'Law Books in Action: Essays on the Anglo-American Legal Treatise' explores the history of the legal treatise in the common law world. Rather than looking at treatises as shortcuts from 'law in books' to 'law in action', the essays in this collection ask what treatises can tell us about what troubled legal professionals at a given time, what motivated them to write what they did, and what they hoped to achieve. This book, then, is the first study of the legal treatise as a 'law book in action', an active text produced by individuals with ideas about what they wanted the law to be, not a mere stepping-stone to codes and other forms of legal writing, but a multifaceted genre of legal literature in its own right, practical and fanciful, dogmatic and ornamental in turn. This book will be of interest to legal scholars, lawyers and judges, as well as to anyone else with a scholarly interest in law in general, and legal history in particular.
Angela Fernandez and Markus D Dubber are both professors at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law.
Introduction: Putting the Legal Treatise in Its Place Angela Fernandez and Markus D Dubber 1. Historicising Blackstone's Commentaries on The Laws of England: Difference and Sameness in Historical Time Kunal M Parker 2. 'Of Institutes and Treatises': Blackstone's Commentaries, Kent's Commentaries and Murdoch's Epitome of the Laws of Nova-Scotia Philip Girard 3. Tapping Reeve, Coverture and America's First Legal Treatise Angela Fernandez 4. Story'd Paradigms for the Nineteenth-Century Display of Anglo-American Legal Doctrine G Blaine Baker 5. A Province of Jurisprudence?: Invention of a Law of Constitutional Conventions Roman J Hoyos 6. Nineteenth-Century Treatises on English Contract Law Stephen Waddams 7. Of Treatises and Textbooks: The Literature of the Criminal Law in Nineteenth-Century Britain Lindsay Farmer 8. Truth and Privilege: Libel Treatises and the Transmission of Legal Norms in the Early Nineteenth-Century Anglo-American World Lyndsay Campbell 9. Renovate or Rebuild? Treatises, Digests and Criminal Law Codification Barry Wright 10. A Low Law Counter Treatise? Absentees' to 'Wreck' in British North America's First Justice of the Peace Manual Jim Phillips 11. Commentary: Effects of Scale: Toward a History of the Literature of Law Christopher Tomlins