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Vol 21 No 9 Sept/Oct 2016

Book of the Month

Cover of Goode on Commercial Law

Goode on Commercial Law

Edited by: Ewan McKendrick
Price: £170.00

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Adversarial Legalism New ed

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Robert A. KaganProfessor of Law and Political Science, University of California, Berkeley, USA

ISBN13: 9780674012417
ISBN: 0674012410
Published: September 2003
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Format: Paperback
Price: £21.95

American methods of policy implementation and dispute resolution are more adversarial and legalistic when compared with the systems of other economically advanced countries. Americans more often rely on legal threats and lawsuits. American laws are generally more complicated and prescriptive, adjudication more costly and penalties more severe.;In this text, Robert Kagan examines the origins and consequences of this system of ""adversarial legalism"". Kagan describes the roots of adversarial legalism and the deep connections it has with American political institutions and values. He investigates its social costs as well as the extent to which lawyers perpetuate it. Ranging widely across many legal fields, including criminal law, environmental regulations, tort law and social insurance programmes, he provides comparisons with the legal and regulatory systems of western Europe, Canada and Japan that point to possible alternatives to the American methods.;Kagan notes that while adversarial legalism has many virtues, its costs and unpredictability often alienate citizens from the law and frustrate the quest for justice. This study aims to deepen our understanding of law and its relationship to politics in America and raises questions about the future of the American legal system.

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