Law and Social Change in Contemporary Britain

Law and Social Change in Contemporary Britain

Law and Social Change in Contemporary Britain

Law and Social Change in Contemporary Britain

Excerpt

Some of those who read Professor Friedmann Legal Theory may have thought, as I did, that the first part of it was too philosophical but that the second part was of great interest and importance. My failure to appreciate the first part was due to a deep-seated distrust of abstract philosophy, a failing which is, I believe, shared by many of my fellowcountrymen. But my admiration of the second part was due to the light it threw on the practical problems which face lawyers at the present time: for in it Professor Friedmann analysed the effect of social changes on the law in a way not attempted in this country since the days of Maitland and Dicey.

In the present work Professor Friedmann has carried this analysis farther. He takes the great social revolution of our times and shows its effect on the law. He diagnoses the ills which affect the new-born welfare State and points the way to the remedies. He does this, not by vague generalisations, but by discussing the new statutes and the new cases which together make up the new law, and seeing what is the policy which prompts them, and what social purposes they fulfil. By doing this he opens up a new approach to legal problems. In former days lawyers used to think they were not concerned with the social changes which went on around them. No matter how society changed, the law never changed. The law for them was fixed and constant, never to be altered except by Parliament: and the meaning of Parliament was only to be gathered from the literal sense of the words used, not from the social purpose that lay behind the words. In this the lawyers deceived themselves. Judges . . .

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.