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Valiant Judges, Iniquitous Law: Thirteen Stories of Heroes of the Law

ISBN13: 9781032497600
Published: September 2023
Publisher: Routledge
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Paperback
Price: £36.99

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This book is about heroes of law. It provides examples of when judges have exercised courage, moderation, wisdom, and justice rather than blindly following the law. It also discusses the contentious issue of whether a judge has a moral responsibility to defend the rule of law, regardless of what the law actually states. The work presents a collection of thirteen stories about judges who in different settings have stood up against the authorities and public opinion in the defence of the rule of law. An introductory chapter sets the scene with two examples of situations gone wrong when those applying the law have just followed the demands of those in power.

The thirteen stories are followed by two theoretical chapters discussing the moral responsibility of the judge. Finally, the book explores the kind of ethical theory required to guide judges in the assessments they must make, and the choices they have to take in order to fulfil their moral responsibilities. It is argued that the classic virtues of courage, moderation, wisdom, and justice are all qualities that can contribute to both sound judgment and reflection. The book thus seeks to nurture a realistic culture and a tradition of cultivating lawyers who defend the rule of law. Against a background where the history of our legal institutions when put to the test, is largely nothing to be proud of, the work seeks to change this by highlighting and reflecting on the exceptions.

The book will be illuminating reading for students and academics working in the areas of Jurisprudence, Legal Ethics, and Legal History.

General Interest, Judiciary
1. The Importance of being a hero
2. Mandrup Pedersen Schønnebøl – The Judge Who Ended Witch-Burning
3. James Edwin Horton: The Scottsboro Judge
4. Lothar Kreyssig: The Judge with a Conscience
5. The Norwegian Supreme Court: Against German Bayonets
6. Hans Langeland: The Judge Who Hailed the King
7. Hans Georg Calmeyer: Hitler’s disobedient bureaucrat
8. Andreas Cervin: A Hero of the Sea
9. Egil Reichborn-Kjennerud: The Villain Who Was a Hero
10. Herbert Jay Stern: An American in Berlin
11. Aharon Barak: A Hero on the Battlefield
12. Iris Yasmin Barrios: The Judge Who Tries Military Dictators
13. Malgorzata Gersdorf: The Battle over the Courts in Poland
14. An Aunt from Gilead, A Legal Hero from the World of Fiction
15. Judging against the law?
16. The Virtuous Judge?