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What does economics have to do with law? Suppose legislators propose that armed robbers receive life imprisonment. Editorial pages applaud them for getting tough on crime. Constitutional lawyers raise the issue of cruel and unusual punishment. Legal philosophers ponder questions of justness. An economist, on the other hand, observes that making the punishment for armed robbery the same as that for murder encourages muggers to kill their victims. This is the cut-to-the-chase quality that makes economics not only applicable to the interpretation of law, but beneficial to its crafting.
Drawing on numerous commonsense examples, in addition to his extensive knowledge of Chicago-school economics, David D. Friedman offers a spirited defense of the economic view of law. He clarifies the relationship between law and economics in clear prose that is friendly to students, lawyers, and lay readers without sacrificing the intellectual heft of the ideas presented. Friedman is the ideal spokesman for an approach to law that is controversial not because it overturns the conclusions of traditional legal scholars--it can be used to advocate a surprising variety of political positions, including both sides of such contentious issues as capital punishment--but rather because it alters the very nature of their arguments. For example, rather than viewing landlord-tenant law as a matter of favoring landlords over tenants or tenants over landlords, an economic analysis makes clear that a bad law injures both groups in the long run. And unlike traditional legal doctrines, economics offers a unified approach, one that applies the same fundamental ideas to understand and evaluate legal rules in contract, property, crime, tort, and every other category of law, whether in modern day America or other times and places--and systems of non-legal rules, such as social norms, as well.
This book will undoubtedly raise the discourse on the increasingly important topic of the economics of law, giving both supporters and critics of the economic perspective a place to organize their ideas.
Vague expressions are omnipresent in natural language. As such, their use in legal texts is virtually inevitable. If a law contains vague terms, the question whether it applies to a particular case often lacks a clear answer. One of the fundamental pillars of the rule of law is legal certainty. The determinacy of the law enables people to use it as a guide and places judges in the position to decide impartially. Vagueness poses a threat to these ideals. In borderline cases, the law seems to be indeterminate and thus incapable of serving its core rule of law value. In the philosophy of language, vagueness has become one of the hottest topics of the last two decades. Linguists and philosophers have investigated what distinguishes "soritical " vagueness from other kinds of linguistic indeterminacy, such as ambiguity, generality, open texture, and family resemblance concepts. There is a vast literature that discusses the logical, semantic, pragmatic, and epistemic aspects of these phenomena. Legal theory has hitherto paid little attention to the differences between the various kinds of linguistic indeterminacy that are grouped under the heading of "vagueness ", let alone to the various theories that try to account for these phenomena. Bringing together leading scholars working on the topic of vagueness in philosophy and in law, this book fosters a dialogue between philosophers and legal scholars by examining how philosophers conceive vagueness in law from their theoretical perspective and how legal theorists make use of philosophical theories of vagueness. The chapters of the book are organized into three parts. The first part addresses the import of different theories of vagueness for the law, referring to a wide range of theories from supervaluationist to contextualist and semantic realist accounts in order to address the question of whether the law can learn from engaging with philosophical discussions of vagueness. The second part of the book examines different vagueness phenomena. The contributions in part 2 suggest that the greater awareness to different vagueness phenomena can make lawyers aware of specific issues and solutions so far overlooked. The third part deals with the pragmatic aspects of vagueness in law, providing answers to the question of how to deal with vagueness in law and with the professional, political, moral, and ethical issues such vagueness gives rise to.
The concept of law lies at the heart of our social and political life. Legal philosophy, or jurisprudence, explores the notion of law and its role in society, illuminating its meaning and its relation to the universal questions of justice, rights, and morality. In this Very Short Introduction Raymond Wacks analyses the nature and purpose of the legal system, and the practice by courts, lawyers, and judges. Wacks reveals the intriguing and challenging nature of legal philosophy with clarity and enthusiasm, providing an enlightening guide to the central questions of legal theory. In this revised edition Wacks makes a number of updates including new material on legal realism, changes to the approach to the analysis of law and legal theory, and updates to historical and anthropological jurisprudence. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
This book argues that ignorance of law should usually be a complete excuse from criminal liability. It defends this conclusion by invoking two presumptions: first, the content of criminal law should conform to morality; second, mistakes of fact and mistakes of law should be treated symmetrically. The author grounds his position in an underlying theory of moral and criminal responsibility according to which blameworthiness consists in a defective response to the moral reasons one has. Since persons cannot be faulted for failing to respond to reasons for criminal liability they do not believe they have, then ignorance should almost always excuse. But persons are somewhat responsible for their wrongs when their mistakes of law are reckless, that is, when they consciously disregard a substantial and unjustifiable risk that their conduct might be wrong. This book illustrates this with examples and critiques the arguments to the contrary offered by criminal theorists and moral philosophers. It assesses the real-world implications for the U.S. system of criminal justice. The author describes connections between the problem of ignorance of law and other topics in moral and legal theory.
Pacifism is popular. Many hold that war is unnecessary, since
peaceful means of resolving conflict are always available, if only
we had the will to look for them. Or they believe that war is
wicked, essentially involving hatred of the enemy and carelessness
of human life. Or they posit the absolute right of innocent
individuals not to be deliberately killed, making it impossible to
justify war in practice.
This collection of essays brings together the central lines of thought in Onora O'Neill's work on Kant's philosophy, developed over many years. Challenging the claim that Kant's attempt to provide a critique of reason fails because it collapses into a dogmatic argument from authority, O'Neill shows why Kant held that we must construct, rather than assume, the authority of reason, and how this can be done by ensuring that anything we offer as reasons can be followed by others, including others with whom we disagree. She argues that this constructivist view of reasoning is the clue to Kant's claims about knowledge, ethics and politics, as well as to his distinctive accounts of autonomy, the social contract, cosmopolitan justice and scriptural interpretation. Her essays are a distinctive and illuminating commentary on Kant's fundamental philosophical strategy and its implications, and will be a vital resource for scholars of Kant, ethics and philosophy of law.
Morality and the Nature of Law explores the conceptual relationship between morality and the criteria that determine what counts as law in a given societythe criteria of legal validity. Is it necessary condition for a legal system to include moral criteria of legal validity? Is it even possible for a legal system to have moral criteria of legal validity? The book considers the views of natural law theorists ranging from Blackstone to Dworkin and rejects them, arguing that it is not conceptually necessary that the criteria of legal validity include moral norms. Further, it rejects the exclusive positivist view, arguing instead that it is conceptually possible for the criteria of validity to include moral norms. In the process of considering such questions, this book considers Raz's views concerning the nature of authority and Shapiro's views about the guidance function of law, which have been thought to repudiate the conceptual possibility of moral criteria of legal validity. The book, then, articulates a thought experiment that shows that it is possible for a legal system to have such criteria and concludes with a chapter that argues that any legal system, like that of the United States, which affords final authority over the content of the law to judges who are fallible with respect to the requirements of morality is a legal system with purely source-based criteria of validity.
Although the relationship between fairness and the economic concept of efficiency is usually cast as an adversarial one, this collection demonstrates the robust and diverse ways in which economics engages - and cannot avoid engaging - with fairness. Part I contains papers presenting positive analyses of fairness preferences and beliefs, which are fundamental means through which fairness matters for economic models. Part II turns to normative analysis and the broad question of how law should reconcile fairness and efficiency considerations. Part III presents a sampling of legal and policy applications in which both fairness and efficiency considerations prove important. Along with an original introduction by the editors this is a must-have volume that will appeal to students, academics and practitioners who are interested in this exciting field.
A considerable number of books and papers have analyzed normative concepts using new techniques developed by logicians; however, few have bridged the gap between the Continental (i.e., European) and Latin American traditions in legal philosophy. This book addresses this issue by offering an introductory study on the many possibilities that logical analysis offers the study of legal systems. The volume is divided into two sections: The first covers the basic aspects of classical and deontic logic and its connections, advancing an explanation of the most important topics of the discipline by comparing different systems of deontic logic and exploring some of the most important paradoxes in its domain. The second section deals with the role of logic in the analysis of legal systems by discussing in what sense deontic logic and the logic of norm-propositions are useful tools for a proper understanding of the systematic structure of law. Arguments are provided to stress the relevance of a systematic reconstruction of law as a necessary step in the identification of the truth conditions of legal statements and the reasons for accepting or rejecting the validity of logical consequences of enacted legal norms.
This is the first legal monograph analysing multilevel governance of global 'aggregate public goods' (PGs) from the perspective of democractic, republican and cosmopolitan constitutionalism by using historical, legal, political and economic methods. It explains the need for a 'new philosophy of international law' in order to protect human rights and PGs more effectively and more legitimately. 'Constitutional approaches' are justified by the universal recognition of human rights and by the need to protect 'human rights', 'rule of law', 'democracy' and other 'principles of justice' that are used in national, regional and UN legal systems as indeterminate legal concepts. The study describes and criticizes the legal methodology problems of 'disconnected' governance in UN, GATT and WTO institutions as well as in certain areas of the external relations of the EU (like transatlantic free trade agreements). Based on 40 years of practical experiences of the author in German, European, UN, GATT and WTO governance institutions and of simultaneous academic teaching, this study develops five propositions for constituting, limiting, regulating and justifying multilevel governance for the benefit of citizens and their constitutional rights as 'constituent powers', 'democratic principals' and main 'republican actors', who must hold multilevel governance institutions and their limited 'constituted powers' legally, democratically and judicially more accountable.
This unique collection presents texts in international relations that range from Ancient Greece to the First World War. It is the largest anthology currently available and includes extracts from works by fifty thinkers, including Thucydides, Augustine, Aquinas, Machiavelli, and John Stuart Mill. The texts are organized into broadly chronological sections, each headed by an introduction placing the work in its historical and philosophical context. Ideal for students and scholars, the volume also includes biographies and guides to further reading.
A classic of both philosophy and jurisprudence, this 1789 work articulates an important statement of the foundations of utilitarian philosophy. It also represents a pioneering study of crime and punishment. Bentham's reasoning remains ever relevant and central to contemporary debates in moral and political philosophy, economics, and legal theory.
Debate has long been waged over the morality of capital punishment, with standard arguments in its favour being marshalled against familiar arguments that oppose the practice. In The Ethics of Capital Punishment, Matthew Kramer takes a fresh look at the philosophical arguments on which the legitimacy of the death penalty stands or falls, and he develops a novel justification of that penalty for a limited range of cases. The book pursues both a project of critical debunking of the familiar rationales for capital punishment and a project of partial vindication. The critical part presents some accessible and engaging critiques of major arguments that have been offered in support of the death penalty. These chapters, suitable for use in teaching courses on capital punishment, valuably take issue with positions at the heart of contemporary debates over the morality of such punishment. The book then presents an original justification for executing truly terrible criminals, a justification that is free-standing rather than an aspect or offshoot of a general theory of punishment. Its purgative rationale, which has not heretofore been propounded in any current philosophical and practical debates over the death penalty, derives from a philosophical reconception of the nature of evil and the nature of defilement. As the book contributes to philosophical discussions of those phenomena, it also contributes importantly to general normative ethics with sustained reflections on the differences between consequentialist approaches to punishment and deontological approaches. Above all, the volume contributes to the philosophy of criminal law with a fresh rationale for the use of the death penalty and with probing assessments of all the major theories of punishment that have been broached by jurists and philosophers for centuries. Although the book is a work of philosophy by a professional philosopher, it is readily accessible to readers who have not studied philosophy. It will stir both philosophers and anyone engaged with the death penalty to reconsider whether the institution of capital punishment can be an appropriate response to extreme evil.
This exciting new textbook provides a sophisticated examination of the Socratic method for teaching political science students in higher education. It shows how the Socratic method is employed in the Platonic dialogs, compares its transformative approach to other student-centered teaching philosophies, and addresses the challenges of adopting the Socratic method in the contemporary classroom. The book is divided into three sections that integrate these practical aspects on the Socratic method with the theoretical considerations of Socratic philosophy while also addressing contemporary concerns about teaching and learning in higher education. Section One explores how the Socratic method is portrayed by Socrates in Plato's dialogs. Section Two compares the Socratic method with modern and contemporary accounts of teaching and learning. Section Three examines some of the contemporary challenges of practicing the Socratic method in the university classroom today and how teachers can overcome them. Written in a clear and engaging style, this timely intervention is essential reading for upper undergraduate students enrolled in courses that specialize in pedagogical techniques, political theory, Socratic philosophy, and law.
In the past decade, a sense of feminist 'success' has developed within the United Nations and international law, recognized in the Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, the increased jurisprudence on gender based crimes in armed conflict from the ICTR/Y and the ICC, the creation of UN Women, and Security Council sanctions against perpetrators of sexual violence in armed conflict. Contributing to the development of feminist and gender scholarship on international law, Gina Heathcote provides a feminist analysis of the central pillars of international law, noting the advances and limitations of feminist approaches. Through incorporating into mainstream international legal studies specific critical and feminist narratives, this book considers the manner in which feminist thinking has changed international law, and the manner in which international law has remained impervious to key feminist dialogues. It argues for a return to structural bias feminism that engages the foundations of international law and uses gender as a method for challenging post-millennium narratives on fragmentation, the role of international institutions, the nature of legal authority, sovereignty, and the role of international legal experts.
A New Introduction to Jurisprudence takes one of the central problems of law and jurisprudence as its point of departure: what is the law? Adopting an intermediate position between legal positivism and natural law, this book reflects on the concept of 'liberal democracy' or 'constitutional democracy'. In five chapters the book analyses: (i) the idea of higher law, (ii) liberal democracy as a legitimate model for the state, (iii) the separation of church and state or secularism as essential for the democratic state, (iv) the universality of higher law principles, (v) the history of modern political thought. This interdisciplinary approach to jurisprudence is relevant for legal scholars, philosophers, political theorists, public intellectuals, historians, and politicians.
Anthropocene Antarctica offers new ways of thinking about the 'Continent for Science and Peace' in a time of planetary environmental change. In the Anthropocene, Antarctica has become central to the Earth's future. Ice cores taken from its interior reveal the deep environmental history of the planet and warming ocean currents are ominously destabilising the glaciers around its edges, presaging sea-level rise in decades and centuries to come. At the same time, proliferating research stations and tourist numbers challenge stereotypes of the continent as the 'last wilderness.' The Anthropocene brings Antarctica nearer in thought, entangled with our everyday actions. If the Anthropocene signals the end of the idea of Nature as separate from humans, then the Antarctic, long considered the material embodiment of this idea, faces a radical reframing. Understanding the southern polar region in the twenty-first century requires contributions across the disciplinary spectrum. This collection paves the way for researchers in the Environmental Humanities, Law and Social Sciences to engage critically with the Antarctic, fostering a community of scholars who can act with natural scientists to address the globally significant environmental issues that face this vitally important part of the planet.
The second edition of this popular international handbook highlights the developing relationship between psychology and the law. Consisting of all-new material and drawing on the work of practitioners and academics from the UK, Europe, North America and elsewhere, this volume looks not only at the more traditional elements of psychology and the law - the provision of psychological assessments about individuals to the courts - but also many of the recent developments, such as the interaction between psychologists and other professionals, decision-making by judges and juries, and the shaping of social policy and political debate.
David Carson, a lawyer with special interests in developing practical approaches to the prevention of legal problems, and Ray Bull, a psychologist specialising in legal applications of psychology, have ensured that each chapter is relevant to, and easily readable by, both professions.
Contemporary and authoritative in its scope, the second edition of the Handbook of Psychology in Legal Contexts will prove to be a valuable resource for scholars and students, as well as being a vital tool for all professionals working in the field.
What is the nature of law as a form of social order? What bearing do values like justice, human rights, and the rule of law have on law? Which values should law serve, and what limits must it respect in serving them? Are we always morally bound to obey the law? What are the philosophical problems that arise in specific areas of law, from criminal and tort law to contract law and public international law? The book provides an accessible, comprehensive, and high quality introduction to the major themes of legal philosophy written by a stellar international cast of contributors, including John Finnis, Martha Nussbaum, Fred Schauer, Onora O'Neill and Antony Duff. The volume is an exceptional teaching tool that provides a critical introduction to cutting-edge work in the philosophy of law.
Why be lenient towards children who commit crimes? Reflection on the grounds for such leniency is the entry point into the development, in this book, of a theory of the nature of criminal responsibility and desert of punishment for crime. Gideon Yaffe argues that child criminals are owed lesser punishments than adults thanks not to their psychological, behavioural, or neural immaturity but, instead, because they are denied the vote. This conclusion is reached through accounts of the nature of criminal culpability, desert for wrongdoing, strength of legal reasons, and what it is to have a say over the law. The centrepiece of this discussion is the theory of criminal culpability. To be criminally culpable is for one's criminal act to manifest a failure to grant sufficient weight to the legal reasons to refrain. The stronger the legal reasons, then, the greater the criminal culpability. Those who lack a say over the law, it is argued, have weaker legal reasons to refrain from crime than those who have a say. They are therefore reduced in criminal culpability and deserve lesser punishment for their crimes. Children are owed leniency, then, because of the political meaning of age rather than because of its psychological meaning. This position has implications for criminal justice policy, with respect to, among other things, the interrogation of children suspected of crimes and the enfranchisement of adult felons.
As a central part of the regulation of contemporary economies, intellectual property (IP) is central to all aspects of our lives. It matters for the works we create, the brands we identify and the medicines we consume. But if IP is power, what kind of power is it, and what does it do? Building on the work of Michel Foucault, Gordon Hull examines different ways of understanding power in copyright, trademark and patent policy: as law, as promotion of public welfare, and as promotion of neoliberal privatization. He argues that intellectual property policy is moving toward neoliberalism, even as that move is broadly contested in everything from resistance movements to Supreme Court decisions. This work should be read by anyone interested in understanding why the struggle to conceptualize IP matters.
Jurisprudence has up until recently largely neglected international law as a subject of philosophizing. The Nature of International Law tries to offset against this deficiency by providing a comprehensive explanatory account of international law. It does so within an analytical tradition, albeit within the one which departs from the nowadays dominant method of the metaphysically-driven conceptual analysis. Instead, it adopts the prototype theory of concepts, which is directed towards determining typical features constitutive of the nature of international law. The book's central finding is that those features are: normativity, institutionalization, coercive guaranteeing, and justice-aptness. Since typical features are context sensitive, their specificities at the international level are further elucidated. The book, finally, challenges the often raised claim that fragmentation is international law's unique feature by demonstrating that international institutional actors, particularly adjudicative ones, largely perceive themselves as officials of a unified legal order.
In the Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt famously argued that the stateless were so rightless, that it was better to be a criminal who at least had some rights and protections. In this book, Kathleen R. Arnold examines Arendt's comparison in the context of post-1996 U.S. criminal and immigration policies, arguing that the criminal-stateless binary is significant to contemporary politics and yet flawed. A key distinction made today is that immigrant detention is not imprisonment because it is a civil system. In turn, prisoners are still citizens in some respects but have relatively few rights since the legal underpinnings of "cruel and unusual" have shifted in recent times. The two systems - immigrant detention and the prison system - are also concretely related as they often house both populations and utilize the same techniques (such as administrative segregation). Arnold compellingly argues that prisoners are essentially made into foreigners in these spaces, while immigrants in detention are cast as outlaws. Examining legal theory, political theory and discussing specific cases to illustrate her claims, Arendt, Agamben and the Issue of Hyper-Legality operates on three levels to expose the degree to which prisoners' rights have been suspended and how immigrant policy and detention cast foreigners as inherently criminal. Less talked about, the government in turn expands sovereign, discretionary power and secrecy at the expense of openness, transparency and democratic community. This book will be of interest to scholars and students of contemporary political theory, philosophy and law, immigration, and incarceration.
International law's rich existence in the world can be illuminated by its objects. International law is often developed, conveyed and authorized through its objects and/or their representation. From the symbolic (the regalia of the head of state and the symbols of sovereignty), to the mundane (a can of dolphin-safe tuna certified as complying with international trade standards), international legal authority can be found in the objects around us. Similarly, the practice of international law often relies on material objects or their image, both as evidence (satellite images, bones of the victims of mass atrocities) and to found authority (for instance, maps and charts). This volume considers these questions; firstly what might the study of international law through objects reveal? What might objects, rather than texts, tell us about sources, recognition of states, construction of territory, law of the sea, or international human rights law? Secondly, what might this scholarly undertaking reveal about the objects - as aims or projects - of international law? How do objects reveal, or perhaps mask, these aims, and what does this tell us about the reasons some (physical or material) objects are foregrounded, and others hidden or ignored. Thirdly what objects, icons and symbols preoccupy the profession and academy? The personal selection of these objects by leading and emerging scholars worldwide, will illuminate the contemporary and historical fascinations of international lawyers. As a result, the volume will be an important artefact (itself an object) in its own right, capturing the mood of international law in a given moment and providing opportunity for reflection on these preoccupations. By considering international law in the context of its material culture the authors offer a new theoretical perspective on the subject.
While the role of comparative law in the courts was previously only an exception, foreign sources are now increasingly becoming a source of law in regular use in supreme and constitutional courts. There is considerable variation between the practices of courts and the role of comparative law, and methods remain controversial. In the US, the issue has been one of intense public debate and it is still one of the major dividing issues in the discussion about the role of the courts. Contributing to the existing discussion of the use of comparative law in the courts, this book provides an inclusive, coherent, and practical analysis of the relevant law and jurisprudence in comparative law in the courts. It examines the consequences for court procedures and the form of judgments, as well as how foreign sources are drawn upon in private international law, European law, administrative law, and constitutional law as well as before general courts. The book also includes case studies of comparative law used in particular spheres of the law, such as tort law and consumer law. Written by practising judges and lawyers as well as leading academics, this book serves as a central reference point concerning the role of comparative law before the courts.
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