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Ross, Alf. On Law and Justice. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1959. xi, 383 pp. Reprint available December 2004 by the Lawbook Exchange, Ltd. ISBN 1-58477-488-6. Cloth. $90. * In this influential and oft-cited study Ross discounted the theories of natural law, positivism and legal realism. In their stead, he proposed the abandonment of "ought-propositions" for the "is-propositions" employed by other empirical sciences, thereby envisioning lawyers that serve merely as "rational technologists." Less bound by tradition, and traditional notions of justice, jurisprudence then becomes "not only a beautiful mental activity per se, but also an instrument which may benefit any lawyer who wants to understand what he is doing and why" (Preface).
A book that makes law and justice both relevant and alive for everyone about the ideas and ideals of law. Containing a down-to-earth explanation of topical and newsworthy law-and-justice dilemmas, it is written for readers interested in public affairs and current events, as well as those grappling with ‘big picture’ issues in law and government as students, professionals or concerned citizens. This book serves as an introduction, a critique, and a thought-provoking read all in one.
"Human beings are a part of nature and apart from it." The argument of Natural Law and Justice is that the philosophy of natural law and contemporary theories about the nature of justice are both efforts to make sense of the fundamental paradox of human experience: individual freedom and responsibility in a causally determined universe. Professor Weinreb restores the original understanding of natural law as a philosophy about the place of humankind in nature. He traces the natural law tradition from its origins in Greek speculation through its classic Christian statement by Thomas Aquinas. He goes on to show how the social contract theorists adapted the idea of natural law to provide for political obligation in civil society and how the idea was transformed in Kant's account of human freedom. He brings the historical narrative down to the present with a discussion of the contemporary debate between natural law and legal positivism, including particularly the natural law theories of Finnis, Richards, and Dworkin. Professor Weinreb then adopts the approach of modern political philosophy to develop the idea of justice as a union of the distinct ideas of desert and entitlement. He shows liberty and equality to be the political analogues of desert and entitlement and both pairs to be the normative equivalents of freedom and cause. In this part of the book, Weinreb considers the theories of justice of Rawls and Nozick as well as the communitarian theory of Maclntyre and Sandel. The conclusion brings the debates about natural law and justice together, as parallel efforts to understand the human condition. This original contribution to legal philosophy will be especially appreciated by scholars, teachers, and students in the fields of political philosophy, legal philosophy, and the law generally.
Feminist lawyers have long been engaged in critiquing the gendered nature of South African law. This project has increased in importance and scope as a result of the centrality of gender equality, as a value and a substantive right, in the South African Constitution. Gender, Law and Justice provides both theoretical and practical tools to enable academic and practising lawyers to apply concepts of gender equality to the law. It introduces readers to basic feminist concepts and arguments, and to a wealth of local, comparative and international material on gender and the law. It also illustrates how the law may be shaped to transform the social, cultural and economic conditions of women's lives in South Africa, at the same time as it acknowledges the limits of legal strategies for change. This book has three main objectives. The first is to identify the different positions of women in South Africa and to examine the disparate impact of the legal system on their lives. Secondly, it aims to expose the gender bias in legal concepts and in the content and application of legal rules. Thirdly, it suggests changes to the law, and evaluates those changes that have already occurred, with a view to developing the law so that it is better able to ensure justice and meet the diverse needs of women in South Africa.
Using socio-anthropological theory and archaeological evidence, Knight argues that while the laws in the Hebrew Bible tend to reflect the interests of those in power, the majority of ancient Israelites--located in villages--developed their own unwritten customary laws to regulate behavior and resolve legal conflicts in their own communities. This book includes numerous examples from village, city, and cult. --from publisher description

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