Sir Henry Maine: A Study in Victorian Jurisprudence by Raymond Cocks

By Raymond Cocks

Sir Henry Maine died in 1888 and because then his principles were utilized by attorneys, historians, sociologists etc. this can be the 1st ebook to pay attention upon what he acknowledged concerning the legislation itself, and, as such, it explores the pioneering paintings Maine did in explaining legislations no longer by means of connection with summary research yet by way of putting it firmly in its social and ancient context. rather than targeting suggestions reminiscent of sovereignty he checked out the realities of legislations because it was once practised through execs and skilled by means of laymen. the end result was once a arguable success stressing the reforming tasks of jurists and voters every now and then of social switch. this is often neither a traditional biography nor an summary research of Maine's proposal, yet an illustration of the modern context and value of his perspectives.

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London, 1881), pp. 330-87. One professional debate of the 1850s may have encouraged Maine to think about the transition from status to contractual relationships. In 1851 Lord Chief Justice Denman had observed that the Bar of the late 1840s had witnessed a great increase in its membership. This, he thought, had some important consequences for the way in which the profession administered itself. In the past, he believed, the Bar could be described as a forum domesticum: it was, as it were, an extension of family life in which frequently practitioners knew each other well and maintained standards through informal sanctions such as a concern with reputation.

If processes such as this could be understood and the true nature of law explained by reference to such events, then what were the duties of a lawyer? What was his proper role in an era of legal or social change? How should he use old laws when they no longer served their original purpose? A concern with the duties of a lawyer provided a focal point for the moral, political and social issues which inevitably arose for consideration 39 40 Sir Henry Maine when law was regarded as something which had to be explained, at least in part, by reference to the ideas of practitioners.

Perhaps it would require a very strong revival of interest in the problems of legal change and the relationship between law and society before there could be a restoration of significant interest in what Maine said about Roman law. For a possible development, see P. Stein, Regulae Juris: From Juristic Rules to Legal Maxims (Edinburgh, 1966), pp. 3—6. ) 17 18 Ancient Law, p. 254, chapter 8. H. U. Kantorowicz, 'Savigny and the Historical School of Law', Law Quarterly Review, vol. 53 (1937), pp. 326-43.

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