Common Law Theory

Common Law Theory

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In this book, legal scholars, philosophers, historians and political scientists from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States analyze the common law through three of its classic themes: rules, reasoning and constitutionalism. Their essays, specially commissioned for this volume, provide an opportunity for thinkers from different jurisdictions and disciplines to talk to each other and to their wider audience within and beyond the common law world. This book allows scholars and students to consider how these themes and concepts relate to one another. It will initiate and sustain a more inclusive and well-informed theoretical discussion of the common law's method, process and structure. It will be valuable to lawyers, philosophers, political scientists and historians interested in constitutional law, comparative law, judicial process, legal theory, law and society, legal history, separation of powers, democratic theory, political philosophy, the courts and the relationship of the common law tradition to other legal systems of the world.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 262 pages
  • 149.86 x 226.06 x 17.78mm | 408.23g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0521176158
  • 9780521176156
  • 908,243

Table of contents

Introduction Douglas E. Edlin; Part I. Common Law Rules: 1. Judges as rulemakers Larry Alexander and Emily Sherwin; 2. Some types of law John Gardner; Part II. Common Law Reasoning: 3. The principles of legal reasoning in the common law Melvin A. Eisenberg; 4. A similibus ad similia: analogical thinking in law Gerald J. Postema; 5. Reasoned decisions and legal theory David Dyzenhaus and Michael Taggart; Part III. Common Law Constitutionalism: 6. Common law, natural law, and the constitution James R. Stoner, Jr; 7. Text, context, and constitution: the common law as public reason T. R. S. Allan; 8. The myth of the common law constitution Jeffrey Goldsworthy.
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Review quote

"...uniformly well written, accessible, and intellectually stimulating essays... this volume provides an excellent snapshot of some of the complications surrounding present-day theorizing about the common law within and across cultures."
-Ira L. Strauber, Grinnell College, Law and Politics Book Review "...Edlin has put together an exciting volume touching on a broad range of philosophical questions surrounding the nature of law and legal reasoning, and the foundations of political authority and sovereignty. It will be of great interest to anyone who is at all interested in such questions."
-Wil Waluchow, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
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About Douglas E. Edlin

Douglas E. Edlin is Associate Professor of Political Science at Dickinson College.
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