Law as Culture is a beguilingly accessible, lively and engaging introduction to the law and to legal skills, complete with innovative skills exercises and even some cartoons. It gives the reader a framework for subsequent legal study and for professional life by demystifying the language and culture of the law and by building legal skills. The Extracts, Preface to the 2nd edn and Skills Inventory (below, link above), clearly outline the many strengths of this edition.
The book shows how law students are socialised into professional legal culture, and encourages independent thought. It highlights the ways in which law reflects social values and priorities, the place of law as one among many systems of social organisation and problem-solving, and the rise of lawyers as a subculture.
This edition has been extensively revised to take account of developments in law such as the results of the 1999 Referendum on the Republic, the debates about a Bill of Rights for Australia, and changes to legal professional practice.
The jurisdictional reach has been extended to look at cases and legislation from all Australian States. Black/White relations has been introduced as a recurring theme - materials on Aboriginal Reconciliation, the Wik judgment and the legal and political debate over the Stolen Generations give continuity and perspective.
Law as Culture includes clear and accessible accounts of key jurisprudential issues and an extended introduction which sets out the pedagogical assumptions. There are cases and legislation from all Australian States, thorough referencing, and an annotated list of Further Reading in each chapter.
Table of Contents
Culture and Law
Constitutions as cultural artefacts/ The Australian Constitution/ Constitutions for a living culture/ An Australian Republic: a case study
Common law judges/ Discovering case law/ Evaluating case law/ Judicial law-making: a case study of the Mabo decision
The People as law-makers/ The law-making process/ Making prostitution laws: a case study/ Using legislation
Thinking like a common lawyer/ Common law problem-solving/ Law as science?/ Law as discipline
Language and Law
Legal language/ Power, language and Law/ Language disadvantage in the legal system
Ritual and Law
Adversarial justice/ Court as symbol/ Court ceremonies/ Court as spectacle/ Beyond courts/ Decentering law
Appendix 1: Prostitution Cases
Appendix 2: Referencing