On Law's Promise: Thinking About How We Think About Law's Limits
(2012) 57 Studies in Law, Politics & Society 201-246
43 Pages Posted: 10 Aug 2013
Date Written: August 9, 2011
If law’s foundational promise lies in the belief that it promotes the social good, then we need to reassess the limits of that promise. Exploring the often problematic translation of legal goods into social ones, the central claim is that the legal discipline has been limited by a ‘‘legal imperative’’ that manifests itself in an excessive focus upon law as a social tool and attitude of complacency in the face of law’s limits. Seeking to displace this approach, the author argues for an attitudinal shift that expresses honesty about limits, greater social inquisitiveness and care about law’s promise.
Keywords: law's limits, legal imperative, myopia, legal goods, social goods
JEL Classification: K20, K13, K14, K40, K20
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation