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The debate between Bentham and classical common law theory is philosophically fundamental and has shaped contemporary conceptions of the nature, tasks, and limits of law and adjudication. This book offers a philosophical interpretation of this historical debate. The author draws on the full range of Bentham's published and unpublished writings, and explores the philosophical foundations of Common Law theory especially in the writings of Sir Matthew Hale and David Hume.
This second edition includes a postscript that builds upon, revises, and brodens the 'revisionist' reading of Bentham's legal theory advanced in the 1986 publication.