Understanding Jurisprudence: An Introduction to Legal Theory / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $21.57
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 66%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (2) from $21.57   
  • New (1) from $533.53   
  • Used (1) from $21.57   
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:



New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.


Ships from: Chicago, IL

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Sort by


Understanding Jurisprudence by Raymond Wacks adopts a novel approach to this challenging subject; It reveals the nature of legal theory with clarity, enthusiasm, and wit, without avoiding its complexities and subtleties. The author provides an illuminating guide to the central questions of legal theory. An experienced teacher of jurisprudence and distinguished writer in the field, his approach is stimulating, accessible, and even entertaining.

The concept of law lies at the heart of our social and political life. Jurisprudence explores the concept of law and its role in society. It elucidates its meaning and its relation to the universal questions of justice, rights, and morality. And it analyzes the nature and purpose of our legal system, and its practice by courts, lawyers, and judges.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199272587
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 4/7/2005
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 390
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Raymond Wacks is Emeritus Professor of Law and Legal Theory at the University of Hong Kong.

His major areas of interest are legal theory, and human rights, in particular the protection of privacy, on which he is a leading international authority. In March 1997 he was awarded a higher doctorate in law (LLD) by the University of London for his publications on privacy and legal theory.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures

1 Introduction 1

2 Law and morals 12

3 Classical legal positivism 69

4 Modern legal positivism 93

5 Law as integrity 141

6 Legal realism 172

7 Law and social theory 193

8 Historical and anthropological jurisprudence 235

9 Justice 254

10 Rights 279

11 The duty to obey the law 318

12 Punishment 325

13 Critical legal theory 337

14 Feminist and critical race theory 358

Glossary 380

Index 385

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2008


    It is that sort of book! It¿s great to have a reasonably slim volume on jurisprudence and legal theory which attains the right level for the reader. Professor Wacks has always produced thought-provoking works and this one is no exception as an invaluable stimulus to learning at the right level. Wacks describes the concept of law as lying at the heart of our social and political life, to give it mass audience interest even though some learners feel forced to studying jurisprudence which they think is `all about politics, anyway¿! Raymond Wacks dispels these concerns, saying that much of the turgid prose we have on jurisprudence is ¿an impenetrable thicket to all but the professional jurist¿ but therein lies the problem- making the subject interesting to those who dislike considering this area of our human existence. Rightly, this is `unashamedly a book for students¿ and it works, not as a textbook, but very much the link between the formal textbook and the myriad of notes we take when attending lectures. The problem I always found with jurisprudence was the huge number of references to be looked at, from which I needed to make a selection, for a reasonable essay answer. In the days before regular use of the internet that meant leaning heavily on `Lloyd¿ (becoming `Lloyd & Freeman¿) and the specific essays of jurists like Austin, Raz, Hart, Dworkin and Rawls, to name but a few. What Wacks has done is link his main text with the main jurist authorities by name depending on the importance of the points they make, and then adding questions, detailed notes and excellent further reading. What I would like to see are web links as well (probably because I am lazy) but it would help to go directly to those sources I would wish to quote from. To take an example, when examining social theory years ago before the book came out, I quoted Habermas in an essay but had to actually get his book to make the point, which took up a lot of time. Internet access today gives us the information at our fingertips and I would envisage web links becoming an important additional tool as long as the learners do not abuse it in their stated bibliographies, as a quick way out of their labours! There are 12 main chapters covering the topics one would revise for the exams, and there is a most useful short glossary at the back with an index which relies heavily on named jurists and is equally effective for cross referencing. Professor Wacks has set up a simple structure for the book, which will celebrate 20 years of germination shortly. His chapter questions are the key to examination success centering on: 1. Identification of the central problems in each of the areas analysed 2. The provision of fodder for reflection and discussion in seminars or study groups and 3. Giving assistance to learners when revising for exams or assessments. I like this approach which reflects modern teaching practice well. When reading the Preface, I was reminded of lecturer and casebook compiler Tony Weir¿s naming of his two cats as ¿Donoghue¿ and ¿Stevenson¿ (needless to say, he taught Tort at Cambridge!) and I wondered idly whether Wacks¿ doves `Lily¿ and `Willy¿ should be renamed as `Dworkin¿ and `Rawls¿ for the helpful pointers they gave Professor Wacks during his writing deliberations! He concludes his introductory remarks to the book by stating his principle objective as pointing learners in the right direction, ¿soaring above needless deviation, mystification and impediment- not unlike my discerning doves¿. I note it was written in Umbria, Italy, so that explains a few things about his muse and proofreading technique. I am very grateful to Wacks for this book and I was touched by some comments he made which reminded me of my teaching practice when he writes ¿the perplexed and occasionally bewildered faces of my long-suffering students over the years have been in my mind¿s eye throughout the writing of the page

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)