Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Book Chapters

2017

Law and Society

Bentham

Articles 1 - 1 of 1

Full-Text Articles in Law

Blackstone, Expositor And Censor Of Law Both Made And Found, Jessie Allen Jan 2017

Blackstone, Expositor And Censor Of Law Both Made And Found, Jessie Allen

Book Chapters

Jeremy Bentham famously insisted on the separation of law as it is and law as it should be, and criticized his contemporary William Blackstone for mixing up the two. According to Bentham, Blackstone costumes judicial invention as discovery, obscuring the way judges make new law while pretending to uncover preexisting legal meaning. Bentham’s critique of judicial phoniness persists to this day in claims that judges are “politicians in robes” who pick the outcome they desire and rationalize it with doctrinal sophistry. Such skeptical attacks are usually met with attempts to defend doctrinal interpretation as a partial or occasional limit on …