My Legal Mind

No jurist here will confuse the reasoning on the principles of English criminal law with what happens in temporary civil proceedings which, when the parties come to England, can be heard there, even if the cause of action arose outside the Reich. In such an obligation, the obligation on which the action is based has no place and follows the person; but even in such a case, the contract must be negotiated according to the law of the place where it was formed, if it differs from the law of England. “Brożek takes us on a captivating journey into the nature of thought, using the courtroom and its legal framework as a particularly revealing case study. The result is a very original perspective on an old set of problems. The book is clear, fresh and insightful, as well as remarkably practical. This is not just for lawyers and logicians, but for anyone wondering how to figure things out. From certain passages in Mr. Burrowe`s speech, I should be led to believe that he did not so much challenge your lordship judgment as he denies your jurisdiction, and that he considers your seigneuries presumptuous if the jury, in interpreting this law: I did not expect to hear it seriously from his lips. That the jury is the right court for the interpretation of the law: I will never, until the highest authority corrects me, stop thinking and calling it the most blatant proposition that has ever shocked a legal mind. First, let`s embark on a little adventure in the drafting and interpretation of laws. The mechanic`s privilege serves as an appropriate object for the exercise. This law gives the man (the carpenter, for example) who has done work on a “building” a lien on his wages. The privilege protects the worker whose employer does not pay him.

Clearly, the purpose of a statute establishing such a privilege is broader than the term “vessels” in the strict sense. The man who builds a fence, for example, should have a lien on his salary, just like the man who shovels a roof. Let us use legislative foresight and draft our own legislation generally to grant a privilege to anyone who has performed work on “a building, structure or other structure of any kind.” This seems not only inclusive, but positively “legal.” I would ask the reader to stop at this point and ask himself if he can think of an appropriate case that would not be covered by this status. Many of our laws were worded in this way, and it is unlikely that those who drafted them felt that it was possible that the wording would be too narrow. But, unfortunately, our law is not broad enough to cover literally all the cases it was supposed to cover. Our thoughts were at too high a level. We have forgotten the grave of the well. There is no good reason to deny him a privilege. But our law says “building, structure or any other construction.” Does that also include a well? Some of our courts have had the audacity and reasonableness to declare a well a “structure” within the meaning of such a law. But other courts have not had the necessary audacity. Let us imagine how the mind of the judge confronted with this problem works.

He sees that the general object of the Statute obviously includes the long-distance grave, and he has an acute aversion to any distinction that would exclude it. But as he leans toward a decision in favor of the well digger, the grim image of a headline like this emerges in his head, mocking him from newsstands: “Isn`t the law wonderful? Richter says the hole in the ground is a structure. So he resigns and does what the unimaginative layman asks of him. It applies the law “as written” and denies the well digger a privilege. The result is that some states have been forced to add a page to the vast majority of their written laws and now have a “pit-digging privilege,” and as far as I know, there is a Welldigger lobby to keep the law on the books. “The Legal Mind is a well-written, highly engaged and highly innovative contribution to legal research. It offers a new representation of legal cognition, based on the integration of cognitive science, legal theory and philosophy. Contemporary theories of mind provide a point of view for studying how different human faculties (intuition, insight, imagination, emotion, language, abstraction, theorization, logic) interact in legal cognition. Past and present approaches to legal argumentation and interpretation are critically re-evaluated and linked to the new approach developed in the book. Highly recommended for lawyers, legal theorists and law students interested in increasing awareness of what it means to know and apply the law. So far, I have failed to mention what is considered the most damaging accusation against legal reason.

It is conservative. No one disputes that, least of all the lawyer. And this inclination of the legal spirit is easily explained. It is in the very nature of the law. That the study of science, which aims to maintain order in society, tends towards conservatism is hardly a miracle.

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