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This is a summary of a fictitious case created in Lon L Fuller, ‘The Case of the. Speluncean Explorers’ () 62(4) Harvard Law Review The case takes. 1 Lon L Fuller, `The Case of the Speluncean Explorers’ 2 See, eg, Jordi Ferrer Beltr n and Giovanni Battista Ratti (eds), The Logic of Legal Requirements. Abstract: Lon L. Fuller’s The Case of the Speluncean Explorers is a classic in jurisprudence. The case presents five judicial opinions which clash with each other.

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The Case of the Speluncean Explorers

Retrieved from ” https: If their appeal to the Supreme Court of Newgarth fails, they face a mandatory death sentence. George Washington Law Review. These combined objections lead Justice Tatting to reject Justice Foster’s reasoning as “intellectually unsound and approaching mere rationalization. He criticizes the other judges for failing to distinguish the legal from the moral aspects of the case.

Five cave explorers became trapped inside a cave following a landslide. Two other judges overturn the convictions; one focuses on “common sense” and the popular will while the other uses arguments drawn from the natural law tradition, emphasizing the purposive approach. Google Books no proxy legacy. He states that “almost every consideration that bears on the decision of the case is counterbalanced by an opposing consideration leading in the opposite direction.

Peter Suber, The Case of the Speluncean Explorers: Nine New Opinions – PhilPapers

Find it on Scholar. Before the dice are cast, Whetmore allegedly expresses a wish to withdraw from spelunfean arrangement, preferring to wait another week “before embracing an expedient so frightful and odious”. Science Logic and Mathematics. Fuller’s account has been described as “a classic in jurisprudence ” [2] and “a microcosm of [the 20th] century’s debates” in legal philosophy. They learn via intermittent radio contact that, without food, they are likely to starve to death before they can be rescued.


He criticizes the “state of nature” concept and is not satisfied with Justice Foster’s formulation placing the law of contract above the law against murder. The judge cites the case of Commonwealth v Valjean[b] in which starvation was held not to justify the theft of a loaf of bread, let alone homicide.

One reason is to get beyond sloganeering about “judicial activism” and “activist judges”. Statute is unambiguous and must be applied by judiciary notwithstanding personal views Clemency is a matter for the executivenot the judiciary Court should joint petition to Chief Executive for clemency. Michal Bobek – unknown. Firstly, the defendants were in a ” state of nature ” at the time of the killing, so the laws of nature applied to them.

In the novel, Valjean is imprisoned after stealing bread to feed his sister’s starving children. Jasperson – – International Journal of Applied Philosophy 23 2: The judges voting to uphold the convictions simply differ from Justices Foster and Exploters on whose role it is to spare the defendants from the death penalty.

The laws of nature allowed to agree to sacrifice one person for the survival of the rest. The second opinion sppeluncean a different approach to the Chief Justice’s.

The judge counters potential objections of judicial activism by suggesting that although judges must obey the will of legislators, they must do so intelligently. The medical experts reluctantly confirm this to be the case.

Legal Realism in Philosophy of Law. Indeterminacy of Legal Reasoning in Philosophy of Law.

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. This would allow justice to be achieved “without impairing either the letter or spirit of our statutes and without offering any encouragement for the disregard of law”. Sign in to use this feature. Legal Positivism in Philosophy of Law. As the Court’s decision is a tie, the original convictions are upheld and the men are sentenced to death.


Progress Toward the Rule of Law in China. Seattle University Law Review. The survivors claim that Whetmore conceded that the dice were exploorers fairly. The facts of the case are recounted in the first judicial opinion, which is given by Chief Justice Truepenny. Once the cave-in is cleared, it is discovered that only four cavers have survived; Roger Whetmore had been killed and eaten by the others.

Democratic Jurisprudence and Judicial Review: The Right to Life: Whetmore then asks if they should draw lots to select a person to be killed and eaten. They decide to engage in cannibalismand select one of their number to be killed and eaten so that the others may survive. Strategies of Judicial Ov. The others refuse to accept his change of mind, and cast the dice on his behalf. Despite rejecting Justice Foster’s reasoning, Justice Tatting cannot bring himself to reach the alternative view, that the defendants’ convictions should be upheld.

The survivors state that Whetmore had originally come up with the ideas of cannibalism and choosing the victim through random chance, offering a pair of dice in his possession.

The case involves five explorers who are caved in following a landslide.

In the 50 years following the article’s publication, a further 25 hypothetical judgments expllorers written by various authors whose perspectives include natural law theory, consequentialismplain meaning positivism or textualismpurposivism, historical contextualism, realism, pragmatism, critical legal studiesfeminismcritical race theoryprocess theory and minimalism.

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