Author ORCID Identifier

Allan C. Hutchinson: 0009-0003-8974-2886

Document Type


Publication Date


Source Publication

"The Debate That Never Should Have Been: Dworking, Hart, and the Analytical Project," UBC Law Review: (2018) Vol. 51: Iss. 3


As with most other things, the fortunes of jurisprudence ebb and flow. After an extended period of scholarly dominance, the past few years have witnessed a relative decline in its significance and prominence. This is no bad thing because jurisprudence has been trapped in an increasingly narrow debate characterized by its esoteric confines and analytical ambitions-what is the nature of law? There appeared to be a brief moment when other more expansive and less restrictive options for disciplinary development seemed possible. However, any reports of the demise of analytical jurisprudence now seem premature: the posthumous publication of a dated essay by Ronald Dworkin ( as a reply to an even more dated and posthumous comment by Herbert Hart) appears to have given a new lease on life to the analytical project. Whether this turns out to be a genuine resurgence of scholarly activity or the last gasp of a dying tradition is a matter of dispute and time.