Law in Contemporary Society
Topic: If we accept the eventual conclusion of Frank's reasoning, that the human role as truth decider ultimately forecloses the possibility of a consistent system of "legal science", our development of a just and effective legal system must necessarily focus on developing the reasoning and moral courage of the individual.


The development of modern law has generally been viewed (by whom? this is a terrible sentence!) as the development of a rational system of interconnected legal rules. In "Modern Legal Magic," Jerome Frank outlines a transition from the ritualistic _ of the ordeal, to the development of a system of law based on the precepts of logical reasoning.

Although this shift in the basis of legal judgment...

Frank's criticism of the modern reliance on systems of legal rules

Although Frank holds out some hope that justice will be done If we are unable to reach a just and consistent outcome through a system of legal rules, we are If justice and consistency cannot be effected through the use of a deterministic system of legal rules, we must

Any effort to reform the law must begin with an examination of the possible goals of a legal system. Although a detailed treatment of this topic is vastly outside the scope of this essay, I will briefly _ three goals arguably central to the success of any legal system: consistency of legal judgment, the efficient production of utility, and adherence to the moral expectations of the citizenry. While these goals are prima facia reasonable, they are bound to encounter the same difficulties of definition that plague our legal system as a whole. Consistency must be measured in terms of truth, the unknowability of which is the foundation of Frank's argument. Utility and morality are even more vague, depending on the subjective understanding of some undefined set of individuals. Although this inability to even define adequate heuristics may seem like the death knell for the reformation of law, it strengthens the conclusion that the ideal system of law cannot be the simple result of sufficiently refined legal rules. __ _ the very goals of law are dependent on the human factors that make a scientific analysis untenable. The _ of injustice arises because we are sublimating our natural _ to the _ of a system. Consistent reasoning is substituted for consistent judgment. A instinctual _ at the problem might be to further refine the system, and eliminate __ from the functioning of the . If we accept Frank's reasoning, this solution cannot possibly succeed. Law itself is a deeply human activity, and the further refinement of a mechanistic system of reasoning can only mask the __. If a scientific system of legal rules is unable to eliminate the ^^human factors^^, it would follow that the development of a just legal system must focus on the moral and intellectual development.

-- TheodoreSmith - 08 Feb 2008



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r3 - 09 Feb 2008 - 00:40:30 - TheodoreSmith
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