Gerald Postema on ‘Law’s System: The Necessity of System in Common Law’ – UCL Faculty of Laws, 20 May 2014

TE Holland infamously described the common law as ‘chaos with a full index’. One might detect a note of perverse pride in that quip, something entirely missing from Bentham’s summary dismissal of the common law of his day as harmful fiction. More recently, Peter Birks criticized contemporary common law for its manifest ‘absence of system’, its disorderly collection of legal categories and miscellany of odd rules and doctrines making it difficult to determine its prescriptions in particular cases with any clarity or conviction. Yet Birks was inclined to think that this grave deficiency was due not to ineradicable deficiencies in common law itself, but rather to inattention and lack of intellectual discipline … (more, registration)

[UCL Legal Philosophy Forum, May]

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