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Alan Watson is a broadcaster, author, High Steward of Cambridge University, former President of the Liberal Party, public relations consultant and Peer. An accomplished public speaker, presenter, campaigner and consultant, his fascination with Churchill has been lifelong. His enthusiasm for Britain at the interface of Churchill's three circles - Europe, America, and the English-speaking world - remains unmatched.
In Fulton Missouri, Churchill alerted America to the reality of 'Uncle Joe' - a tyrant determined to dominate Europe at any cost. Churchill called for an Anglo-American alliance based on their shared values and the deterrent of America's possession of the atomic bomb. Churchill also urged the Americans to recognise the debt they owed Britain for opposing Hitler in 1940. In doing so, he contributed to the US thinking behind the need for the Marshall Plan. In Zurich, Churchill boldly proposed a partnership between France and Germany: a United States of Europe. The hatred stirred up by the war had to be replaced by partnership for Europe to recover its economic vitality and regain its moral stature. Together, the Anglo-American Alliance and a United States of Europe led by France and Germany would have the power to 'smite the crocodile' of Soviet ambition. To understand what Churchill intended with these two speeches requires perspective. The daring of his imagination and the scale of his architecture for a new Western Alliance was extraordinary. At the time, not many recognized the symmetry of what was proposed. At Churchill's funeral in 1965, commentators bemoaned the end of an era. In truth, Churchill was the catalyst of a new era-one built upon effective defence, economic revival, and European unity. His speeches have been added to UNESCO'S International Memory of the World Register.
In this first U.S. edition of a classic work of comparative legal scholarship, Alan Watson argues that law fails to keep step with social change, even when that change is massive. To illustrate the ways in which law is dysfunctional, he draws on the two most innovative western systems, of Rome and England, to show that harmful rules continue for centuries. To make his case, he uses examples where, in the main, the law benefits no recognizable group or class within the society (except possibly lawyers who benefit from confusion) and is generally inconvenient or positively harmful to society as a whole or to large or powerful groups within the society. Widely respected for his fearless challenge of the accepted or dominant view and his own encyclopedic knowledge of Roman law (The Encyclopedia of Historians and Historical Writing), Watson considers the development of law in global terms and across the centuries. His arguments centering on how societies borrow from other legal systems and the continuity of legal systems are particularly instructive for those interested in legal development and the development of a common law for the European Union. postamble();
Law and society are closely related, though the relationship between the two is both complicated and understudied. In a world of rapidly changing people, places, and ideas, law is frequently taken out of context, often with surprising and unnecessary consequences. As societies and their structures, religious doctrines, and economies change, laws previously established often remain unchanged. Dominant nations frequently impose their own laws on weaker nations, whether or not their cultures are similar. Conquered nations, after regaining freedom, often keep their conquerors' laws by default. Law is often misrepresented in literature, and legal scholars, citizens, and businesspeople alike ignore large portions of the legislation under which they live and work. Even the American system of legal education frequently proves itself irrelevant to a proper understanding of today's laws. Alan Watson studies examples from the ancient laws of Rome and Byzantium, laws within the Christian Gospels, and policies of legal education in the modern United States to demonstrate the need for a new approach to both law and legal education. Law Out of Context illustrates that only by understanding comparative legal history and by paying more attention to changes in our society can we hope to devise consistently fair and respected laws.
In Legal Transplants, one of the world's foremost authorities on legal history and comparative law puts forth a clear and concise statement of his controversial thesis on the way that law has developed throughout history. When it was first published in 1974, Legal Transplants sparked both praise and outrage. Alan Watson's argument challenges the long-prevailing notion that a close connection exists between the law and the society in which it operates. His main thesis is that a society's laws do not usually develop as a logical outgrowth of its own experience. Instead, he contends, the laws of one society are primarily borrowed from other societies; therefore, most law operates in a society very different from the one for which it was originally created. Utilizing a wealth of primary sources, Watson illustrates his argument with examples ranging from the ancient Near East, ancient Rome, early modern Europe, Puritan New England, and modern New Zealand. The resulting picture of the law's surprising longevity and acceptance in foreign conditions carries important implications for legal historians and sociologists. The law cannot be used as a tool to understand society, Watson believes, without a careful consideration of legal transplants. For this edition, Watson has written a new afterword in which he places his original study in the context of more recent scholarship and offers some new reflections on legal borrowings, law, and society.
This book analyzes the interaction of law and religion in ancient Rome. As such, it offers a major new perspective on the nature and development of Roman law in the early republic and empire before Christianity was recognized and encouraged by Constantine. At the heart of the book is the apparent paradox that Roman private law is remarkably secular even though, until the late second century B.C. the Romans were regarded (and regarded themeselves) as the most religious people in the world. Adding to the paradox was the fact that the interpretation of private law, which dealt with relations between private citizens, lay in the hands of the College of Pontiffs, an advisory body of priests. Alan Watson traces the roots of the paradox - and the way in which Roman law ultimately developed - to the conflict between patricians and plebeians that occurred in the mid-5th century B.C. When the plebeians demanded equality of all citizens before the law, the patricians prepared in response the Twelve Tables , a law code that included only matters considered appropriate from plebeians. Public law, which dealt with public officials and the governance of the state, was totally excluded from the code, thus preserving gross inequalities between the classes of Roman citizens. Religious law, deemed to be the preserve of patrician priests, was also excluded. As Watson notes, giving a monopoly of legal interpretation to the College of Pontiffs was a shrewd moe to maintain patrician advantages; however, a fundamental consequence was that modes of legal reasoning appropriate for judgments in sacred law were carried over to private law, where they were often less appropriate. Such reasoning, Watson contends, persists even in modern legal system. After sketching the tenets of Roman religion and the content of the Twelve Tables , Watson proceeds to such matters as formalism in religion and law, religion and property and state religion versus alien religion. In his concluding chapter, he compares the law that emerged after the adoption of the Twelve Tables with the law that reportedly existed under the early Roman kings.
It is impossible, Alan Watson asserts, to understand how law develops and how legal rules and structures relate to society without examining the issues both comparatively and historically. And in the Western world, he adds, it is equally impossible to understand law comparatively without a knowledge of Roman law. In this book, Watson combines his years of research in legal history with keen analytical insight to provide just such an understanding. Watson has divided the book into two related but independent parts. The first part, a revised and enlarged version of his 1970 volume The Law of the Ancient Romans , provides a comprehensive description of the system of Roman law. Watson begins with a discussion of law and the Roman mind and proceeds to such topics as slavery, property, contracts, delicts, and succession. In part two he argues that comparative law - an area of study still in its infancy - can help us to identify the circumstances in which law changes, thereby uncovering the causes of legal development . Guided by this purpose, Watson examines the ways in which Roman law influenced later legal systems and shows how comparative law can explain the role of law in society. He ties his explication throughout to individual issues. These include the structure of European legal systems, tort law in the French civil code, the structure of Blackstone's Commentaries on the Law of England , differences in contract law in France and Germany, the parameters of judicial reasoning, lessons to be drawn from feudal law, and the interests of governments in making and communicating law.
Hambledon & London. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Brand New Mint Hardcover With Dustjacket.
In this masterful choreography of legal philosophy, legal history, and comparative law, Alan Watson draws from ancient Roman, English, and French law to assess how lawmakers fail to envision ways to provide society with laws geared toward precise political or social goals.
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