Book Review of Brian Tamanaha's Beyond the Formalist-Realist Divide: The Role of Politics in Judging
8 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2012
Date Written: February 1, 2012
Prof. Tamanaha seeks to show that many judges of the formalist era did not publicly espouse the kind of rigid, doctrinaire formalism that is so often ascribed to them. Instead, he suggests, many jurists thought to be formalists held a far more nuanced view of common law jurisprudence that was far closer to the traditional realist account than is generally supposed. Similarly, Prof. Tamanaha seeks to demonstrate that many classic legal realists, including Jerome Frank, Roscoe Pound and Karl Llewellyn, acknowledged the “rule bound” nature of actual adjudication much more than the conventional account suggests. His ambition in the book is nothing less than to thoroughly debunk and disprove the conventional account of the development of common law jurisprudence in the first half of the twentieth century.
Keywords: jurisprudence, realism, formalism, judges
JEL Classification: K10, K30, K40, K41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation