What can legal theorists learn from legal historians? What guidance can historians take from theorists? What theoretical questions underlie legal historical investigations? These are the questions explored and answered by the articles selected in this volume. Taken together, these papers show that the future of historical jurisprudence is a bright one. This is a jurisprudence that can yield insights about how to conceptualise legal change, how to give voice to those operating outside of legal officialdom, and how to understand the relationship between law and politics. The papers selected range from the challenge to legal positivism from the perspective of the history of the common law, to the latest methodological debates in socio-historical jurisprudence. The volume contains a substantive introduction and a detailed bibliography.
Contents: Introduction. Part I Challenging the Thought of the Present: The common law and legal theory, A.W.B. Simpson; Why is Anglo-American jurisprudence unhistorical?; Morton J. Horwitz; Classification of private law in relation to historical evidence: description, prescription, and conceptual analysis, Stephen Waddams; Interpretive legal theory and the academic lawyer, Allan Beever and Charles Rickett. Part II Reconstructing the Thought of the Past: What is legal history a history of?, David Ibbetson; Reason in the development of the common law, S.F.C. Milsom; Common law reasoning and the foundations of modern private law, Michael Lobban; The common-law status of colonies and Aboriginal ’rights’: how lawyers and historians treat the past, P.G. McHugh; Reflections on ’doing’ legal history, John Baker. Part III The Promise of History for Jurisprudence: Toward an integrative jurisprudence: politics, morality, history, Harold J. Berman; Historical jurisprudence, Geoffrey MacCormack; The tasks of historical jurisprudence, Peter Stein; Science, law and history: historical jurisprudence and modern legal theory, Geoffrey Samuel; Critical legal histories, Robert W. Gordon; After critical legal history: scope, scale, structure, Christopher Tomlins. Part IV Socio-Historical Jurisprudence: Introduction: J. Willard Hurst and the common law tradition in American legal historiography, Robert W. Gordon; Theory and practice in law and history: a prologue to the study of the relationship between law and economy from a socio-historical perspective, David Sugarman; Pigs and positivism, Hendrik Hartog; Law ’in’ and ’as’ history: the common law in the American polity, 1790-1900, Kunal M. Parker; How autonomous is law?, Christopher Tomlins. Name index.