A Common Law for the Age of Statutes

Author: Guido CALABRESI
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674029151
Format: PDF
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The dominance of legislatures and statutory law has put an impossible burden on the courts. Guido Calabresi thinks it is time for this country seriously to consider returning to a traditional American judicial-legislative balance in which courts would enlarge the common law and would also decide when a rule of law has seen its day and should be revised. Table of Contents: 1. Choking on Statutes 2. The Flight to the Constitution and to Equal Protection Clauses 3. The Passive Virtues 4. Interpretation 5. The New Deal Response: Administrative Agencies 6. Legislative Responses 7. Structural Responses 8. A New Approach: Antecedents and Roots 9. The Doctrine: A Question of Legitimacy 10. The Doctrine: Limits and Guidelines 11. The Doctrine: Techniques and Feasibility 12. The Role of Courts in an Age of Statutes 13. The Dangers of the Doctrine 14. The Uses and Abuses of Subterfuge 15. The Choice for Candor Notes Works Cited Table of Cases Index Reviews of this book: This is a genuinely original and thoughtful book, one of the few in the jurisprudential genre that is both dearly written and devoid of cliché. It addresses current social and legal issues from an engagingly fresh, nonpolemical, and erudite perspective. --American Bar Association Journal Reviews of this book: Calabresi has brought his ample juristic talents to bear on a foundational problem of the legal and democratic process...in its quality, timeliness and provocativeness [this book] is likely to stand alongside the seminal works of Ronald Dworkin and Grant Gilmore. --Columbia Law Review

Retroactivity and the Common Law

Author: Ben Juratowitch
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1847314104
Format: PDF
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This book analyses the common law's approach to retroactivity. The central claim is that when a court considers whether to develop or change a common law rule the retroactive effect of doing so should explicitly be considered and, informed by the common law's approach to statutory construction, presumptively be resisted. As a platform for this claim a definition of 'retroactivity' is established and a review of the history of retroactivity in the common law is provided. It is then argued that certainty, particularly in the form of an ability to rely on the law, and a conception of negative liberty, constitute rationales for a general presumption against retroactivity at a level of abstraction applicable both to the construction of statutes and to developing or changing common law rules. The presumption against retroactivity in the construction of statutes is analysed, and one conclusion reached is that the presumption is a principle of the common law independent of legislative intent. Across private, public and criminal law, the retroactive effect of judicial decisions that develop or change common law rules is then considered in detail. 'Prospective overruling' is examined as a potential means to control the retroactive effect of some judicial decisions, but it is argued that prospective overruling should be regarded as constitutionally impermissible. The book is primarily concerned with English and Australian law, although cases from other common law jurisdictions, particularly Canada and New Zealand, are also discussed. The conclusion is that in statutory construction and the adjudication of common law rules there should be a consistently strong presumption against retroactivity, motivated by the common law's concern for certainty and liberty, and defeasible only to strong reasons. 'Ben Juratowitch not only gives an account of the operation of the presumption, but also teases out the policies which underlie the different rules. This is particularly welcome. Lawyers and judges often seem less than sure-footed when confronted by questions in this field. By giving us an insight into the policies, the author provides a basis for more satisfactory decision-making in the future. ...The author not only discusses the recent cases but examines the question in the light of authority in other Commonwealth jurisdictions and with due regard to the more theoretical literature. This is a valuable contribution to what is an important current debate in the law. Happily, Ben Juratowitch has succeeded in making his study not only useful, but interesting and enjoyable.' From the Foreword by Lord Rodger of Earlsferry

Tort Law and the Legislature

Author: T T Arvind
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1782250557
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The study of the law of tort is generally preoccupied by case law, while the fundamental impact of legislation is often overlooked. At a jurisprudential level there is an unspoken view that legislation is generally piecemeal and at best self-contained and specific; at worst dependent on the whim of political views at a particular time. With a different starting point, this volume seeks to test such notions, illustrating, among other things, the widespread and lasting influence of legislation on the shape and principles of the law of tort; the variety of forms of legislation and the complex nature of political and policy concerns that may lie behind their enactment; the sometimes unexpected consequences of statutory reform; and the integration not only of statutory rules but also of legislative policy into the operation of tort law today. The apparently sharp distinction between judicially created private law principles, and democratically enacted legislative rules and policies, is therefore questioned, and it is argued that to describe the principles of the law of tort without referring to statute is potentially highly misleading. This book shows that legislation is important not only because of the way it varies or replaces case law, but because it also deeply influences the intrinsic character of that law, providing some of its most familiar characteristics. The book provides the first extended interpretation of legislative intervention in the law of tort. Each of the chapters, by leading tort scholars, deals with an aspect of the influence of legislation on the law of tort. While the nature, sources and extent of legislative influence in personal injury law is an essential feature of the collection, other significant areas of tort law are explored, including tort in the context of commercial law, labour law, regulation and the welfare state. Essays on the Compensation Act 2006 and Human Rights Act 1998 bring the current state of the interplay between tort, politics and legislation to the forefront. In all of these contexts, contributors explore the deeper lessons that can be learned about the nature of the law of tort and its changing role and functions over time. Cited with approval in the Singapore Court of Appeal by VK Rajah JA in See Toh Siew Kee vs Ho Ah Lam Ferrocement (Pte) Ltd and others, [2013] SGCA 29

The Principle of Legality in Australia and New Zealand

Author: Matthew Groves
Publisher:
ISBN: 9781760021252
Format: PDF, ePub
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In this age of statutes and human rights the common law principle of legality has assumed a central importance. The principle holds that unless Parliament makes unmistakably clear its intention to curtail or abrogate a common law right, freedom or principle, the courts will not construe a statute as having that operation. As Lord Hoffmann famously observed, this "means that Parliament must squarely confront what it is doing and accept the political cost".The principle of legality is now central to the operation of Australian and New Zealand public law. Yet its content, methodology and scope remain elusive and has never been examined in detail. This book fills that gap by drawing together leading judges, practitioners and scholars to explore a range of interesting issues and challenges for the application of the principle of legality and its future trajectory: How does the principle operate? Which rights and freedoms fall within its scope and why? What is its relationship to the (so-called) common law bill of rights? Has proportionality a role to play in its application? How, if at all, does it differ from the presumption with international law? And in the construction of statutes does the principle serve to fulfil or frustrate the will of Parliament?

Tragic Choices

Author: Guido Calabresi
Publisher: W W Norton & Company Incorporated
ISBN: 9780393090857
Format: PDF, Docs
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This book offers a general theoretical account of how societies cope with decisions which they regard as tragic.

A Concise History of the Common Law

Author: Theodore Frank Thomas Plucknett
Publisher: The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd.
ISBN: 1584771372
Format: PDF, Docs
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Plucknett, Theodore F.T. A Concise History of the Common Law. Fifth Edition. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1956. Reprinted 2001 by The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd. LCCN 00-067821. ISBN 1-58477-137-2. Cloth. $125. * "Professor Plucknett has such a solid reputation on both sides of the Atlantic that one expects from his pen only what is scholarly and accurate...Nor is the expectation likely to be disappointed in this book. Plucknett's book is not...a mere epitome of what is to be found elsewhere. He has explored on his own account many regions of legal history and, even where the ground has been already quartered, he has fresh methods of mapping it. The title which he has chosen is, in view of the contents of the volume, rather a narrow one. It might equally well have been A Concise History of English Law...In conjunction with Readings on the History and System of the Common Law by Dean Pound...this book will give an excellent grounding to the student of English legal history." Percy H. Winfield. Harv. L. Rev. 43:339-340.

A Matter of Interpretation Federal Courts and the Law

Author: Antonin Scalia
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400882958
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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We are all familiar with the image of the immensely clever judge who discerns the best rule of common law for the case at hand. According to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a judge like this can maneuver through earlier cases to achieve the desired aim—"distinguishing one prior case on his left, straight-arming another one on his right, high-stepping away from another precedent about to tackle him from the rear, until (bravo!) he reaches the goal—good law." But is this common-law mindset, which is appropriate in its place, suitable also in statutory and constitutional interpretation? In a witty and trenchant essay, Justice Scalia answers this question with a resounding negative. In exploring the neglected art of statutory interpretation, Scalia urges that judges resist the temptation to use legislative intention and legislative history. In his view, it is incompatible with democratic government to allow the meaning of a statute to be determined by what the judges think the lawgivers meant rather than by what the legislature actually promulgated. Eschewing the judicial lawmaking that is the essence of common law, judges should interpret statutes and regulations by focusing on the text itself. Scalia then extends this principle to constitutional law. He proposes that we abandon the notion of an everchanging Constitution and pay attention to the Constitution's original meaning. Although not subscribing to the “strict constructionism” that would prevent applying the Constitution to modern circumstances, Scalia emphatically rejects the idea that judges can properly “smuggle” in new rights or deny old rights by using the Due Process Clause, for instance. In fact, such judicial discretion might lead to the destruction of the Bill of Rights if a majority of the judges ever wished to reach that most undesirable of goals. This essay is followed by four commentaries by Professors Gordon Wood, Laurence Tribe, Mary Ann Glendon, and Ronald Dworkin, who engage Justice Scalia’s ideas about judicial interpretation from varying standpoints. In the spirit of debate, Justice Scalia responds to these critics. Featuring a new foreword that discusses Scalia’s impact, jurisprudence, and legacy, this witty and trenchant exchange illuminates the brilliance of one of the most influential legal minds of our time.

Liberalism with Excellence

Author: Matthew H. Kramer
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198777965
Format: PDF
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During the past several decades, political philosophers have frequently clashed with one another over the question whether governments are morally required to remain neutral among reasonable conceptions of excellence and human flourishing. Whereas the numerous followers of John Rawls (and kindred philosophers such as Ronald Dworkin) have maintained that a requirement of neutrality is indeed incumbent on every system of governance, other philosophers -- often designated as 'perfectionists' -- have argued against the existence of such a requirement. Liberalism with Excellence enters these debates not by plighting itself unequivocally to one side or the other, but instead by reconceiving each of the sides and thus by redirecting the debates that have occurred between them. On the one hand, the book rejects the requirement of neutrality by contending that certain subsidies for the promotion of excellence in sundry areas of human endeavour can be proper and vital uses of resources by governments. Advocating such departures from the constraint of neutrality, the book presents a version of liberalism that can rightly be classified as 'perfectionist'. On the other hand, the species of perfectionism espoused in Liberalism with Excellence diverges markedly from the theories that have usually been so classified. Indeed, much of the book assails various aspects of those theories. What is more, the aspirational perfectionism elaborated in the closing chapters of the volume is reconcilable in most key respects with a suitably amplified version of Rawlsianism. Hence, by reconceiving both the perfectionist side and the neutralist side of the prevailing disputation, Liberalism with Excellence combines and transforms their respective insights.

Law and Judicial Duty

Author: Philip HAMBURGER
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674038193
Format: PDF
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Philip Hamburger’s Law and Judicial Duty traces the early history of what is today called "judicial review." The book sheds new light on a host of misunderstood problems, including intent, the status of foreign and international law, the cases and controversies requirement, and the authority of judicial precedent. The book is essential reading for anyone concerned about the proper role of the judiciary.