Karl Olivecrona

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Karl Olivecrona (25 October 1897, Norrbärke – 1980) was a Swedish lawyer and legal philosopher. He studied law at Uppsala from 1915 to 1920 and was a pupil of Axel Hägerström, the spiritual father of Scandinavian legal realism. One of the internationally best-known Swedish legal theorists, Olivecrona was a professor of procedural law and legal philosophy at Lund University. His writings emphasise the psychological significance of legal ideas. His most striking work on legal theory, the first edition of his book Law as Fact (of 1939, almost entirely different in content from the similarly titled 1971 work), stressed the importance of a monopoly of force as the fundamental basis of law. Olivecrona's politics during World War II showed a related stress on a need for overwhelming coercive power to guarantee order in international relations. He became convinced that Europe required an unchallengeable controlling force to ensure its peace and unity, and that Germany alone could provide this. His pamphlet England eller Tyskland (England or Germany), published in the darkest days of the war, argued that England had lost its claim to exert leadership in Europe and that the future required an acceptance of German hegemony.

Axel Hägerström Swedish philosopher and jurist

Axel Anders Theodor Hägerström was a Swedish philosopher.

Legal realism is a naturalistic approach to law and is the view that jurisprudence should emulate the methods of natural science, i.e., rely on empirical evidence. Hypotheses have to be tested against observations of the world.

Lund University university located in the city of Lund in the province of Scania, Sweden

Lund University is a public university, consistently ranked among the world's top 100 universities. The university, located in the city of Lund in the province of Scania, Sweden, arguably traces its roots back to 1425, when a Franciscan studium generale was founded in Lund next to the Lund Cathedral. After Sweden won Scania from Denmark in the 1658 Treaty of Roskilde, the university was founded in 1666 on the location of the old studium generale next to Lund Cathedral.

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Indirectly, Scandinavian legal realism, with its emphasis on "law as fact", helped to create a climate conducive to the sociological study of law. One of Olivecrona's doctoral students, Per Stjernquist, who as a left-leaning liberal entirely rejected his supervisor's politics, became a pioneer of sociology of law and was largely responsible for establishing it as a university subject in Sweden in the early 1960s.

Per Stjernquist (1912–2005) was a Swedish law professor who was almost single-handedly responsible for establishing the teaching of the new field of sociology of law in Sweden from the 1960s.

Works

International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.

Further reference

Torben Spaak, A Critical Appraisal of Karl Olivecrona's Legal Philosophy (Springer, 2014).

Roger Cotterrell, "Northern Lights: From Swedish Realism to Sociology of Law", 40 Journal of Law and Society 657-69 (2013).

See also

Herbert Olivecrona surgeon

Axel Herbert Olivecrona was a Swedish professor and brain surgeon, credited with founding the field of Swedish neurosurgery, and pioneering developments in modern neurosurgery. Olivecrona also was a bandy players


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