Justice and the Slaughter Bench

Justice and the Slaughter Bench : Essays on Law's Broken Dialectic

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In this follow-up to Law and the Beautiful Soul, Alan Norrie addresses the split between legal and ethical judgment. Shaped by history, law's formalism both eschews and requires ethics. The first essays consider legal form in its practical aspect, and the ethical problems encountered (`law's architectonic'). The later essays look at the complex underlying relation between law and ethics (`law's constellation'). In Hegel's philosophy, legal and ethical judgment are brought together in a rational totality. Here, the synthesis remains unachieved, the dialectic systematically `broken'. These essays cover such issues as criminal law's `general part', homicide reform, self-defence, euthanasia, and war guilt. They interrogate legal problems, consider law's method, and its place in the social whole. The analysis of law's historicity, its formalism and its relation to ethics contributes importantly to central questions in law, legal theory and criminal justice.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 222 pages
  • 159 x 235 x 17.78mm | 476g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1 Halftones, black and white
  • 1138955116
  • 9781138955110

Table of contents

1. How Does Law Judge, How Should it be Judged? Part 1: Law's Architectonic 2. Citizenship, Authoritarianism and the Changing Shape of Criminal Law 3. Between Orthodox Subjectivism and Moral Contextualism: Intention and the Law Commission Report 4. The Problem of Mistaken Self-defence: Citizenship, Chiasmus, and Legal Form 5. Legal Form and Moral Judgment: Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide 6. Alan Brudner and the Dialectics of Criminal Law Part 2: Law's Constellation 7. Justice on the Slaughter-bench: The Problem of War Guilt in Arendt and Jaspers 8. Ethics and History: Can Critical Lawyers Talk of Good and Evil? 9. Law, Ethics and Socio-History: The Case of Freedom 10. Responsibility and the Metaphysics of Justice
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Review quote

An indispensable starting point for those interested in what a genuinely critical, philosophically-engaged and social-theoretical approach to law looks like. It is the most recent instalment in a far-reaching, illuminating and important project that seeks to chart both law's nature and its place in the ethical landscape. - Professor William Lucy, Durham University, UK.
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About Alan Norrie

Alan Norrie is Professor of Law and former Head of the Law School at Warwick University. He has held chairs at Queen Mary and King's College, London, and is a Fellow of the British Academy.
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