The Concept of Socialist Law

Front Cover
Clarendon Press, 1990 - Psychology - 195 pages
This book seeks to remedy the contempt for law prominent in socialist writings. While political thinkers on the left are indisputably concerned with justice, they dismiss those legal institutions which, in liberal capitalist societies, have ensured some minimum measure of justice in citizens'lives. Marxists in particular have tended to reduce law to a capitalist apparatus necessary to mediate conflict between egoistic wills or social classes. The book argues against this doctrine by showing that however ideal a society socialists envisage, legal institutions would be necessary tofairly adjudicate conflict between private and public interests. Each chapter takes up an issue in liberal jurisprudence to see how it would fare in a socialist theory which takes a constructive approach to law. The rule of law, natural and legal rights, obligations, and the sources of law areamong the subjects covered. The book concludes that a socialist concept of law would enrich, not only debates about the nature of socialism, but also debates about community and justice which preoccupy `mainstream' political theory and jurisprudence.

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About the author (1990)

Christine Sypnowich is of the Department of Philosophy at Queen's University in Ontario.

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