Lectures on the Relation between Law and Public Opinion (LF ed.)
This volume brings together a series of lectures A. V. Dicey first gave at Harvard Law School on the influence of public opinion in England during the nineteenth century and its impact on legislation. It is an accessible attempt by an Edwardian liberal to make sense of recent British history. In our time, it helps define what it means to be an individualist or liberal. Dicey’s lectures were a reflection of the anxieties felt by turn-of-the-century Benthamite Liberals in the face of Socialist and New Liberal challenges.
Lectures on the Relation between Law and Public Opinion in England during the Nineteenth Century, edited and with an Introduction by Richard VandeWetering (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2008).
The copyright to this edition, in both print and electronic forms, is held by Liberty Fund, Inc.
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Table of Contents
- Introduction to the Liberty Fund Edition
- Editor’s Note
- Preface to the First Edition
- Preface to the Second Edition
- LECTURE I: The Relation between Law and Public Opinion
- LECTURE II: Characteristics of Law-making Opinion in England
- LECTURE III: Democracy and Legislation
- LECTURE IV: The Three Main Currents of Public Opinion
- I.: The Period of Old Toryism or Legislative Quiescence (1800–1830)1
- II.: The Period of Benthamism or Individualism (1825–1870)3
- III.: Period of Collectivism (1865–1900)5
- LECTURE V: The Period of Old Toryism or Legislative Quiescence (1800–1830)
- (A): State of Opinion (1760–1830)
- (B): Absence of Changes in the Law
- (C): Why considerable changes took place during the Period of Quiescence
- (D): Close of the Period of Quiescence
- LECTURE VI: The Period of Benthamism or Individualism1
- (A): Benthamite Ideas as to the Reform of the Law
- I.: Legislation is a Science.
- II.: The right aim of legislation is the carrying out of the principle of utility, or, in other words, the proper end of every law is the promotion of the greatest happiness of the greatest number.
- III.: Every person is in the main and as a general rule the best judge of his own happiness. Hence legislation should aim at the removal of all those restrictions on the free action of an individual which are not necessary for securing the like freedom on the part of his neighbours.22
- (B): The Acceptance of Benthamism
- (C): The Trend and Tendency of Benthamite Legislation
- LECTURE VII: The Growth of Collectivism
- Tory Philanthropy and the Factory Movement
- Changed Attitude of the Working Classes
- Modification in Economic and Social Beliefs
- Characteristics of Modern Commerce
- Introduction of Household Suffrage, 1868–1884
- LECTURE VIII: The Period of Collectivism
- (A): Principles of Collectivism
- Restrictions on Freedom of Contract
- Preference for Collective Action
- Equalisation of Advantages
- (B): Trend of Collectivist Legislation
- LECTURE IX: The Debt of Collectivism to Benthamism
- LECTURE X: Counter-Currents and cross-currents of Legislative Opinion
- A.: The Course of Legislative Opinion
- B.: The Actual Course of Ecclesiastical Legislation
- LECTURE XI: Judicial Legislation
- I.: The Special Characteristics of Judicial Legislation in Relation to Public Opinion
- II.: The Effect of Judge-made Law on Parliamentary Legislation
- LECTURE XII: Relation between Legislative Opinion and General Public Opinion
- I.: As to analogous changes of opinion in different spheres and also in the lives of individuals.
- II.: As to the dependence of legislative opinion on the general tendencies of English thought.
- note i.: The Right of Association
- (A): The problem raised in every civilised country by the right of association.
- (B): Comparison between the development of the combination law in France and in England during the nineteenth century.
- As to Similarities.
- As to Differences.
- note ii.: The Ecclesiastical Commission
- note iii.: University Tests
- (A): Movement for Abolition from 1772.1
- (B): Observations.
- note iv.: Judge-made Law
- A.: Origin of Judge-made Law
- B.: Amount of Judge-made Law
- C.: Characteristics of Judge-made Law
- D.: Objections to or Criticisms on the theory of Judge-made Law
- note v.: Proposed Collectivist Legislation of 1905*
- Introduction to the Second Edition
- Aim of Introduction
- (A): Legislative Opinion at the end of the Nineteenth Century
- (B): Course of Legislation from Beginning of Twentieth Century
- (C): The Main Current of Legislative Opinion from the beginning of the Twentieth Century
- (D): Counter-Currents and cross-currents of Legislative Opinion from the Beginning of the Twentieth Century73