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Full-Text Articles in Legal History

Curses, Oaths, Ordeals And Tials Of Animals, Alan Watson Sep 1997

Curses, Oaths, Ordeals And Tials Of Animals, Alan Watson

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To the outsider, a foreign legal system may at times appear irrational, with a belief in the efficacy, usually with supernatural assistance, of curses, oaths and ordeals, and that animals may properly be punished, even restrained from anti-human behaviour, after a criminal trial. But caution must be exercised. There may be little real belief that the deity will intervene-for instance, that the ordeal will reveal guilt or innocence. Rather, the society may be faced with an intolerable problem, with no reasonable solution, and the participants may resort to extraordinary legal measures as a "Last Best Chance", or "The Second Best ...


Of Pitcairn's Island And American Constitutional Theory, Dan T. Coenen Jan 1997

Of Pitcairn's Island And American Constitutional Theory, Dan T. Coenen

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Few tales from human experience are more compelling than that of the mutiny on the Bounty and its extraordinary aftermath. On April 28, 1789, crew members of the Bounty, led by Fletcher Christian, seized the ship and its commanding officer, William Bligh. After being set adrift with eighteen sympathizers in the Bounty's launch, Bligh navigated to landfall across 3600 miles of ocean in "the greatest open-boat voyage in the history of the sea." Christian, in the meantime, recognized that only the gallows awaited him in England and so laid plans to start a new and hidden life in the ...


Rights Of Slaves And Other Owned-Animals, Alan Watson Jan 1997

Rights Of Slaves And Other Owned-Animals, Alan Watson

Scholarly Works

Part of a number of essays which follow are written by experts from various interdisciplinary fields at the request of Animal Law.

I chose the title with deliberation. My concern in this paper is not with moral theory, but with the law that has given rights to owned-animals, and the extent to which these rights have been enforced.

I believe that there is a three-fold hierarchy as to the extent of these rights in accordance with the animal that is their object. At the top of the hierarchy are rights accorded to slaves under a legal system that is not ...