The Tapestry of the Law

The Tapestry of the Law : Scotland, Legal Culture and Legal Theory

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Although its concern is jurisprudence, The Tapestry of the Law is intended to offer neither an original theory of or about law nor an account of other people's theories in textbook form. It is, rather, an attempt to approach the subject without following either of these conventions. The reasons are as follows. Those engaged in legal theory are prone to assert that one cannot properly understand the law unless one takes a jurisprudential approach - preferably their own - to it. Equally, those engaged in exposition of the law may counter that legal theory fails to pay adequate attention to actual law. There is at least some truth in these claims. Analyses, courses and textbooks on both sides do often seem to be produced without reference to the other. Yet such isolation is probably more apparent than real. Most, if not all, so-called "black letter" lawyers do operate on the basis of certain jurisprudential understandings, even if these are not articulated ones. In the frequently quoted words ofF C S Northrop: There are lawyers, judges and even law professors who tell us they have no legal philosophy.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 258 pages
  • 162.56 x 236.22 x 25.4mm | 544.31g
  • Dordrecht, Netherlands
  • English
  • 1997 ed.
  • XIV, 258 p.
  • 0792343107
  • 9780792343103

Back cover copy

The Tapestry of the Law brings together a study of a particular legal system - that of Scotland - with a number of (mainly contemporary) theories of or about law. Rather than endorsing any one legal theory, it ends with some tentative conclusions about legal theory itself. It is written for all those interested in the law, whether in the academic context, as practitioners of law or politics, or from the lay point of view, but primarily with students in mind. At this level, Chapters II to VI provide an information base for those embarking on courses in comparative law or politics, whilst the whole, and especially the later chapters, will offer most to those already have some grounding in the issues with which jurisprudence is concerned.
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Table of contents

Introduction. I. Some Puzzles about the Nature of Law. II. Connecting Law and Society. III. A Constitutional Culture. IV. The Style of Scots Law. V. The Style of Scots Law Continued. VI. And so to Ideology. VII. Matters of Interpretation. VIII. Law in Whose Terms? IX. And What Kind of System? X. The Language of the Law. XI. Some Different Critiques. XII. The Role of Reason. XIII. Weaving the Threads. Index of Authors.
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Review quote

` ... a comprehensive survey of trends in twentieth-century jurisprudence ... The Tapestry of Law is clearly intended for a general audience, and on that level it deserves great success. This is an ideal book to offer to anyone curious about the current concerns of English-speaking philosophers of law. Overall, however, the risks Attwooll has taken by writing this sort of book have been fairly taken, and the result is an enjoyable read with plenty of substance.'
Philosophy in Review/Comptes rendus philosophiques (1998)
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