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In writings about Islam, women and modernity in the Middle East, family and religion are frequently invoked but rarely historicized. Based on a wide range of local sources spanning two centuries (1660-1860), Beshara B. Doumani argues that there is no such thing as the Muslim or Arab family type that is so central to Orientalist, nationalist, and Islamist narratives. Rather, one finds dramatic regional differences, even within the same cultural zone, in the ways that family was understood, organized, and reproduced. In his comparative examination of the property devolution strategies and gender regimes in the context of local political economies, Doumani offers a groundbreaking examination of the stories and priorities of ordinary people and how they shaped the making of the modern Middle East.
Comparative studies can reveal much about how law is formed out of social reality and political power by exploring these interactions in different national contexts. In this work Mauricio Garcia-Villegas compares ideas about law and society in France and the United States, demonstrating different approaches to socio-political legal studies. Using the interdisciplinary tools of the sociology of law, critical legal theory, and socio-legal studies, Garcia-Villegas builds up an insightful overview of what constitutes law and society theory and practice in France and the United States. He brings together diverse perspectives and practices that generally do not communicate well with one another, as is often the case between the critical theory of law of jurists and the legal sociology of sociologists. This study will allow readers to understand the sociology of law in a comparative perspective and sets out a new research agenda for the field of socio-political legal studies.
One of the quintessential goals of the American Dream is to own land and a home, a place to raise one's family and prove one's prosperity. Particularly for immigrant families, home ownership is a way to assimilate into American culture and community. However, Latinos, who make up the country's largest minority population, have largely been unable to gain this level of inclusion. Instead, they are forced to cling to the fringes of property rights and ownership through overcrowded rentals, transitory living arrangements, and, at best, home acquisitions through subprime lenders. In Tierra y Libertad, Steven W. Bender traces the history of Latinos' struggle for adequate housing opportunities, from the nineteenth century to today's anti-immigrant policies and national mortgage crisis. Spanning southwest to northeast, rural to urban, Bender analyzes the legal hurdles that prevent better housing opportunities and offers ways to approach sweeping legal reform. Tierra y Libertad combines historical, cultural, legal, and personal perspectives to document the Latino community's ongoing struggle to make America home.
In "Contract and Consent, " the renowned legal historian J. R. Pole posits that legal history has become highly specialized, while mainstream political and social historians frequently ignore cases that figure prominently in the legal literature. Pole makes a start at remedying the situation with a series of essays that reintegrate legal with political and social history. A central theme of the essays is the link between Anglo-American common law and contract law and American political and constitutional principles. Pole also emphasizes the political functions of legal institutions in English and American history, going so far as to suggest that we need to divest ourselves of any notion of the separation of powers. Instead, we need to acknowledge the historical role of courts, juries, and the common law as agencies of political representation and as promulgators of law and policy.
Other essays show the implications of independence for American law, and how American political scientists converted the concept of sovereignty from its authoritarian claims in the eighteenth century into a product of the political process in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Although the American colonies made their own versions of the common law, there was no simple division between "English" and "American" law. But it was of fundamental importance that an entitled, landed aristocracy was never imported into or allowed to take root in America, with the result that American law was much simpler than its English counterpart, with the latter's accretion of esoteric language and procedures.
Having established the basis of Anglo-American legal history in contract and common law in part one, in the second half of the volume Pole explores various constitutional and legal themes, from bicameralism in Britain and America and the role of the Constitution in the making of American nationality to the performance of representative institutions in the century following the American Revolution.
This title presents the 'honor defense' in six celebrated murder trials, 1896-1977. From the 1880s until after World War I, Texas prosecutions for adultery, fornication, rape, seduction, and sodomy were many, but formal penal code seemed insufficiently stringent to southerners, who often sought other redress. 'Unwritten law' seemed to justify the killing - or at least maiming - of almost anyone who by actual physical contact or inappropriate comment offended southern notions of female virtue, male honor, or sanctity of marriage. Illicit sex is the catalyst in all the Texas murder trials recounted in ""Sex, Murder, and the Unwritten Law"". In each account the victim, at least in the perception of the defendant, had committed some sexual misconduct. In every case, the defendant opened fire with premeditated intent to kill. And in all the resulting trials, the defense relied at least in part on unwritten law. Bill Neal explores the imaginative machinations of defense lawyers who extricated obviously guilty clients when there appeared no legal basis upon which to peg a defense. Typically defense attorneys outmaneuvered prosecutors and judges, whose efforts to rein in excesses met with little success. These courtroom triumphs and underlying strategies are remarkable to lawyers, historians, and laypersons alike.
This wide-ranging volume advances our understanding of law and empire in the early modern world. Distinguished contributors expose new dimensions of legal pluralism in the British, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Ottoman empires. In-depth analyses probe such topics as the shifting legal privileges of corporations, the intertwining of religious and legal thought, and the effects of clashing legal authorities on sovereignty and subjecthood. Case studies show how a variety of individuals engage with the law and shape the contours of imperial rule. The volume reaches from Peru to New Zealand to Europe to capture the varieties and continuities of legal pluralism and to probe the analytic power of the concept of legal pluralism in the comparative study of empires. For legal scholars, social scientists, and historians, Legal Pluralism and Empires, 1500-1850 maps new approaches to the study of empires and the global history of law.
Fully revised and updated, this classic text provides the authoritative introduction to the history of the English common law. The book traces the development of the principal features of English legal institutions and doctrines from Anglo-Saxon times to the present and, combined with Baker and Milsom's Sources of Legal History, offers invaluable insights into the development of the common law of persons, obligations, and property, and also of criminal and public law. It is an essential reference point for all lawyers, historians and students seeking to understand the evolution of English law over a millennium. The book provides an introduction to the main characteristics, institutions, and doctrines of English law over the longer term - particularly the evolution of the common law before the extensive statutory changes and regulatory regimes of the last two centuries. It explores how legal change was brought about in the common law and how judges and lawyers managed to square evolution with respect for inherited wisdom.
From the 'show' trials of the 1920s and 1930s to the London Conference, this book examines the Soviet role in the Nuremberg IMT trial through the prism of the ideas and practices of earlier Soviet legal history, detailing the evolution of Stalin's ideas about the trail of Nazi war criminals. Stalin believed that an international trial for Nazi war criminals was the best way to show the world the sacrifices his country had made to defeat Hitler, and he, together with his legal mouthpiece Andrei Vyshinsky, maintained tight control over Soviet representatives during talks leading up to the creation of the Nuremberg IMT trial in 1945, and the trial itself. But Soviet prosecutors at Nuremberg were unable to deal comfortably with the complexities of an open, western-style legal proceeding, which undercut their effectiveness throughout the trial. However, they were able to present a significant body of evidence that underscored the brutal nature of Hitler's racial war in Russia from 1941-45, a theme which became central to Stalin's efforts to redefine international criminal law after the war. Stalin's Soviet Justice provides a nuanced analysis of the Soviet justice system at a crucial turning point in European history and it will be vital reading for scholars and advanced students of the legal history of the Soviet Union, the history of war crimes and the aftermath of the Second World War.
An Open Letters Monthly Best Nonfiction Book of the Year America's criminal justice system is broken. The United States punishes at a higher per capita rate than any other country in the world. In the last twenty years, incarceration rates have risen 500 percent. Sentences are harsh, prisons are overcrowded, life inside is dangerous, and rehabilitation programs are ineffective. Looking not only to court records but to works of philosophy, history, and literature for illumination, Robert Ferguson, a distinguished law professor, diagnoses all parts of a now massive, out-of-control punishment regime. "If I had won the $400 million Powerball lottery last week I swear I would have ordered a copy for every member of Congress, every judge in America, every prosecutor, and every state prison official and lawmaker who controls the life of even one of the millions of inmates who exist today, many in inhumane and deplorable conditions, in our nation's prisons." -Andrew Cohen, The Atlantic "Inferno is a passionate, wide-ranging effort to understand and challenge...our heavy reliance on imprisonment. It is an important book, especially for those (like me) who are inclined towards avoidance and tragic complacency...[Ferguson's] book is too balanced and thoughtful to be disregarded." -Robert F. Nagel, Weekly Standard
Oxford's variorum edition of William Blackstone's seminal treatise on the common law of England and Wales offers the definitive account of the Commentaries' development in a modern format. For the first time it is possible to trace the evolution of English law and Blackstone's thought through the eight editions of Blackstone's lifetime, and the authorial corrections of the posthumous ninth edition. Introductions by the general editor and the volume editors set the Commentaries in their historical context, examining Blackstone's distinctive view of the common law, and editorial notes throughout the four volumes assist the modern reader in understanding this key text in the Anglo-American common law tradition. Book I: Of the Rights of People Volume Editor: David Lemmings Book II: Of the Rights of Things Volume Editor: Simon Stern Book III: Of Private Wrongs Volume Editor: Thomas P. Gallanis Book IV: Of Public Wrongs Volume Editor: Ruth Paley
Tort law regulates most human activities: from driving a car to using consumer products to providing or receiving medical care. Injuries caused by dog bites, slips and falls, fender benders, bridge collapses, adverse reactions to a medication, bar fights, oil spills, and more all implicate the law of torts. The rules and procedures by which tort cases are resolved engage deeply-held intuitions about justice, causation, intentionality, and the obligations that we owe to one another. Tort rules and procedures also generate significant controversy-most visibly in political debates over tort reform. The Psychology of Tort Law explores tort law through the lens of psychological science. Drawing on a wealth of psychological research and their own experiences teaching and researching tort law, Jennifer K. Robbennolt and Valerie P. Hans examine the psychological assumptions that underlie doctrinal rules. They explore how tort law influences the behavior and decision-making of potential plaintiffs and defendants, examining how doctors and patients, drivers, manufacturers and purchasers of products, property owners, and others make decisions against the backdrop of tort law. They show how the judges and jurors who decide tort claims are influenced by psychological phenomena in deciding cases. And they reveal how plaintiffs, defendants, and their attorneys resolve tort disputes in the shadow of tort law. Robbennolt and Hans here shed fascinating light on the tort system, and on the psychological dynamics which undergird its functioning.
We all create intellectual property. We all use intellectual property. Intellectual property is the most pervasive yet least understood way we regulate expression. Despite its importance to so many aspects of the global economy and daily life, intellectual property policy remains a confusing and arcane subject. This engaging book clarifies both the basic terms and the major conflicts surrounding these fascinating areas of law, offering a layman's introduction to copyright, patents, trademarks, and other forms of knowledge falling under the purview of intellectual property rights. Using vivid examples, noted media expert Siva Vaidhyanathan illustrates the powers and limits of intellectual property, distilling with grace and wit the complex tangle of laws, policies, and values governing the dissemination of ideas, expressions, inventions, creativity, and data collection in the modern world. Vaidhyanathan explains that intellectual property exists as it does because powerful interests want it to exist. The strongest economies in the world have a keen interest in embedding rigid methods of control and enforcement over emerging economies to preserve the huge economic interests linked to their copyright industries-film, music, software, and publishing. For this reason, the fight over the global standardization of intellectual property has become one of the most important sites of tension in North-South global relations. Through compelling case studies, including those of Starbucks, Coca-Cola, Sony, Amazon, and Google Books, Vaidhyanathan shows that the modern intellectual property systems reflect three centuries of changes in politics, economics, technologies, and social values. Although it emerged from a desire to foster creativity while simultaneously protecting it, intellectual property today has fundamentally shifted to a political dimension.
International law burst on the scene as a new field in the late nineteenth century. Where did it come from? Rage for Order finds the origins of international law in empires--especially in the British Empire's sprawling efforts to refashion the imperial constitution and use it to order the world in the early part of that century. Lauren Benton and Lisa Ford uncover the lost history of Britain's global empire of law in colonial conflicts and bureaucratic dispatches rather than legal treatises and case law. Tracing constitutional politics around the world, Rage for Order shows that attempts to refashion the British imperial constitution touched on all the controversial issues of the day, from slavery to revolution. Scandals in turbulent colonies targeted petty despots and augmented the power of the Crown to intervene in the administration of justice. Campaigns to police piracy and slave trading linked British interests to the stability of politically fragmented regions. Dull bureaucrats dominated legal reform, but they did not act in isolation. Indigenous peoples, slaves, convicts, merchants, and sailors all scrambled to play a part in reordering the empire and the world beyond it. Yet, through it all, legal reform focused on promoting order, not advancing human rights or charting liberalism. Rage for Order maps a formative phase in world history when imperial, not international, law anchored visions of global order. This sweeping story changes the way we think about the legacy of the British Empire and the meaning of international law today.
View the Table of Contents. Read the Introduction.
"This eloquent and moving memoir raises profound questions about law, justice, tradition, and community; the path to constructive social change; and not least, how to live a decent life. It is an inspiring story, with many valuable lessons to ponder."--Noam Chomsky
"Success Without Victory is thoughtful and provocative, and I
highly recommend it. It is highly readable, includes fascinating
stories centered on powerful personalities and the sustained
reflection on unilateral presidential war-making powers is
"A vivid illustration. The book makes a valuable contribution to
our evolving understanding of the work of cause lawyering and the
significance of test case litigation. It stands as a beacon of hope
in an era dominated by pessimism about the capacity of law and
lawyers to contribute to progressive social change."
"An intriguing cultural analysis."
"For the author in this compelling book, success and failure are
not determined by the immediate outcome of a given case; a lawsuit
can be deemed successful if it arises from and gives expression to
a valid principle and if it promotes culture of rights."
"Excellent. His work is prophetic and should inspire a new
generation to choose law as an alternative to war."
"Remarkable. Jules Lobel takes his rightful place alongside the
line of lawyers opting for the difficult path of bringing
contentious issues into the public forum."
"Lobel provides a lively account of several important but
relativelyunknown cases. The stories are fascinating and will
engage litigators who love the details of brief-writing, the
tension of last-minute deadlines, the strategies for oral argument,
and the drama of judicial decision-making."
Winners and losers. Success and failure. Victory and defeat. American culture places an extremely high premium on success, and firmly equates it with winning. In politics, sports, business, and the courtroom, we have a passion to win and are terrified of losing.
Instead of viewing success and failure through such a rigid lens, Jules Lobel suggests that we move past the winner-take-all model and learn valuable lessons from legal and political activists who have advocated causes destined to lose in court but have had important, progressive long term effects on American society. He leads us through dramatic battles in American legal history, describing attempts by abolitionist lawyers to free fugitive slaves through the courts, Susan B. Anthony's trial for voting illegally, the post-Civil War challenges to segregation that resulted in the courts' affirmation of the separate but equal doctrine in "Plessy v. Ferguson," and Lobel's own challenges to United States foreign policy during the 1980s and 1990s.
"Success Without Victory" explores the political, social, and psychological contexts behind the cases themselves, as well as the eras from which they originated and the eras they subsequently influenced.
As a child, Joe Beck heard about his father's legacy: Foster Beck had once been a respected trial lawyer who defied the unspoken code of 1930s Alabama by defending a black man charged with raping a white woman. A lawyer himself, Beck became intrigued by the similarities between his father's story and Harper Lee's iconic novel. Beck reconstructs his father's role in the 1938 trial-much publicised when Harper Lee was twelve years old-in which the examining doctor testified before a hostile courtroom that there was no evidence of intercourse or violence. Nevertheless, the all-white jury voted to convict. This riveting memoir explores how race, class and the memory of the American South's defeat in the Civil War produced the trial's outcome and how these issues compare with the American literary imagination.
How did the US judiciary become so powerful-powerful enough that state and federal judges once vied to decide a presidential election? What does this prominence mean for the law, constitutionalism, and liberal democracy? In The Cloaking of Power, Paul O. Carrese provides a provocative analysis of the intellectual sources of today's powerful judiciary, arguing that Montesquieu, in his Spirit of the Laws, first articulated a new conception of the separation of powers and strong but subtle courts. Montesquieu instructed statesmen to "cloak power" by placing judges at the center of politics, while concealing them behind juries and subtle reforms. Tracing this conception through Blackstone, Hamilton, and Tocqueville, Carrese shows how it led to the prominence of judges, courts, and lawyers in America today. But he places the blame for contemporary judicial activism squarely at the feet of Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. and his jurisprudential revolution, which he believes to be the source of the now - prevalent view that judging is merely political. To address this crisis, Carrese argues for a rediscovery of an independent judiciary - one that blends prudence and natural law with common law and that observes the moderate jurisprudence of Montesquieu and Blackstone, balancing abstract principles with realistic views of human nature and institutions. He also advocates for a return to the complex constitutionalism of the American founders and Tocqueville and for judges who understand their responsibility to elevate citizens above individualism, instructing them in law and right.
Although women were not officially permitted to practice law in Maryland until 1902, the history of women acting as lawyers in Maryland is storied, going back to the earliest decades of colonial America. Today, of course, women serve not only as lawyers but also as judges, professors, and elected officials, and anywhere from in local government to the U.S. Senate. Finding Justice tells the remarkable story of how women overcame historical obstacles-legal, social, and economic-to enter the legal profession and how their pioneering work has influenced the practice of law and society at large. The volume contains a CD with the first-evercompiled list of the nearly 25,000 women who have been admitted to the bar in Maryland. Distributed for George F. Thompson Publishing in association with the Maryland Women's Bar Association Foundation and the University of Baltimore Foundation.
Laws against Holocaust denial are perhaps the best-known manifestation of the present-day politics of historical memory. In Memory Laws, Memory Wars, Nikolay Koposov examines the phenomenon of memory laws in Western and Eastern Europe, Ukraine, and Russia and exposes their very different purposes in the East and West. In Western Europe, he shows how memory laws were designed to create a common European memory centred on the memory of the Holocaust as a means of integrating Europe, combating racism, and averting national and ethnic conflicts. In Russia and Eastern Europe, by contrast, legislation on the issues of the past is often used to give the force of law to narratives which serve the narrower interests of nation states and protect the memory of perpetrators rather than victims. This will be essential reading for all those interested in ongoing conflicts over the legacy of the Second World War, Nazism, and communism.
Oxford's variorum edition of William Blackstone's seminal treatise on the common law of England and Wales offers the definitive account of the Commentaries' development in a modern format. For the first time it is possible to trace the evolution of English law and Blackstone's thought through the eight editions of Blackstone's lifetime, and the authorial corrections of the posthumous ninth edition. Introductions by the general editor and the volume editors set the Commentaries in their historical context, examining Blackstone's distinctive view of the common law, and editorial notes throughout the four volumes assist the modern reader in understanding this key text in the Anglo-American common law tradition. Entitled Of Private Wrongs, Book III can be divided into three principal parts. The first describes the multiple courts in England and their jurisdictions, including the wrongs cognizable in each of them. The second describes some aspects of the substantive common law: wrongs to persons and to personal and real property. The third describes the processes of litigation in the courts of common law and equity.
'Great cases' are those judicial decisions around which the common law pivots. In a sequel to the instant classic Is Eating People Wrong?, this book presents eight new great cases from the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia. Written in a highly accessible yet rigorous style, it explores the social circumstances, institutions (lawyers, judges and courts) and ordinary people whose stories shaped the law. Across the courts' diverse and uncoordinated attempts to adapt to changing conditions and shifting demands, it shows the law as the living, breathing and down-the-street experience it really is. Including seminal cases in end of life, abortion and equal rights, this is an ideal introduction for students to legal history and jurisprudence.
From the 1880s until after World War I, Texas prosecutions for adultery, fornication, rape, seduction, and sodomy were many, but formal penal codes seemed much too merciful to suit most southerners, who believed in direct and personal redress of such wrongs."Unwritten law" seemed to justify the killing-or at least maiming-of almost anyone who by actual physical contact or inappropriate comment offended southern notions of female virtue, male honor, or the "sanctity of marriage." Illicit sex is the catalyst in all the Texas murder trials recounted in Sex, Murder, and the Unwritten Law. Bill Neal explores the imaginative machinations of defense lawyers who extricated obviously guilty clients when there appeared no legal basis upon which to peg a defense. The courtroom triumphs and underlying strategies detailed in this book are remarkable and entertaining for lawyers, historians, and laypersons alike.
In Mea Culpa, Steven W. Bender examines how the United States' collective shame about its past has shaped the evolution of law and behavior. We regret slavery and segregationist Jim Crow laws. We eventually apologize, while ignoring other oppressions, and our legal response to regret often fails to be transformative for the affected groups. By examining policies and practices that have affected the lives ofgroups that have been historically marginalized and oppressed, Bender is able to draw persuasive connections between shame and its eventual legalmanifestations. Analyzing the United States' historical response to its own atrocities, Bender identifies and develops a definitive moral compass thatguides us away from the policies and practices that lead to societal regret. Mea Culpa challenges its readers. In a different era, might we have been slave owners or proprietors of a racially segregated establishment? It's easy to judge immorality in the hindsight of history, but what current practices and policies will later generations regret? More than a historical survey, this volume offers a framework for resolving some of the most contentious socialproblems of our time. Drawing on his background as a legal scholar, Bender tackles immigration, the death penalty, the war on terror, reproductive rights,welfare, wage inequity, homelessness, mass incarceration, and same-sex marriage. Ultimately, he argues, it is the dehumanization of human beings thatallows for practices to occur that will later be marked as regrettable. And all of us have a stake in standing on the side of history that resists dehumanization.
This multi-disciplinary study considers the intersection between law and family life in Ireland from the early nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century. Setting the law in its wider social historical context it traces marriage from its formation through to its breakdown. It considers the impact of the law on such issues as adultery, divorce, broken engagements, marriage settlements, pregnancy, adoption, property, domestic violence, concealment of birth and inter-family homicide, as well as the historical origins of the Constitutional protection of the family. An underlying theme is the way in which the law of the family in Ireland differed from the law of the family in England.
The phrase 'sanctity of contracts' implies that contracts should always be strictly enforced. But when this objective is relentlessly implemented ruinous burdens are sometimes imposed on one party and extravagant enrichments conferred on the other. Despite recognition of the need to control highly unreasonable contracts in various particular contexts, there remain many instances in which the courts have refused to modify unreasonable contracts, sometimes with extravagant results that are avowedly 'grotesque'. In the computer age assent may be inferred from a click on a screen in the absence of any real agreement to the terms, which are often very burdensome to the user. In this book, arguments are advanced in favour of recognition of a general judicial power to relieve against highly unreasonable contracts, not only for the benefit of the disadvantaged party, but for the avoidance of unjust enrichment, and for the avoidance of anomalous gaps in the law.
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