This article is the foreword to «Pure Theory of Law» by Hans Kelsen reedited in 2008. The author of this article, M. Jestaedt, mentions the most common mistakes and misunderstandings suffered by the legal theory of Kelsen. Jestaedt also stresses ambiguity in reception of Kelsenian ideas. He describes the context of creation and publication of «Pure Theory of Law», and accentuates the revolutionary character of this book for its époque. Jestaedt underlines the role the adherents and neophytes of Hans Kelsen played in development of his legal doctrine. Among the most important ideas of this doctrine Jestaedt cites those about self-referential character of law and about purity. Kelsen requires such purity from the methodology of legal studies and not from law which is the object of these studies.
In this article M. Troper sets out the key ideas of his realist theory of legal interpretation through juxtaposition of these ideas to the conception of interpretation developed by the Austrian philosopher Hans Kelsen. Troper insists that logical coherence of the Kelsenian understanding of a legal norm as of a meaning inevitably leads to the idea that the real legislator is not a parliament but a judge who applies the legal texts created by a parliament. Determining the norms from these legal texts, the judges form the real legal order which consists of several particular judicial orders.
The author of this paper responds to the critique of the realist theory of interpretation made by O. Pfersmann. M. Troper insists that critique of his theory is based on the incorrect philosophical generalizations. The realist theory considers that it is impossible to find an objective meaning of legal texts also through judicial process. Thus, claiming at the same time that judicial decisions are the main source of knowledge about law and that these decisions do not have objective meaning does not lead to any internal contradictions in this theory.