Tinfoil Hats and Powdered Wigs: Thoughts on Pseudolaw

32 Pages Posted: 18 Jun 2019

See all articles by Colin McRoberts

Colin McRoberts

University of Kansas - School of Business

Date Written: June 6, 2019


This article describes “pseudolaw,” the phenomenon of individuals who use elaborate, fictional rules in real-world courts and legal disputes. I explain why "pseudolaw" is a better label for this phenomenon than more common but less accurate terms like "sovereign citizen," and describe several real-world examples (such as the pseudolegal guru who claimed to have developed a quantum legal language that would defeat any lawyer, and to be the King of Hawaii). I then discuss the harms pseudolaw does to the legal system, the general public, and pseudolawyers themselves, as well as several likely causes of pseudolegal ideation. Finally, I propose solutions that judges, court staff, practitioners, and the public can use to help stem the growth of pseudolaw.

Keywords: law, pseudolaw, pseudolawyer, irrationality, sovereign citizen, freeman

JEL Classification: K00, K34, K42, K49, K40

Suggested Citation

McRoberts, Colin, Tinfoil Hats and Powdered Wigs: Thoughts on Pseudolaw (June 6, 2019). Washburn Law Journal, Vol. 58, No. 3, 2019, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3400362

Colin McRoberts (Contact Author)

University of Kansas - School of Business ( email )

1300 Sunnyside Avenue
Lawrence, KS 66045
United States

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