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Pure theory of law german reine rechtslehre is a book by legal theorist hans kelsen first published in 1934 and in a greatly expanded second edition effectively a new book in 1960the second edition appeared in english translation in 1967 as pure theory of law the first edition in english translation in 1992 as introduction to the problems of legal theorythe idea of a pure theory of law was propounded by the formidable austrian jurist and philosopher hans kelsen 18811973 see the bibliographical note kelsen began his long career as a legal theorist at the beginning of the 20th century the traditional legal philosophies at the time were the pure theory of law maintains that laws are norms handed down by the state laws are not defined in terms of history ethics sociology or other external factors a legal system is an interconnected system of norms in which coercive techniques are used to secure compliance the validity of each law or legal norm is traced to another pure theory of law hans kelsen on amazoncom free shipping on qualifying offers reprint of the second revised and enlarged edition a complete revision of the first edition published in 1934 a landmark in the development of modern jurisprudencepure theory of law much less his novel and related theory of the basis of international law which is to be discussed in a separate volume7 kelsens fundamental philosophy of law was erected by means of a scaffolding of kantian metaphysics epistemology and legal philosophy which seems to

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