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.
Table of Contents
Peter Goodrich & Thanos Zartaloudis
1. Ley Lines: The Imaginary Origins of the Common Law
2. ‘A Quiet and Secret Place’ – An Enquiry on the Dreamer God, a God Without a Name
3. Borges, The Keystone and the Legal Imagination
4. A Triptych of Lawlessness
5. When Dragons Did Rise
Christine F. Black
6. Doctorum agnomina: On the Satirical Laws of Academia
7. The Corbels Act
8. Report to the Treasurer of Injustice
10. Twelve Theses on the Exorbitant Principle that a Lawyer Must Work for the Poor
11. Intha Gnalamum Poy Thaano – Imagining the Other in Contract
12. Ad Vitam Aeternam: a Legal Text That Remains Relevant
13. In Nomine Patris
14. It is Forbidden to Sell Your Soul to the Devil
15. The Court of Monuments
16. Lexicon Act 2020
17. Carrier Bag Law
18. An Act for the Installing of Circles
19. Kαὶ μηδὲν μόριον ἀποκεκρύφθαι: The Bare Life of the Stoic Sage
20. Move over, Felix: Addressing the impact of the domestic cat
21. The Proof of Judicial Omniscience Act (UK)
22. The Rule Book of a Dreamer
23. Freedom as Critique
24. Breathing Law
25. Untitled. Unreliable. Unconfirmed
26. Legal Fictions – a Dialogue Imagining Law
28. Waiting for Law – A Play In One Act
29. The Protocol of Mobile Rooms
30. Law No. 9321/2028 – Exceptional Regulations for Communal Living and Use on the Ground of Higher Order Natural Sites
31. A Confidential Private Placement Memorandum
32. The Statute of Snouts – An Act for the Elongation of Noses
33. Science and Scholarship Restoration Act
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.