1st Edition

The Cabinet of Imaginary Laws

Edited By Peter Goodrich, Thanos Zartaloudis Copyright 2021
    248 Pages 4 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    248 Pages 4 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Returning to the map of the island of utopia, this book provides a contemporary, inventive, addition to the long history of legal fictions and juristic phantasms. Progressive legal and political thinking has for long lacked a positive, let alone a bold imaginary project, an account of what improved institutions and an ameliorated environment would look like. And where better to start than with the non-laws or imaginary legislations of a realm yet to come.

    The Cabinet of Imaginary Laws is a collection of fictive contributions to the theme of conceiving imaginary laws in the vivid vein of jurisliterary invention. Disparate in style and diverse in genres of writing and performative expression, the celebrated and unknown, venerable and youthful authors write new laws. Thirty-five dissolute scholars, impecunious authors and dyspeptic artists from a variety of fields including law, film, science, history, philosophy, political science, aesthetics, architecture and the classics become, for a brief and inspiring instance, legislators of impossible norms. The collection provides an extra-ordinary range of inspired imaginings of other laws. This momentary community of radial thought conceives of a wild variety of novel critical perspectives. The contributions aim to inspire reflection on the role of imagination in the study and writing of law. Verse, collage, artworks, short stories, harangues, lists, and other pleas, reports and pronouncements revivify the sense of law as the vehicle of poetic justice and as an art that instructs and constructs life.

    Aimed at an intellectual audience disgruntled with the negativity of critique and the narrowness of the disciplines, this book will appeal especially to theorists, lawyers, scholars and a general public concerned with the future of decaying laws and an increasingly derelict legal system.


    Peter Goodrich & Thanos Zartaloudis

    1. Ley Lines: The Imaginary Origins of the Common Law

    Piyel Haldar

    2. ‘A Quiet and Secret Place’ – An Enquiry on the Dreamer God, a God Without a Name

    Pierre Legendre

    3. Borges, The Keystone and the Legal Imagination

    Tobias Smith

    4. A Triptych of Lawlessness

    Stephen Webster

    5. When Dragons Did Rise

    Christine F. Black

    6. Doctorum agnomina: On the Satirical Laws of Academia

    Valérie Hayaert

    7. The Corbels Act

    Jake Tilson

    8. Report to the Treasurer of Injustice

    Frederick Dolan

    9. Ennomie

    William Watkin

    10. Twelve Theses on the Exorbitant Principle that a Lawyer Must Work for the Poor

    Adam Gearey

    11. Intha Gnalamum Poy Thaano – Imagining the Other in Contract

    Swethaa Ballakrishnen

    12. Ad Vitam Aeternam: a Legal Text That Remains Relevant

    Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos

    13. In Nomine Patris

    Chiara Bottici

    14. It is Forbidden to Sell Your Soul to the Devil

    Tiziano Toracca

    15. The Court of Monuments

    Hayley Gibson

    16. Lexicon Act 2020

    Gary Watt

    17. Carrier Bag Law

    Bernard Keenan

    18. An Act for the Installing of Circles

    Linda Mills

    19. Kαὶ μηδὲν μόριον ἀποκεκρύφθαι: The Bare Life of the Stoic Sage

    Philip Mitsis

    20. Move over, Felix: Addressing the impact of the domestic cat

    James Attlee

    21. The Proof of Judicial Omniscience Act (UK)

    David Campbell

    22. The Rule Book of a Dreamer

    Niall Brooks

    23. Freedom as Critique

    Karsten Schubert

    24. Breathing Law

    Daniela Gandorfer

    25. Untitled. Unreliable. Unconfirmed

    Deepak Unnikrishnan

    26. Legal Fictions – a Dialogue Imagining Law

    Elizabeth Cowie

    27. COIL

    Justin Clemens

    28. Waiting for Law – A Play In One Act

    Stacy Douglas

    29. The Protocol of Mobile Rooms

    Aristide Antonas

    30. Law No. 9321/2028 – Exceptional Regulations for Communal Living and Use on the Ground of Higher Order Natural Sites

    Thanos Zartaloudis

    31. A Confidential Private Placement Memorandum

    Pierre Schlag

    32. The Statute of Snouts – An Act for the Elongation of Noses

    Peter Goodrich

    33. Science and Scholarship Restoration Act

    Bernhard Schlink


    Peter Goodrich is Professor of Law at Cardozo Law School and Visiting Professor in the School of Social Sciences at New York University, Abu Dhabi.

    Thanos Zartaloudis is Reader in Legal History and Theory at Kent Law School and Visiting Professor at the Center of Hellenic Studies, Harvard University.