Jurisprudence

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"If a man put out the eye of another man, his eye shall be put out" and if he breaks another's bone, his shall be broken. So states Hammurabi's Code, an ancient exemplar of the precept of lex talionis. Why is revenge so compelling? Benjamin Bestgen explains all. See his last jurisprudential primer h

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"Oh, sinnerman, where you gonna run to? Sinnerman where you gonna run to?" sang Nina Simone of those who flee judgement. But even the ends of the Earth were no safe haven for Adolf Eichmann. Benjamin Bestgen tells the tale this week of the most famous rogue Nazi and his dramatic rendition to th

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Benjamin Bestgen takes a look this week at robotic weapons and the law. See last week's primer here. Killer robots, or “Lethal Autonomous Weapons” (LAWs), have been in our popular conscience for decades. Science fiction fans are familiar with Isaac Asimov’s Laws of Robotics and mos

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"Usura rusteth the chisel/It rusteth the craft and the craftsman", wrote Ezra Pound. Benjamin Bestgen explains the practice of usury. See last week's primer here. In Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice we encounter two people lending money: the Christian merchant Antonio and the Jewish moneyl

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Benjamin Bestgen asks us this week to consider just prices. See last week's jurisprudential primer here. Caricatures of fatcat lawyers and greedy shysters lining their pockets through frivolous claims and overcharging clients have linked the legal profession unflatteringly with money for centur

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Sorry seems to be the hardest word, which is why the law has gotten involved in recent years. Benjamin Bestgen reflects on an early injustice and the value of apologies. See last week's jurisprudential primer here. I recall an episode in primary school in which another kid teased and pestered me and

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What's in a legal system? Benjamin Bestgen supplies the principal ingredients. See his last primer here. Last week’s article ended with lawyer and author Christopher Brown’s suggestion that fantasy authors could do more to make law and legal systems an explicit focus point in their works

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In the thirtieth article in our jurisprudential primer series, Benjamin Bestgen takes a look at fictional legal systems. See his last entry here. Early readers of this series may recall my article about depictions of law in utopian fiction. What stood out was that utopian writers had little use

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Benjamin Bestgen considers how the law might grapple with nanoscience. See his last jurisprudential primer here. Imagine you are trying to conceive a child using artificial methods. A robot so tiny you could breathe it in without noticing selects the most promising sperm and directly inserts it into

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Leo Mattersdorf, friend and accountant of Albert Einstein, claimed the great physicist once said to him during a meal that "the hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax". Benjamin Bestgen this week takes a look at this divisive subject. See last week's jurisprudential primer here.

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In the third of his articles on free speech, Benjamin Bestgen stresses that freedom of expression must be examined in context. See his last piece here. In many societies worldwide, people need to be cautious with their personal expressions, be it through speech, fashion, lifestyle choices, hobbies o

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Benjamin Bestgen takes a further look at free speech this week, see last week's jurisprudential primer for part one. Open a newspaper or look through social media and you will find people expressing their upset about all kinds of real or perceived wrongs.

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Benjamin Bestgen takes an honest look at marriage in his latest jurisprudential primer. See last week's here. During my legal studies, a professor opined that one of the most legally significant things the majority of people will ever do in their lives is to marry and divorce (the other th

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Benjamin Bestgen this week considers the moral obligations of companies. See his last jurisprudential primer here. Lawyers often keep their views on the moral qualities of their clients or clients’ actions to themselves. Morality, many think, is subjective, particularly as differentiating neat

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Benjamin Bestgen discusses the rights of animals in his latest jurisprudential primer. See last week's here. Britain is said to be a nation of pet lovers, with an estimated 50 per cent of British adults having a pet – dogs, cats and rabbits being the most popular. But Britain is also a nation

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