Understanding Jurisprudence: An Introduction to Legal Theory

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What is law? Does it have a purpose? What is its relationship with justice? Do we have a moral duty to obey the law? These sorts of questions lie at the heart of jurisprudence. Moreover, every substantive or 'black letter' branch of the law raises questions about its own meaning and function. The law of contract cannot be properly understood without an appreciation of the concepts of rights and duties. The law of tort is directly related to several economic theories of compensation. The criminal law is inextricably linked to philosophies of punishment?

Understanding Jurisprudence explores these problems and provides an engaging introduction to the central issues of legal theory. The book navigates the reader through legal philosophy's fundamental concepts, concerns, and controversies.

An experienced teacher of jurisprudence and distinguished writer in the field, Professor Wacks adopts an approach that is easy to follow and understand without avoiding the complexities and subtleties of the subject. Students of law, politics, philosophy, and other social sciences will find this an ideal guide to the essential themes of contemporary jurisprudence.

Online Resource Centre

A free online resource accompanies the book and provides the following resources:

Analysis of current controversies of a jurisprudential nature such as current legal and moral controversies and political debates
An additional chapter providing guidance and advice on the study of jurisprudence
An interactive glossary of key terms relating to legal theory
Further reading, including links to full text journal articles
Questions and answers
Useful Web links to support learning