelsen’s Legal Theory in Comparison with the Ruling Staatslehre between Weimar and Bonn

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Keywords: Sovereignty, State-Continuity, People, Pure Theory, Kelsen

The paper analyses the application of Hans Kelsen’s theory of law and state to two historical moments, namely the end of the Habsburg monarchy and the emergence of new nation states on its territory, and the legal status of Germany after WWII. The polemical discussion with the majority of the Austrian and German jurisprudence discloses the peculiarity of Kelsen’s theory, especially the idea of purity (Reinheit) and the identity of law and state, their implication on the idea of sovereignty and international law and why they have been rejected in Germany until the late 70s.

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