Libertarian theories of law

Libertarian theories of law

Libertarian theories of law build upon classical liberal and individualist anarchist doctrines.

The defining characteristics of libertarian legal theory are its insistence that the amount of government intervention should be kept to a minimum and the primary functions of law should be enforcement of contracts and social order, though "social order" is often seen as a desirable side effect of a free market rather than a philosophical necessity. Historically, the Austrian economist Friedrich Hayek is the most important libertarian legal theorist. Another important predecessor was Lysander Spooner, a 19th century American individualist anarchist and lawyer. John Locke was also an influence on libertarian law theory (see "Two Treatises of Government)". Ideas range from anarchocapitalism to a minimal state providing mere enforcement of contracts. Some advocate regulation, including the existence of a police force, military, public land, and public infrastructure. Geolibertarians oppose ownership of land on Georgist grounds.

Notable theorists

Authors discussing libertarian legal theory include:

*Randy Barnett ("The Structure of Liberty")
*Walter Block
*Richard Epstein ("Skepticism and Freedom")
*David Friedman ("The Machinery of Freedom")
*Friedrich Hayek ("Law, Legislation and Liberty")
*Gene Healy
*Jacob Hornberger
*Stephan Kinsella
*Bruno Leoni ("Freedom and the Law")
*Robert P. Murphy ("Chaos Theory").
*Robert Nozick ("Anarchy, State, and Utopia")
*Roger Pilon
*Murray Rothbard


*Randy Barnett (1998). "The Structure of Liberty: Justice and the Rule of Law". Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 0-19-829324-0.
*Richard Epstein (2003). "Skepticism and Freedom: A Modern Case for Classical Liberalism". Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-21304-8.
*Friedrich Hayek (1981). "Law, Legislation and Liberty: The Political Order of a Free People". Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-415-09868-8, ISBN 0-226-32090-1.

ee also

*Judicial activism
*Law and economics
*Classical liberalism
*Philosophy of law
*Polycentric law

External links

* [ Randy Barnett's "The Structure of Liberty"]
*" [ Legal Theory Lexicon: Libertarian Theories of Law] "

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