Crimes and violations of the law require punishment, and our legal system is set up to punish, but what if the system was recalibrated to also weigh grounds for forgiveness? What if something like bankruptcy--a fresh start for debtors--were available to people convicted of crimes? Martha Minow explores the complicated intersection of the law, justice, and forgiveness, asking whether the law should encourage people to forgive, and when courts, public officials, and specific laws should forgive.
Who has the right to forgive? Who should be forgiven? And under what terms? Minow tackles these foundational issues by exploring three questions:
- What does the international response to child soldiers teach us about the legal treatment of juvenile offenders in the United States?
- Why are the laws surrounding corporate debt more forgiving than those governing American student and consumer debt, and sovereign debt in the developing world?
- When do law's tools of forgiveness, amnesties, and pardons strengthen justice, peace, and democracy (think South Africa), and when do they undermine law's promise of fairness (think Joe Arpaio)?
There are certainly grounds for both individuals and societies to withhold forgiveness, but there are also cases where letting go of legitimate grievances can make the law more just, not less. The law is democracy's girder beam, and Minow urges us to build forgiveness into the administration of our laws. Forgiveness, wisely exercised, can strengthen law, democracy, and respect for the humanity of each person.
Roberto Mangabeira Unger brings together his work in legal and social theory. He argues for the reconstruction of legal analysis as a discipline of institutional imagination. He shows how a changed practice of legal analysis can help us re-imagine and reshape the dominant institutions of representative democracy, market economy and free civil society. The search for basic social alternatives, largely abandoned by philosophy and politics, can find in such a practice a new point of departure. Unger criticizes the dominant, rationalizing style of legal doctrine, with its obsessional focus upon adjudication and its urge to suppress or contain conflict or contradiction in law. He shows how we can turn legal analysis into a way of talking about the alternative institutional futures of a democratic society. The programmatic proposals of Unger's Politics are here placed within a wider field of possibilities. A major concern of the book is to explore how professional specialties such as legal thought can inform the public debate in a democracy. The book exemplifies this connection: Unger's arguments are accessible to those with no specialized knowledge of law or legal theory.
David Gray Carlson and Peter Goodrich argue that the postmodern legal mind can be characterized as having shifted the focus of legal analysis away from the modernist understanding of law as a system that is unitary and separate from other aspects of culture and society. In exploring the various "other dimensions" of law, scholars have developed alternative species of legal analysis and recognized the existence of different forms of law. Carlson and Goodrich assert that the postmodern legal mind introduced a series of "minor jurisprudences" or partial forms of legal knowledge, which both compete with and subvert the modernist conception of a unitary system of law. In doing so scholars from a variety of disciplines pursue the implications of applying the insights of their disciplines to law. Carlson and Goodrich have assembled in this volume essays from some of our leading thinkers that address what is arguably one of the most fundamental of interdisciplinary encounters, that of psychoanalysis and law.
While psychoanalytic interpretations of law are by no means a novelty within common law jurisprudence, the extent and possibilities of the terrain opened up by psychoanalysis have yet to be extensively addressed. The intentional subject and "reasonable man" of law are disassembled in psychoanalysis to reveal a chaotic and irrational libidinal subject, a sexual being, a body and its drives. The focus of the present collection of essays is upon desire as an inner law, upon love as an interior idiom of legality, and represents a signficant and at times surprising development of the psychoanalytic analysis of legality.
These essays should appeal to scholars in law and in psychology.
The contributors are Drucilla Cornell, Jacques Derrida, Peter Goodrich, Pierre Legendre, Alain Pottage, Michel Rosenfeld, Renata Salecl, Jeanne L. Schroeder, Anton Schutz, Henry Staten, and Slavoj Zizek.
David Gray Carlson is Professor of Law, Benjamin Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University. Peter Goodrich is Professor of Law, University of London and University of California, Los Angeles.
In this challenging collection of new essays, leading philosophers and criminal lawyers from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada break with the tradition of treating the philosophical foundations of criminal law as an adjunct to the study of punishment. Focusing clearly on the central issues of moral luck, mistake, and mental illness, this volume aims to reorient the study of criminal law. In the process of retrieving valuable material from traditional law classifications, the contributors break down false associations, reveal hidden truths, and establish new patterns of thought. Their always illuminating and sometimes startling conclusions makes this essential reading for all those interested in the philosophy of criminal law.
Adjudicative competence remains an important topic of research and practice in psychology and law. In the five sections of Adjudicative Competence: The MacArthur Studies, the authors present not only a summary of the research of the MacArthur studies on competence but also an examination of the underlying theoretical work of Professor Richard Bonnie. It is the first publication to encapsulate the scope and significance of both the studies themselves and Bonnie's contributions. There is no other source available that addresses this range of topics.
Given its breadth and scope, this book will be a "must have" for forensic mental health professionals, an important volume for lawyers, and a vital academic reference work.
American Law and Legal Systems examines the philosophy of law within a political, social, and economic framework with great clarity and insight. Readers are introduced to operative legal concepts, everyday law practices, substantive procedures, and the intricacies of the American legal system. Eliminating confusing legalese, the authors skillfully explain the basics, from how a lawsuit is filed through the final appeal. This new edition provides essential updates to forensic and scientific evidence, contract law, and family law, and includes new text boxes and tables to help students understand, remember, and apply central concepts.
New to the 8th Edition
- Updates the coverage of environmental law, especially in relation to climate change.
- Updates the coverage of family law, especially in relation to gay marriage.
- Includes new coverage of challenges to the Voting Rights Act, campaign finance, and cybersecurity.
- Covers the effects of social media on judicial proceedings.
- Includes 16 new cases, including Obergefell v. Hodges.
- Adds new text boxes on intriguing subjects throughout.
- Accompanied by an author-written Instructor's Manual that includes Learning Objectives, Chapter Summaries, Chapter Outlines, Key Terms and Concepts, as well as Test Questions for each chapter.
A comprehensive, in-depth discussion of the most influential movement in American legal history, and one which remains more than fifty years later the subject of lively debate, this collection of readings, written largely between 1900 and 1940, includes works from prominent writers on the subject that have never before been generally available. Introduced and edited by noted scholars in the field, the anthology includes such contributors as Oliver Wendell Holmes, James Thayer, Roscoe Pound, John Chipman Gray, Wesley Hohfeld, Karl Llewellyn, Arthur Corbin, Nathan Issacs, Robert Hale, Harold Laski, Max Radin, and others. With concise biographical notes as well as introductions to provide historical context, each selection addresses a different debate involving Legal Realism. Included is a selective bibliography, making the text valuable to a broad range of scholars.
The essays Professor Summers has brought together in this book consist of various authentic and representative formulations and applications of the dominant general theory of law and its use in the United States during the middle decades of the 20th century. The book includes a number of major contributions that are critical of that theory. The contributors are: The path of the law, Oliver Wendell Homes Jr. Force and coercion; Logical method and law, John Dewey. The need of a sociological jurisprudence; Mechanical jurisprudence; The possibility of a measure of values, Roscoe Pound. What is the law, Joseph W. Binham. A return to stare decisis, Herman Oliphant. A realistic jurisprudence-the next step; The normative, the legal, and the law-jobs: the problem of juristic method, K.N. Lewellyn. The problems of a functional jurisprudence, Felix S. Cohen. The causes of popular dissatisfaction with the administration of justice, Roscoe Pound. The judiciality of minimum-wage legislation, Thomas Red Powell. An institutional approach to the law of commercial banking, Underhill Moore and Theodore S. Hope Jr. Through title to contract and a bit beyond, K.N. Llewellyn. Williston on contracts; The logical and legal bases of the conflict of laws, Walter Wheeler Cook. American legal realism, L.L. Fuller. Legal rules: their function in the process of decision, John Dickenson. Some rationalism about realism, Hermann Kantorwicz. Pragmatic instumentalism in twentieth century American legal thought-a synthesis and critique of our dominant general theory about law and its use.
American legal thought has progressed remarkably quickly from premodernism to modernism and into postmodernism in little over 200 years, running from the nation's founding through the 20th century. This book tells the story of this mercurial journey of jurisprudence by showing the development of legal thought through these three intellectual periods. Feldman's narrative revolves around two broad interrelated themes: jurisprudential foundations and the idea of progress. Comprehensive and accessible, the book draws on significant cases from Supreme Court history to provide a handy one-volume overview for law students, practitioners, and legal scholars.