ERIC Number: EJ793078
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Reference Count: 44
Is Law a Humanity: (Or Is It More like Engineering)?
Arts and Humanities in Higher Education: An International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice, v3 n1 p9-28 2004
Law often appears to be in a limbo between the Social Sciences and the Humanities. Movements within legal scholarship itself, the law and economics movement and the law and literature movement, represent efforts to portray law as a social science or as a humanity. But if one looks at what lawyers do, one finds that law is more like engineering-lawyers make social devices and structures for their clients just as engineers make physical devices and structures. Just as engineers can usefully draw on scientific knowledge, lawyers can usefully draw on the Social Sciences and the Humanities in making their devices, but lawyers, like engineers, also have their own autonomous concerns about design and effectiveness. Legal education, however, tends to stress only one element in legal design, the validity of legal rules. The position of judges and academic lawyers has a special feature that, unlike practising lawyers, their client is the whole of society or the whole of humanity. This presents academic lawyers and judges with special ethical problems beyond those faced by ordinary professionals. It also brings them close to the practical and normative humanities, such as ethics and political philosophy.
Descriptors: Laws, Legal Education (Professions), Social Sciences, Humanities, Validity, Comparative Analysis, Engineering, Judges, Ethics, Lawyers, Cognitive Structures, Theory Practice Relationship
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
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