The Common Law (Google eBook)
The Common Law is Oliver Wendell Holmes' most sustained work of jurisprudence. In it the careful reader will discern traces of his later thought as found in both his legal opinions and other writings. At the outset of The Common Law Holmes posits that he is concerned with establishing that the common law can meet the changing needs of society while preserving continuity with the past. A common law judge must be creative, both in determining the society's current needs, and in discerning how best to address these needs in a way that is continuous with past judicial decisions. In this way, the law evolves by moving out of its past, adapting to the needs of the present, and establishing a direction for the future. To Holmes' way of thinking, this approach is superior to imposing order in accordance with a philosophical position or theory because the law would thereby lose the flexibility it requires in responding to the needs and demands of disputing parties as well as society as a whole. According to Holmes, the social environment--the economic, moral, and political milieu--alters over time. Therefore in order to remain responsive to this social environment, the law must change as well. But the law is also part of this environment and impacts it. There is, then, a continual reciprocity between the law and the social arrangements in which it is contextualized. And, as with the evolution of species, there is no starting over. Rather, in most cases, a judge takes existing legal concepts and principles, as these have been memorialized in legal precedent, and adapts them, often unconsciously, to fit the requirements of a particular case and present social conditions.
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Review: The Common LawUser Review - Mike - Goodreads
Let's begin with a couple of biographical details. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., was a weird guy. Anyone who had grown up in the home of Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., gone by the nickname "Wendy" as a ... Read full review
Review: The Common LawUser Review - Robert - Goodreads
Among justices of the Supreme Court, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. is of a tier that accompanied only by a few others, such as John Marshall and perhaps Hugo Black. Before this book was published, Holmes ... Read full review
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