The laws which are in force in a certain system depends on what kind of social standards its officials recognize as authoritative.
They may be legislative enactments, judicial decisions, or social customs.
Prior to the American Revolution, English political thinkers John Austin and Thomas Hobbes articulated the command theory of law, which stood for the proposition that the only legal authorities that courts should recognize are the commands of the sovereign, because only the sovereign is entrusted with the power to enforce its commands with military and police force.
Thomas Hobbes argued that “it is improbable for any statute to be unjust”.
Positive law consists of those commands laid down by a sovereign (or its agents), to be contrasted to other law-givers, like God’s general commands, and the general commands of an employer to an employee.
The “sovereign” is defined as a person (or determinate body of persons) who receives habitual obedience from the bulk of the population, but who does not habitually obey any other (earthly) person or institution.
He expounds on this further by identifying the elements of the definition and distinguishing law from other concepts that are similar: “Commands” involve an expressed wish that something be done, and “an evil” to be imposed if that wish is not complied with.
But perhaps, the most popular version or interpretation would be that of the Separation Thesis.Positivism is from the Latin root positus, which means to posit, postulate, or firmly affix the existence of something.Legal positivism is a school of jurisprudence whose advocates believe that the only legitimate sources of law are those written rules, regulations, and principles that have been expressly enacted, adopted, or recognized by a governmental entity or political institution, including administrative, executive, legislative, and judicial bodies. Legal positivism is a theory which answers these questions.However, the merits of law do not determine whether a law or a legal system indeed exists.The existence of a legal system in a society can be inferred from the different structures of governance present, and not on the extent to which it satisfies ideals of justice, democracy, or rule of law.You can view samples of our professional work here.Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Law Teacher.The basic question to be asked when talking about this theory is “What is law? Legal positivism is the legal philosophy which argues that any and all laws are nothing more and nothing less than simply the expression of the will of whatever authority created them.Thus, no laws can be regarded as expressions of higher morality or higher principles to which people can appeal when they disagree with the laws. The creation of laws is simply an exercise in brute force and an expression of power, not an attempt to realize any loftier moral or social goals.Another famous advocate of legal positivism in America’s history is probably Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.He wrote that the “prophecies of what the courts will do in fact, and nothing more pretentious, are what I mean by the law”.