Peter Morton provides in these pages a fundamental critique of the assumptions of positivist jurisprudence and also puts forth an attack on the foundationalism of contemporary legal philosophy. His prime concern is to distinguish between the different fields of law--penal, civil, and public--taking as his starting point a careful analysis of those institutions in a democracy wherein legal language and norms are in fact generated. Offering an original, coherent, and systematic exposition of law in today's society, Morton sheds new light (...) on legal practices and relations by way of a comparison with an ideal type of legal system. (shrink)
The specialised vocabularies of lawyers, ethicists, and political scientists obscure the roots of many real disagreements. In this book, the distinguished American international lawyer Alfred Rubin provides a penetrating account of where these roots lie, and argues powerfully that disagreements which have existed for 3,000 years are unlikely to be resolved soon. Current attempts to make 'war crimes' or 'terrorism' criminal under international law seem doomed to fail for the same reasons that attempts failed in the early nineteenth century to (...) make piracy, war crimes, and the international traffic in slaves criminal under the law of nations. And for the same reasons, Professor Rubin argues, it is unlikely that an international criminal court can be instituted today to enforce ethicists' versions of 'international law'. (shrink)
This work is a controversial collection of interrelated papers investigating and arguing about issues of concern to lawyers and politicians today. MacCormick combines a scholarly concern with leading thinkers such as John Locke, Lord Stair, Adam Smith and David Hume, John Rawls, Ronald Dworkin, and Patrick Atiyah, and stringently argued view of questions of political obligation, civil liberty, and legal rights.
This book explores the thesis that legal roles force people to engage in moral combat, an idea which is implicit in the assumption that citizens may be morally required to disobey unjust laws, while judges may be morally required to punish citizens for civil disobedience. Heidi Hurd advances the surprising argument that the law cannot require us to do what morality forbids. The 'role-relative' understanding of morality is shown to be incompatible with both consequentialist and deontological moral philosophies. In the (...) end, Hurd shows that our best moral theory is one which never makes one actor's moral success turn on another's moral failure. Moral Combat is a sophisticated, well-conceived and carefully argued book on a very important and controversial topic at the junction between legal and political philosophy. It will be of interest to moral, legal, and political philosophers, as well as teachers and students of professional ethics in law. (shrink)
For several decades the work of Joel Feinberg has been the most influential in legal, political, and social philosophy in the English-speaking world. This volume honours that body of work by presenting fifteen original essays, many of them by leading legal and political philosophers, that explore the problems that have engaged Feinberg over the years. Amongst the topics covered are issues of autonomy, responsibility, and liability. It will be a collection of interest to anyone working in moral, legal, or political (...) philosophy. (shrink)
Bijural services as factors of production -- Commentary A on Breton and Salmon -- Commentary B on Breton and Salmon -- The challenge of incomplete law and how different legal systems respond -- Commentary C on Pistor and Xu -- Commentary D on Pistor and Xu -- Coevolution as an influence in the development of legal systems -- Commentary E on Breton and Des Ormeaux -- Commentary F on Breton and Des Ormeaux -- The demand for bijurally trained Canadian lawyers (...) -- Commentary G on Davis and Trebilcock -- Commentary H on Davis and Trebilcock. (shrink)
The Concept of Law is the most important and original work of legal philosophy written this century. First published in 1961, it is considered the masterpiece of H.L.A. Hart's enormous contribution to the study of jurisprudence and legal philosophy. Its elegant language and balanced arguments have sparked wide debate and unprecedented growth in the quantity and quality of scholarship in this area--much of it devoted to attacking or defending Hart's theories. Principal among Hart's critics is renowned lawyer and political philosopher (...) Ronald Dworkin who in the 1970s and 80s mounted a series of challenges to Hart's Concept of Law. It seemed that Hart let these challenges go unanswered until, after his death in 1992, his answer to Dworkin's criticism was discovered among his papers. In this valuable and long-awaited new edition Hart presents an Epilogue in which he answers Dworkin and some of his other most influential critics including Fuller and Finnis. Written with the same clarity and candor for which the first edition is famous, the Epilogue offers a sharper interpretation of Hart's own views, rebuffs the arguments of critics like Dworkin, and powerfully asserts that they have based their criticisms on a faulty understanding of Hart's work. Hart demonstrates that Dworkin's views are in fact strikingly similar to his own. In a final analysis, Hart's response leaves Dworkin's criticisms considerably weakened and his positions largely in question. Containing Hart's final and powerful response to Dworkin in addition to the revised text of the original Concept of Law, this thought-provoking and persuasively argued volume is essential reading for lawyers and philosophers throughout the world. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: 1. The postmodern challenge: from modernity to postmodernity; 2. Traditional natural law: differences in Aristotle and Aquinas; 3. Patterns in historical thinking about the good; 4. The challenge of modernity: religious wars and the need for universal law; 5. The challenges of naturalism: legal realism or natural law; 6. Objectivity without a metaphysical foundation; 7. Contemporary natural law: practical rationality and legal opinions; 8. Natural law as a theory with metaphysical baggage: postmodern law; 9. Natural law (...) as the moral law; 10. Natural moral law in a postmodern world. (shrink)
This study focuses on current jurisprudential debate between the "positivist" views of Herbert Hart and the "rights thesis" of Ronald Dworkin. MacCormick provides a critical analysis of the Dworkin position while also modifying Hart's. It stands firmly on its own as a contribution to an extensive literature.
This new edition of Jurisprudence brings the book fully up to date and incorporates the following new topics: Utilitarianism, Scandinavian realism, Feminism, Liberalism, the New Critics, and the Hart v Dworkin debate. It also includes a separate chapter on Dworkin's Law's Empire, and the previous chapter on Rights has been substantially revised, to make this a useful and highly readable addition to the student's library.
Are propositions of law true or false? If so, what does it mean to say that propositions of law are true and false? This book takes up these questions in the context of the wider philosophical debate over realism and anti-realism. Despite surface differences, Patterson argues that the leading contemporary jurisprudential theories all embrace a flawed conception of the nature of truth in law. Instead of locating that in virtue of which propositions of law are true, Patterson argues that lawyers (...) use forms of argument to show the truth of propositions of law. Additionally, Patterson argues that the realism/anti-realism debate in jurisprudence is part of a larger argument over the role of postmodernism in jurisprudence. For this, Patterson offers an analytic account of postmodernism and charts its implications for legal theory. This book will be of interest to those in legal theory, philosophy, social and political theory, and ethics. (shrink)
This book articulates a systematic vision of an international legal system grounded in the commitment to justice for all persons. It provides a probing exploration of the moral issues involved in disputes about secession, ethno-national conflict, "the right of self-determination of peoples," human rights, and the legitimacy of the international legal system itself. Buchanan advances vigorous criticisms of the central dogmas of international relations and international law, arguing that the international legal system should make justice, not simply peace among states, (...) a primary goal, and rejecting the view that it is permissible for a state to conduct its foreign policies exclusively according to what is in the "national interest." He also shows that the only alternatives are not rigid adherence to existing international law or lawless chaos in which the world's one superpower pursues its own interests without constraints. This book not only criticizes the existing international legal order, but also offers morally defensible and practicable principles for reforming it. Justice, Legitimacy, and Self-Determination will find a broad readership in political science, international law, and political philosophy. (shrink)
This pioneering new book suggests how different traditions of sociological thought can contribute to an understanding of the theory and practice of rights. Rights: Sociological Perspectives provides a sociological treatment of a wide range of substantive issues but without losing sight of key theoretical questions. It considers some varied cases of public intervention, including welfare, caring, mental health provisions, pensions, justice and free speech, alongside the rights issues they raise. Similarly, it examines the question of rights from the point of (...) view of distinctive population groups, such as prisoners and victims, women, ethnic minorities, indigenous peoples, and lesbians and gays. It also contains two specifically theoretical chapters, which provide a critical overview of the existing approaches to the construction and implementation of rights. Rights: Sociological Perspectives offers a diverse and detailed exploration of the contribution sociological thought can make to this increasingly important aspect of social life and will be an invaluable aid to students. (shrink)
This book addresses three major questions about law and legal systems: (1) What are the defining and organizing forms of legal institutions, legal rules, interpretive methodologies, and other legal phenomena? (2) How does frontal and systematic focus on these forms advance understanding of such phenomena? (3) What credit should the functions of forms have when such phenomena serve policy and related purposes, rule of law values, and fundamental political values such as democracy, liberty, and justice? This is the first book (...) that seeks to offer general answers to these questions and thus gives form in the law its due. The answers not only provide articulate conversancy with the subject but also reveal insights into the nature of law itself, the oldest and foremost problem in legal theory and allied subjects. (shrink)
Powerful emotion and pursuit of self-interest have many times led people to break the law with the belief that they are doing so with sound moral reasons. This study is a comprehensive philosophical and legal analysis of the gray area in which the foundations of law and morality clash. This objective book views these oblique circumstances from two perspectives: that of the person who faces a possible conflict between the claims of morality and law and must choose whether or not (...) to obey the penal code; and that of the people who make and uphold laws and must decide whether to treat someone with a moral claim to disobey differently from ordinary lawbreakers. In examining the extent of the obligations owed by citizens to their government, Greenawalt concentrates on the possible existence of a single source of obligation that reaches all citizens and all laws. He also discusses techniques of amelioration of punishment for conscientious lawbreakers, asking how far legal systems should go to accomodate individuals who break the law for reason of conscience. Drawing from numerous examples of conflicts between law and morality, Greenawalt illustrates in detail the positions and predicaments of potential lawbreakers and lawmakers alike. (shrink)
This new edition of a standard reference of jurisprudence has been fully revised. Many recent developments which touch on the relationship of laws to morals--homosexuality, obscenity, suicide, and abortion--are discussed, together with controversial economic aspects of modern legislation on such as topics as restrictive trade practices and trade unions.
When accidents occur and people suffer injuries, who ought to bear the loss? Tort law offers a complex set of rules to answer this question, but up to now philosophers have offered little by way of analysis of these rules. In eight essays commissioned for this volume, leading legal theorists examine the philosophical foundations of tort law. Amongst the questions they address are the following: how are the notions at the core of tort practice (such as responsibility, fault, negligence, due (...) care, and duty to repair) to be understood? Is an explanation based on a conception of justice feasible? How are concerns of distributive and corrective justice related? What amounts to an adequate explanation of tort law? This collection will be of interest to professionals and advanced students working in philosophy of law, social theory, political theory, and law, as well as anyone seeking a better understanding of tort law. (shrink)
Privacy is a puzzling concept. From the backyard to the bedroom, everyday life gives rise to an abundance of privacy claims. In the legal sphere, privacy is invoked with respect to issues including abortion, marriage, and sexuality. Yet privacy is surrounded by a mire of theoretical debate. Certain philosophers argue that privacy is neither conceptually nor morally distinct from other interests, while numerous legal scholars point to the apparently disparate interests involved in constitutional and tort privacy law. By arguing that (...) intimacy is the core of privacy, including privacy law, Inness undermines privacy skepticism, providing a strong theoretical foundation for many of our everyday and legal privacy claims, including the controversial constitutional right to privacy. (shrink)
Does the seller of a house have to tell the buyer that the water is turned off twelve hours a day? Does the buyer of a great quantity of tobacco have to inform the seller that the military blockade of the local port, which had depressed tobacco sales and lowered prices, is about to end? Courts say yes in the first case, no in the second. How can we understand the difference in judgments? And what does it say about whether (...) the psychiatrist should disclose to his patient's girlfriend that the patient wants to kill her? Kim Lane Scheppele answers the question, Which secrets are legal secrets and what makes them so? She challenges the economic theory of law, which argues that judges decide cases in ways that maximize efficiency, and she shows that judges use equality as an important principle in their decisions. In the course of thinking about secrets, Scheppele also explores broader questions about judicial reasoning--how judges find meaning in legal texts and how they infuse every fact summary with the values of their legal culture. Finally, the specific insights about secrecy are shown to be consistent with a general moral theory of law that indicates what the content of law should be if the law is to be legitimate, a theory that sees legal justification as the opportunity to attract consent. This is more than a book about secrets. It is also a book about the limits of an economic view of law. Ultimately, it is a work in constructive legal theory, one that draws on moral philosophy, sociology, economics, and political theory to develop a new view of legal interpretation and legal morality. (shrink)
What is law? Does it have a purpose? What is its relationship with justice? Do we have a moral duty to obey the law? These sorts of questions lie at the heart of jurisprudence. Moreover, every substantive or 'black letter' branch of the law raises questions about its own meaning and function. The law of contract cannot be properly understood without an appreciation of the concepts of rights and duties. The law of tort is directly related to several economic theories (...) of compensation. The criminal law is inextricably linked to philosophies of punishment? Understanding Jurisprudence explores these problems and provides an engaging introduction to the central issues of legal theory. The book navigates the reader through legal philosophy's fundamental concepts, concerns, and controversies. An experienced teacher of jurisprudence and distinguished writer in the field, Professor Wacks adopts an approach that is easy to follow and understand without avoiding the complexities and subtleties of the subject. Students of law, politics, philosophy, and other social sciences will find this an ideal guide to the essential themes of contemporary jurisprudence. Online Resource Centre A free online resource accompanies the book and provides the following resources: Analysis of current controversies of a jurisprudential nature such as current legal and moral controversies and political debates An additional chapter providing guidance and advice on the study of jurisprudence An interactive glossary of key terms relating to legal theory Further reading, including links to full text journal articles Questions and answers Useful Web links to support learning. (shrink)
The work of Jürgen Habermas has long been regarded as central to the development of social and political theory and philosophy in the late 20th century. With the publication of his latest book Between Facts and Norms, Habermas has signalled the importance of exploring modern legal theory to our understanding of democratic society. Habermas, Modernity, and Law brings together leading scholars from around the world to provide a clear introduction to this key development in Habermas's work. With chapters ranging from (...) the possibility of valid law to discourse ethics and human rights, the contributors successfully integrate a broad range of Habermas's writings with his most recent thoughts on the place of the law in contemporary theory. Habermas, Modernity, and Law provides a fascinating overview to the work of Habermas and will be particularly valuable to students and professionals in the fields of European philosophy and social, political, and legal theory. (shrink)
In this revised edition, two distinguished philosophers have extended and strengthened the most authoritative text available on the philosophy of law and jurisprudence. While retaining their comprehensive coverage of classical and modern theory, Murphy and Coleman have added new discussions of the Critical Legal Studies movement and feminist jurisprudence, and they have strengthened their treatment of natural law theory, criminalization, and the law of torts. The chapter on law and economics remains the best short introduction to that difficult, controversial, and (...) influential topic.Students will appreciate the careful organization and clear presentation of complicated issues as well as the emphasis on the relevance of both law and legal theory to contemporary society. (shrink)
Margaret Gilbert offers an incisive new approach to a classic problem of political philosophy: when and why should I do what the laws of my country tell me to do? Beginning with carefully argued accounts of social groups in general and political societies in particular, the author argues that in central, standard senses of the relevant terms membership in a political society in and of itself obligates one to support that society's political institutions. The obligations in question are not moral (...) requirements derived from general moral principles, as is often supposed, but a matter of one's participation in a special kind of commitment: joint commitment. An agreement is sufficient but not necessary to generate such a commitment. Gilbert uses the phrase 'plural subject' to refer to all of those who are jointly committed in some way. She therefore labels the theory offered in this book the plural subject theory of political obligation. The author concentrates on the exposition of this theory, carefully explaining how and in what sense joint commitments obligate. She also explores a classic theory of political obligation --- actual contract theory --- according to which one is obligated to conform to the laws of one's country because one agreed to do so. She offers a new interpretation of this theory in light of a theory of plural subject theory of agreements. She argues that actual contract theory has more merit than has been thought, though the more general plural subject theory is to be preferred. She compares and contrasts plural subject theory with identification theory, relationship theory, and the theory of fair play. She brings it to bear on some classic situations of crisis, and, in the concluding chapter, suggests a number of avenues for related empirical and moral inquiry. Clearly and compellingly written, A Theory of Political Obligation will be essential reading for political philosophers and theorists. (shrink)
The province of jurisprudence compromised -- The province of jurisprudence revisited -- The provinciality of jurisprudence determined -- The morality of jurisprudence determined -- The province of jurisprudence pre-determined -- The province of jurisprudence moralised -- The province of jurisprudence re-generated -- The province of the judiciary democratised -- The experimental province of democracy determined.
Punishment -- Culpable mind -- Culpable action -- Responsibility for harm -- Liability for public welfare offences -- Justification -- Excuse -- Detention after acquittal -- The unity of the penal law.
This book sets out a new understanding of the penal law of a liberal legal order. The prevalent view today is that the penal law is best understood from the standpoint of a moral theory concerning when it is fair to blame and censure an individual character for engaging in proscribed conduct. By contrast, this book argues that the penal law is best understood by a political and constitutional theory about when it is permissible for the state to restrain and (...) confine a free agent. The book's thesis is that penal action by public officials is permissible force rather than wrongful violence only if it could be accepted by the agent as being consistent with its freedom. There are, however, different conceptions of freedom, and each informs a theoretical paradigm of penal justice generating distinctive constraints on state coercion. Although this plurality of paradigms creates an appearance of fragmentation and contradiction in the law, the author argues that the penal law forms a complex whole uniting the constraints on punishment flowing from each paradigm. (shrink)
David Lyons is one of the preeminent philosophers of law active in the United States. This volume comprises essays written over a period of twenty years in which Professor Lyons outlines his fundamental views about the nature of law and its relation to morality and justice. The underlying theme of the book is that a system of law has only a tenuous connection with morality and justice. Contrary to those legal theorists who maintain that no matter how bad the law (...) of a community might be, strict conformity to existing law automatically dispenses "formal" justice, Professor Lyons contends that the law must earn the respect that it demands. Moreover, we cannot, as some would suggest, interpret law in a value-neutral manner. Rather courts should interpret statutes, judicial precedents, and constitutional provisions in terms of values that would justify those laws. In this way officials can promote the justifiability of what they do to people in the name of law, and can help the law live up to its moral pretensions. (shrink)
Interest in republicanism as a political theory has burgeoned in recent years, but its implications for the understanding of law have remained largely unexplored. Legal Republicanism is the first book to offer a comprehensive, critical survey of the potential for creating republican accounts of fundamental issues in law and legal theory. -/- Bringing together contributors with backgrounds in political and legal philosophy, the essays in the volume assess republicanism's historical traditions, conceptual coherence, and normative proposals. The collection offers a valuable (...) insight into new debates taking place in republican political and legal theory. It also analyses potential republican approaches to concrete issues arising in areas of law such as criminal, constitutional and international law. Finally, the book includes comparisons between republican legal traditions and how they react to contemporary challenges. The book will be of value to political and democratic theorists, to legal philosophers and constitutional theorists, and all those interested in the legitimacy of decision-making in national and international settings. (shrink)
Introduction to the Philosophy of Law: Readings and Cases employs a combination of case-based and theory-based materials to show novices in the field how the philosophy of law is related to concrete and actual legal practice. Ideal for undergraduates, it engages their curiosity about the law without sacrificing philosophical content. The authors emphasize a command of legal concepts and doctrine as a prelude to philosophical analysis. Designed to acquaint students with the fundamentals of jurisprudence and legal theory, Part I of (...) the book includes readings from influential philosophers representing eight different types of jurisprudence: natural law theory, positivism, constructivism, consequentialism, critical legal studies, feminist theory, practice theory, and new natural law theory. In Part II, the authors present a variety of cases that allow students to apply the theories in Part I to the actual practice of law. Unlike similar texts, which focus primarily on public law, this unique book addresses both private and public law and includes cases on statutory interpretation, contract law, and tort law. Brief essays precede and discussion questions follow each case. Introduction to the Philosophy of Law: Readings and Cases serves as an exceptional text for courses in the philosophy of law, jurisprudence, and legal theory. (shrink)
Do citizens have an obligation to obey the law? This book differs from standard approaches by shifting from the language of obedience (orders) to that of deference (normative judgments). The popular view that law claims authority but does not have it is here reversed on both counts: Law does not claim authority but has it. Though the focus is on political obligation, the author approaches that issue indirectly by first developing a more general account of when deference is due to (...) the view of others. Two standard practices that political theorists often consider in exploring the question of political obligation - fair-play and promise-keeping - can themselves be seen as examples of a duty of deference. In this respect the book defends a more general theory of ethics whose scope extends beyond the question of political obligation to questions of duty in the case of law, promises, fair play and friendship. (shrink)
This collection of contemporary essays by a group of well-known philosophers and legal theorists covers various topics in the philosophy of law, focusing on issues concerning liability in contract, tort, and criminal law. The book is divided into four sections. The first provides a conceptual overview of the issues at stake in a philosophical discussion of liability and responsibility. The second, third, and fourth sections present, in turn, more detailed explorations of the roles of notions of liability and responsibility in (...) contracts, torts, and punishment. The collection not only presents some of the most challenging work being done in legal philosophy today, it also demonstrates the interdisciplinary character of the field of philosophy of law, with contributors taking into account recent developments in economics, political science, and rational choice theory. This thought-provoking volume will help to shed light on the underexplored ground that lies between law and morals. (shrink)
This book aims to distil the essentials of liberal constitutionalism from the jurisprudence and practice of contemporary liberal-democratic states. Most constitutional theorists have despaired of a liberal consensus on the fundamental goals of constitutional order. Instead they have contented themselves either with agreement on lower-level principles on which those who disagree on fundamentals may coincidentally converge, or, alternatively with a process for translating fundamental disgreement into acceptable laws. Alan Brudner suggests a conception of fundamental justice that liberals of competing philosophic (...) schools may accept as fulfilling their own basic commitments. He argues that the model liberal-democratic constitution is best understood as a unity of three constitutional frameworks: libertarian, egalitarian, and communitarian. Each of these has a particular conception of public reason. Brudner criticizes each of these frameworks insofar as its organizing conception claims to be fundamental, and moves forward to suggest an Hegelian conception of public reason within which each framework is contained as a constituent element of a whole. When viewed in this light, the liberal constitution embodies a surprising synthesis. It reconciles a commitment to individual liberty and freedom of conscience with the perfectionist idea that the state ought to cultivate a type of personality whose fundamental ends are the goods essential to dignity. Such a reconciliation, the author suggests, may attract competing liberalisms to a consensus on an inclusive conception of public reason under which political authority is validated for those who share a confidence in the individual's inviolable worth. (shrink)
What is law (and why should we care)? -- Crazy little thing called "law" -- Austin's sanction theory -- Hart and the rule of recognition -- How to do things with plans -- The making of a legal system -- What law is -- Legal reasoning and judicial decision making -- Hard cases -- Theoretical disagreements -- Dworkin and distrust -- The economy of trust -- The interpretation of plans -- The value of legality.