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John Austin

Austin, John, 1790–1859, English jurist. He served (1826–32) as professor of jurisprudence at the Univ. of London, and his lectures were published (with additional material) as The Province of Jurisprudence Determined (1832, repr. 1967, 3 vol.) and Lectures on Jurisprudence (1869, 5th ed. 1911). These books presented a comprehensive analysis of the principles underlying all legal systems. Austin argued that law was the expression of the will of the sovereign authority and was not to be confused with the dictates of religion and ethics. Austin's work—in part stemming from that of Jeremy Bentham—had a strong influence on many later legal theorists, including John Stuart Mill. His wife, Sarah Taylor Austin, was a well-known translator.

See J. Brown, ed., The Austinian Theory of Law (1906).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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