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This incisive book deals with the use of the criminal law to enforce morality, in particular sexual morality, a subject of particular interest and importance since the publication of the Wolfenden Report in 1957. Professor Hart first considers John Stuart Mill's famous declaration: "The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community is to prevent harm to others." During the last hundred years this doctrine has twice been sharply challenged by two great lawyers: Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, the great Victorian judge and historian of the common law, and Lord Devlin, who both argue that the use of the criminal law to enforce morality is justified. The author examines their arguments in some detail, and sets out to demonstrate that they fail to recognize distinction of vital importance for legal and political theory, and that they espouse a conception of the function of legal punishment that few would now share.
Of Law, Liberty and Morality looks at the state of Legal Philosophy in the 21st century. The impact of legal evolutions and revolutions in the new world of social media are examined, as is the need to handle unprecedented legal situations, such as War Crimes. A flexible, fluid Legal Pyramid Model is developed as the basis of Justice. Justice, in turn, is shown to depend on Liberty in Society.
Against the background of the law reform debates around sexuality in Britain and America, Bamforth examines what functions it is legitimate for the law to serve and how effective law can be in achieving social goals. He provides a new and cogent argument for protecting lesbian and gay rights through law, but is sceptical about how useful law can be in eradicating discriminatory social practices. This work sheds new light on the equal rights debate and raises issues of central importance to the role of law in society.
Since its first publication in 1996, Law and Morality has filled a long-standing need for a contemporary Canadian textbook in the philosophy of law. Now in its third edition, this anthology has been thoroughly revised and updated, and includes new chapters on equality, judicial review, and terrorism and the rule of law. The volume begins with essays that explore general questions about morality and law, surveying the traditional literature on legal positivism and contemporary debates about the connection between law and morality. These essays explore the tensions between law as a protector of individual liberty and as a tool of democratic self-rule, and introduce debates about adjudication and the contribution of feminist approaches to the philosophy of law. New material on the Chinese Canadian head tax case is also featured. The second part of Law and Morality deals with philosophical questions as they apply to contemporary issues. Excerpts from judicial decisions as well as essays by practicing lawyers are included to provide theoretically informed legal analyses of the issues. Striking a balance between practical and more analytic, philosophical approaches, the volume's treatment of the philosophy of law as a branch of political philosophy enables students to understand law in its function as a social institution. Law and Morality has proved to be an essential text in both departments of philosophy and faculties of law and this latest edition brings the debates fully up to date, filling gaps in the previous editions and adding to the array of contemporary issues previously covered.
This book is the product of a major British Academy Symposium held in 2007 to mark the centenary of the birth of H.L.A. Hart, the most important legal philosopher and one of the most important political philosophers of the twentieth century. The book brings together contributions from seventeen of the world's foremost legal and political philosophers who explore the many subjects in which Hart produced influential work. Each essay engages in an original analysis of philosophical problems that were tackled by Hart, some essays including extended critical discussions of his major works: The Concept of Law, Punishment and Responsibility, Causation in the Law and Law, Liberty and Morality. All the main topics of Hart's philosophical writings are featured: general jurisprudence and legal positivism; criminal responsibility and punishment; theories of rights; toleration and liberty; theories of justice; and causation in the law.

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