Chapter

American Jurisprudence Through English Eyes: The Nightmare and the Noble Dream

H. L. A. Hart

in Essays in Jurisprudence and Philosophy

Published in print November 1983 | ISBN: 9780198253884
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681431 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198253884.003.0005
American Jurisprudence Through English Eyes: The Nightmare and the Noble Dream

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This chapter addresses an American audience on the theme of American jurisprudence. It specifically discusses the Nightmare and the Noble Dream. The Nightmare describes litigants in law cases which consider themselves entitled to be under the existing law in their disputes, not to have new law made for them. Like any other nightmare and any other dream, these two scenarios are illusions, though they have much of value to teach the jurist. The truth, perhaps unexciting, is that sometimes judges do one and sometimes the other. It is not of course a matter of indifference but of very great importance which they do and when and how they do it.

Keywords: American jurisprudence; Nightmare; Noble Dream; judges

Chapter.  9066 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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