H. L. A. Hart

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In Hart's view, what are the defining features of a legal system? (That is, what must it have in order to count as a legal system?)

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I believe what you are referring to here is the idea of primary and secondary rules.  Primary rules are the rules that are imposed by authorities on the common people of a society.  They are the commands of the sovereign that must be obeyed.  Secondary rules are the laws that give authority to the rule makers -- the laws that say how laws must be made, etc.

In order for a legal system to be valid, the following things must happen:

  1. People in general must obey the primary rules.
  2. The people who make the primary rules must accept and obey the secondary rules.

If these conditions are met, a system can truly be a legal system.

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