Evolution and the Common Law

Evolution and the Common Law

by Allan C. Hutchinson
     
 

Hutchinson (law, York U., Toronto) takes a refreshing and enlightening approach to the question of how common law develops, asserting there is no grand theory that will explain all the permutations of common law across history. Instead he believes the law grows and changes organically, responding to local needs at the time. To prove his case he re-reads the sources of… See more details below

Overview

Hutchinson (law, York U., Toronto) takes a refreshing and enlightening approach to the question of how common law develops, asserting there is no grand theory that will explain all the permutations of common law across history. Instead he believes the law grows and changes organically, responding to local needs at the time. To prove his case he re-reads the sources of ideas about evolution and transformation, such as Darwin and Gadamer, and applies them to evidence from history, finding that both radical and evolutionary changes came not from a central cause or theory but instead were rooted in the political and the pragmatic. His concluding chapter is particularly effective in explaining the ties between the reflective and the active, the former being a privilege of the present in studies in common law, and the latter being the fate of those who actually created it. Annotation ©2005 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521614917
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
04/04/2005
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.63(d)

Meet the Author

Allan C. Hutchinson is Professor and Associate Dean at Osgoode Hall Law School in York University. He has published on a variety of subjects including civil litigation, constitutional law, torts, jurisprudence, evidence, legal profession, and legal ethics. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and awarded Osgoode Hall's inaugural Excellence in Teaching Award.

Table of Contents

1Evolution and the common law : an introduction1
2Darwin's excellent adventure : evolution and law23
3The creationists' persistence : jurisprudence and God57
4Taming the bulldog : the natural and the pragmatic89
5Tracking the common law : the routine and the revolutionary125
6Looking for Gadamer : traditions and transformations164
7Reading between the lines : courts and constitutions199
8Making changes : progress and politics235
9Among the trees : a conclusion271

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