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This scholarly treatise develops a critical version of legal positivism as the basis for modern legal scholarship. The author develops an alternative to the traditional legal positivism of Hans Kelsen and H.L.A. Hart giving an account of how modern positive law can solve the problem of its limits and criteria of legitimacy.;The book makes a distinction between the two aspects of law: the law as a legal order, and the law as legal practices. Secondly, the law as a legal order is examined in terms of three levels: the surface level, the legal culture and the deep structure of law. These levels are connected through specific relations that are channelled by the legal practices of lawmaking, adjudication and legal science. These relations, responsible for the internal dynamics of the law, are termed sedimentation, constitution, specification, limitation, justification and criticism. Finally, the book aims to provide fresh insights into the autonomy of modern law as well as the interplay of external and internal factors in the development of the law