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The Law's Two Bodies

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Table of Contents

I. Case-Law and Statute-Law ; II. Legal Fictions ; III. Common Usage and Common Learning ; Appendices: Some Illustrative Texts ; A. Common Practice and Communis Error ; B. Fictions in Writs and Pleadings ; C. Fictions in Trial: Benefit of Clergy for Laymen ; D. Linguistic Fictions ; E. Improper Fictions ; F. Common Learning ; G. Opinions of Counsel ; Index

About the Author

John Baker is Downing Professor of the Laws of England at the University of Cambridge


The Law's Two Bodies is undoubtedly of general interest to legal historians of any period, as well as to other critical analysts of law and its interpretation, at two levels. Firstly, Baker's lectures are an important lesson in how the meaning (or a fuller meaning; or an alternative meaning) of written law in its various forms may be found by researching related systems of legal knowledge, such as the education of legal personnel. Secondly, The Law's Two Bodies is a valuable study of how recorded law is not necessarily the absolute source of authority it may appear - or be claimed - to be. * Law Quarterly Review * There is much here to engage and challenge the historian. * English Historical Review *

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