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Libertarian theories of law

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Libertarianism [edit]

Factions
Minarchism
Anarcho-capitalism
Paleolibertarianism
Geolibertarianism

Influences
Objectivism
Austrian School
Classical liberalism
Individualist anarchism

Practices
Capitalism

Key issues
Economic views
Views of rights
Theories of law
Criticism

Libertarian theories of law build on libertarianism or classical liberalism. The defining characteristic of libertarian legal theory is its insistence that the primary or only legitimate function of law is the preservation of individual liberty. Historically, the Austrian economist Friedrich Hayek is one of the most important libertarian legal theorists. Among contemporary legal theorists, an important and influential libertarian is Randy Barnett, who set out a comprehensive libertarian theory of law in his book The Structure of Liberty. Richard Epstein is also a prominent libertarian legal theorist.

Libertarian legal theory addresses a variety of substantive topics, including the following:

  • What is a legitimate constitutional right in light of the principles of libertarian political theory?
  • What are just practices of criminal punishment?
  • What are the limits on legitimate government authority? For example, what is the extent of the legitimate police power?

References

  • Randy Barnett (1998). The Structure of Liberty: Justice and the Rule of Law. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 0198293240.
  • Richard Epstein (2003). Skepticism and Freedom: A Modern Case for Classical Liberalism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0226213048.
  • Friedrich Hayek (1981). Law, Legislation and Liberty: The Political Order of a Free People. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0415098688, ISBN 0226320901.

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External links

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