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A Natural History of the Common Law
Author: S. F. C. Milsom

ISBN: 9780231129947
Format: Hardcover
Number Of Pages: 184
Published: 16 November 2003
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.8 x 15.0 x 1.9
Description:


How does law come to be stated as substantive rules, and then how does it change? In this collection of discussions from the James S. Carpentier Lectures in legal history and criticism, one of Britain's most acclaimed legal historians S. F. C. Milsom focuses on the development of English common law -- the intellectually coherent system of substantive rules that courts bring to bear on the particular facts of individual cases -- from which American law was to grow. Milsom discusses the differences between the development of land law and that of other kinds of law and, in the latter case, how procedural changes allowed substantive rules first to be stated and then to be circumvented. He examines the invisibility of early legal change and how adjustment to conditions was hidden behind such things as the changing meaning of words.

Milsom points out that legal history may be more prone than other kinds of history to serious anachronism. Nobody ever states his assumptions, and a legal writer, addressing his contemporaries, never provided a glossary to warn future historians against attributing their own meanings to his words and therefore thei...

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