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Title: The rational strength of European law
Author: Brimacombe, H.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2003
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This thesis provides a descriptive account of how certain intellectual values and allegiances pervade French, English and EU legal method and the constraints that these influences might place on European integration and convergence. It belongs within the comparative legal debate over the distinctiveness of the intellectual styles of legal systems in Europe. Rationality has been chosen as representative of central intellectual values in the construction and maintenance of legal systems. Part I analyses the concept of rational strength in law. Rational strength implies a range of intellectual predispositions, commitments and beliefs about how to achieve a sufficiency of reason in a legal system. It raises considerations of how law is ordered; of adjudication; of change in the legal system; of presentation; and of the development of and attitudes towards values in the processes of legal reasoning. The attempt here is to give a more precise philosophical content to the concept of rational strength, first introduced as an idea into comparative legal debate by F.H. Lawson in his essay 'The Rational Strength of English Law'. This is done by setting out three philosophical archetypes of rationality - Benthamite, Kantian and Aristotelian. Particular writers are selected from within each school, for example, Nussbaum's interpretation of Aristotelian public rationality. The philosophical features of rationality proposed by each school are then translated into their likely manifestations in legal method. As a result, three archetypes of legal rationality are gained. Part II applies the three archetypes of legal rationality to the legal systems. This application takes place through the prism of political cultures and their influence on the legal systems in question and one of the sub-themes of the thesis is the influence of political culture on legal culture. A dominant political culture is considered in relation to each legal system.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available