Category Archives: General

Carys Craig, ‘The Relational Robot: A Normative Lens for AI Legal Neutrality (Reviewing Ryan Abbott, The Reasonable Robot, Cambridge University Press, 2020)’

ABSTRACT In his impactful book, The Reasonable Robot (Cambridge UP, 2020), Ryan Abbott proposes a new guiding tenet for the law’s regulation of Artificial Intelligence: AI legal neutrality. This would establish, as a principled starting point, the default position that ‘the law should not discriminate between AI and human behaviour’. In this Review Essay, I […]

Nynke Vellinga, ‘Challenges Posed by Autonomous Systems to Liability Regimes: Finding a Balance’

ABSTRACT Existing liability regimes have traditionally been designed around human conduct leading to damage. As the role of the human is increasingly taken over by autonomous systems, current liability regimes under pressure. This chapter focuses on these challenges posed to existing liability regimes and aims to provide clarity on the current legal framework addressing liability […]

Robert Reed, ‘Time Present and Time Past: Legal Development and Legal Tradition in the Common Law’

“The title of my lecture, ‘Time Present and Time Past’, is the opening line of TS Eliot’s Burnt Norton, the first poem in his Four Quartets. The poems make clear the importance which Eliot attached to history and tradition in understanding the world and our place in it. He is far from alone in that […]

Felipe Jiménez, ‘Legal Principles, Law, and Tradition’

ABSTRACT Legal reasoning and legal discourse take place within historical traditions that develop over time. Law is characterized by the authoritative presence of those historical traditions. This observation vindicates the basic positivist insight that law is ultimately grounded in social facts. These social facts include the history of the legal tradition, the work and shared […]

Mark Koyama, ‘Legal Capacity’

ABSTRACT This chapter evaluates the concept of legal capacity and how it is employed in research in historical political economy. I discuss its relationship to the wider literature on state capacity, research on the rule of law, and the literature on legal origins. I go on to outline how the concept of legal capacity sheds […]

James Gordley, ‘Private Rights and the Common Good’

ABSTRACT Since the 19th century, private rights have been envisioned as zones of freedom in which the right-hold can do as he will. That idea persists. Those who oppose it often see the problem as how to curtail private rights in the interest of others In doing so, they take the 19th century conception of […]

Diggory Bailey, ‘Settled Practice in Statutory Interpretation’

ABSTRACT What use (if any) may be made of settled practice in statutory interpretation and what are the potential justifications for its use? Debate about the use of settled practice is often framed in terms of a tension between legal certainty, on the one hand, and legal correctness in giving effect to Parliament’s will, on […]

Dale Smith, ‘Should Courts Follow Mistaken Statutory Precedents?’

ABSTRACT Sometimes, when a court interprets a statute, it makes a mistake, with the result that the court mis-identifies the statute’s legal effect (ie, the contribution the statute makes to the content of the law). Where the court is an appellate one, the question arises: should later courts follow the earlier court’s mistaken interpretation of […]

‘Paul Miller and Jeff Pojanowski on the Internal Point of View’

“Paul Miller and Jeff Pojanowski are law professors at the University of Notre Dame. Paul Miller has written extensively in the areas of fiduciary law, private law theory, corporate law, equity, and legal theory. Jeff Pojanowski writes in the areas of administrative law, jurisprudence, legal interpretation, and torts. In this episode, we talk about their […]

‘Legal Theory Lexicon: Baselines’

“Most undergraduates are likely to become acquainted with John Stuart Mill’s famous harm principle at some point. Here is how he stated the principle in On Liberty: ‘The object of this Essay is to assert one very simple principle, as entitled to govern absolutely the dealings of society with the individual in the way of […]