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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
This topical book provides an insightful analysis of the increasing prominance of the statute in AustraliaoÂeÂ(tm)s inherited common law system. It examines the integration of the two sources of law, with specific reference to the operation of claims for damages under the two sources of law and the concept of the equity of the statute. The author addresses how the common law can develop in the current environment and discusses the modern relationship between legislation and judge-made law. Two interlinked themes are presented. First, as most new law is sourced from statute, an understanding of the law of obligations is incomplete without a consideration of how statute is affecting traditional legal obligations. The example of damages under the Australian Consumer Law is analysed in detail. The statutory regime has the potential to render irrelevant significant parts of the traditional law of contract, tort and equity, which traditionally have had detailed remedial schemes. This potential will be examined in the book. The second theme is an investigation of the unification of private and public law and the important role that the Equity of the Statute (via statutory interpretation and analogical reasoning) can play in this development. This book will be of particular relevance to legal practitioners, courts and anyone faced with managing legal matters in the current legal environment, for whom a deep knowledge of the interrelationship of the two sources can inform their approach to private law remedies. It will also engage researchers, legal theorists, scholars and anyone interested in the modern operation of the Australian legal system. Features oÂeo Accessible treatment of complex structure of AustraliaoÂeÂ(tm)s modern legal system oÂeo Highlights the role of statutory interpretation in the common law system oÂeo Offers guidance as to assessment of appropriate remedies Related Title Pearce & Geddes, Statutory Interpretation in Australia, 8th ed, 2014
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
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
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?
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.
Interpreting Statutes was cited 4 times by the High Court in Momcilovic v The Queen [2011] HCA 34 (8 September 2011)Interpreting Statutes has been written for lawyers and judges who must interpret statutes on a daily basis, as well as for students and scholars who have their own responsibility for the future. This book takes a new approach to statutory interpretation. The authors consider the fundamental importance of context in statutory interpretation across various fields of regulation and explore the problems, which arise from the frequent disjunction between regulatory design and subsequent statutory interpretation. As a result, they bring to the fore fundamental theoretical questions underlying interpretive choice and expand our appreciation of how critical interpretive issues are to the proper functioning of our legal system. The book is divided into two parts. The first covers several areas dealing with fundamental theoretical issues. The second deals with particular areas of the law, such as criminal law or corporate law, addressing the utility and functionality of the general theories from different legal perspectives and illustrating the fact that different interpretive principles may take precedence in different areas of the law. It reveals the complexity of statutory interpretation when applied to actual practice in a particular area of law. Despite this complexity and the unique problems of statutory interpretation within each area of law, some major themes emerge including: the strong influence of constitutional interpretation; tension between common law rights and statutory innovation; questions about the interaction of domestic law with international law; tension between settled judicial principles of interpretation and principles embedded in legislation; issues concerning the interpretation of delegated legislation; and questions about gap filling and discretion in the interpretation of statutes and codes.

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