How to Do Things with Legal Doctrine (Abstract)
University of Chicago Press; First Edition (October 26, 2020)
Posted: 8 Oct 2020 Last revised: 20 Nov 2020
Date Written: October 6, 2020
Legal doctrine is the currency of contemporary law. Yet while law students, lawyers, and judges take the substance of specific doctrines seriously, the idea of doctrine itself (what it is, how it means, what it does) is routinely bypassed and thus left unexplored. How to Do Things with Legal Doctrine is an original study that aims to remedy this shortfall. The book focuses on how to understand legal doctrine—how to expand, limit, frame, fashion and refashion doctrine. In this book we identify and refine theoretically and practically the conceptual and rhetorical operations that legal professionals perform with doctrine—focusing especially on those difficult moments where law seems to run out, but legal argument must go on. Indeed, a great deal of this book takes as its subject matter those difficult moments when existing legal doctrines seem to provide no clear answer. What do you do then? And what prepares the way to resolution?
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