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By Paul F. Campos, Pierre Schlag, Steven D. Smith

ISBN-10: 0822318350

ISBN-13: 9780822318354

A primary critique of yankee legislations and felony notion, Against the Law comprises a chain of essays written from 3 various views that coalesce right into a deep feedback of latest felony tradition. Paul F. Campos, Pierre Schlag, and Steven D. Smith problem the normal representations of the criminal process which are articulated and defended by means of American felony students. Unorthodox, irreverent, and provocative, Against the Law demonstrates that for lots of within the felony neighborhood, legislation has develop into a type of alternative religion—an basically idolatrous perform composed of systematic self-misrepresentation and self-deception.
Linked by way of a continual inquiry into the character and identification of “the law,” those essays are trained via the conviction that the normal representations of legislations, either in legislations colleges and the courts, can't be taken at face value—that the legislations, as in general conceived, is senseless. The authors argue that the relentlessly normative prescriptions of yank criminal thinkers are usually futile and, certainly, usually pernicious. additionally they argue that the failure to acknowledge the position that authorship needs to play within the creation of felony proposal plagues either the educating and the perform of yankee legislation. starting from the institutional to the mental and metaphysical deficiencies of the yankee felony process, the intensity of feedback provided by way of Against the Law is unprecedented.
In a departure from the approximately common legitimating and reformist developments of yank criminal concept, this e-book can be of curiosity not just to the criminal lecturers less than assault within the ebook, but in addition to sociologists, historians, and social theorists. extra quite, it is going to have interaction the entire American legal professionals who suspect that there's anything very mistaken with the character and path in their career, legislation scholars who expect turning into a part of that career, and people readers eager about the prestige of the yankee felony system.

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These are the momentous questions. These are the hard questions. These are the questions that animate virtually all of contemporary legal thought-from the most modest doctrinal reform proposals to the most ambitious utopian speculation. In our classes and in our writings we speak ceaselessly of ways to improve law. We seek to bring law into greater consonance with moral value, or the public interest, or justice, or some other worthy conception that celebrates its own take on the social good. Because we are constantly engaged in this great prescriptive effort to better law, our thought often appears extraordinarily ennobling.

Is the only criterion ... and the difficulties of the law would be greatly lessened if the Courts would clearly and in express terms adopt this criterion. 24 Some cynic, who has had the patience to read so far, will, no doubt, remark that the legal profession is not a charitable institution, and that men practise law to get money ... and not from philanthropic motives. To this I answer that no profession can be great unless the money-making aims of the individual are leavened by a sense of the importance of his vocation and of the dignity of the body that pursues it....

You know, I don't think there's much risk that there will be many people like us in the academy. LEVINSON. But that's a bit of an evasion. SCHLAG. Yeah, it's an outright evasion, but I happen to think it's quite true. The question, really, for most of the history of the academy was whether there was going to be any critical perspective. I think a review of the legal academy starting with Langdell in 1871 would bear that out. Putting that aside, one of the things I think we need to talk about is whether or not the sort of extraordinarily refined doctrinal approach that someone like Judge Harry Edwards champions is producing anything of value.

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Against the Law by Paul F. Campos, Pierre Schlag, Steven D. Smith

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