Theory of law expounded by English lawyer John Austin (1790-1859).
Law consists of commands issued by a sovereign. It is judged law not because we ought to obey it or because it fulfills any moral criteria, but because it is habitually obeyed. A sovereign, which can be a person or a group, is the holder of final and unlimited power, and will as a matter of observable fact be found in any society.
This theory of law is the most simple kind of legal positivism.
H A L Hart, The Concept of Law (Oxford, 1961)