The Legal Philosophy and Influence of Jeremy Bentham: Essays on 'Of the Limits of the Penal Branch of Jurisprudence'

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Gathering together an impressive array of legal scholars from around the world, this book features essays on Jeremy Bentham's major legal theoretical treatise, Of the Limits of the Penal Branch of Jurisprudence, reassessing Bentham's theories of law as well as his impact on jurisprudence. While offering a suggestive picture of contemporary Bentham studies, the book provides a thorough examination of concepts such as legal discourse, legal norms, legal system, and subjective legal positions. The book compares Bentham's approach with other landmark theories and the works of major legal philosophers including Austin, Hart and Kelsen, and explores Bentham's treatise through major trends in contemporary legal thought, such as the imperative theory of law, deontic logic, Scandinavian and American legal realisms, the pure theory of law, and critical legal thought. Resisting any apologetic stance, the book elucidates how consistent with Bentham's all-encompassing project of utilitarian reform 'Limits' turns out to be, and how this sheds light on contemporary modes of governance. The book will be great use and interest to scholars and students of contemporary jurisprudence, legal theory, 19th century philosophy, and public law.