The Cabinet of Imaginary Laws  book cover
1st Edition

The Cabinet of Imaginary Laws

ISBN 9780367566586
Published June 29, 2021 by Routledge
248 Pages 4 Color Illustrations

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $44.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

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

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

View More



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.