Chapter

The Demystification of the Law

H. L. A. Hart

in Essays on Bentham

Published in print November 1982 | ISBN: 9780198254683
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681509 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198254683.003.0002
The Demystification of the Law

Show Summary Details

Preview

This chapter focuses on Bentham's general theory of law. Bentham contemplated and elaborately documented the abuses of the English law of his day, the fantastic prolixity and obscurity of its statutes, the complexity and expense of its court procedure, the artificiality and irrationality of its modes of proof. Bentham was, of course, constantly preoccupied with the abuse of language to cloud the issues in controversy, especially political controversy. But the point which he made about the mystifying force of imposter terms such as ‘the maintenance of order’ is really part of something much wider. For it is just a particular manifestation of a very fundamental and original feature in Bentham's whole austere approach to the philosophy of law and politics.

Keywords: general theory of law; English law; statutes; court procedures; abuse of language; imposter terms

Chapter.  7520 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.