09 May 2016

JOURNAL: "Law and History Review", 34:2 (May 2016)

Law and History Review 34:2 (May 2016)

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Table of Contents

John Stuart Mill and the Contagious 
Diseases Acts: Whose Law? Whose 
Liberty? Whose Greater Good?’ by 
Jim Jose, Kcasey McLoughlin
Legal fictions are often used to lubricate the machinery of jurisprudence. One of these is the idea that laws created to restrict the liberty of some individuals or class of individuals in order to protect the public good are in effect outcomes of tradeoffs between abstract universals, namely liberty and the public good. A three way relationship is imagined in which law, liberty, and the public good are in creative tension. The role of the law in this three way tension is further imagined to be the mediator where it serves to calibrate this tension in ways that are also assumed to legitimate the intended outcomes in practice. In particular, where the outcome is the prevention of harm, then laws that curtail liberty must be seen not just as measures for the public good, but rather as necessitated by the potential effects of the very harm itself. The justification for this view is often traced back to the views of nineteenth century political philosopher John Stuart Mill, who famously expressed this in terms that have become known as the “harm principle”; specifically that “the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.”

“Under Two Jurisdictions”: Immigration, Citizenship, and Self-Governance in Cross-Border Community Relocations, by Jane McAdam

The governments of Kiribati and Fiji “should make every effort to minimise the difficulties of and inconveniences to this community which finds itself under two jurisdictions.”  Our younger generation have been taught that they also have another home. There are still two homes. That's their roots. That's where they belong.

“Once the Jews have been Expelled”: Intent and Interpretation in Late Medieval Canon Law, by Rowan W. Dorin

Sometime in early 1434, two northern Italian counts, Francesco Pico della Mirandola and his brother Giovanni, sent a letter to Pope Eugene IV (r. 1431–47). Out of concern for their subjects, who had long suffered from a shortage of credit, Francesco and Giovanni had allowed some Jews to settle in their lands and lend at interest. In addition, the brothers had rented a house to these Jews for the purpose of moneylending. At the time, the noblemen stressed, they had not believed their actions to be unlawful. They had since come to fear, however, that they had inadvertently brought automatic excommunication upon themselves by violating the provisions of Usurarum voraginem, a decree first issued at the Second Council of Lyon in 1274 that called on secular and religious authorities to refuse lodging to foreign usurers and, in addition, to expel such usurers from their lands. The brothers' uncertainty, the petition noted, reflected the varied opinions of contemporary jurists (presumably those at Bologna, a mere 60 kilometers away), who disagreed on whether the decree was to be understood in reference to Jewish as well as Christian moneylenders. Deciding to err on the side of caution, the brothers petitioned the Holy Father to grant them absolution, if they had indeed incurred ecclesiastical censure through their actions. In addition, they asked to be granted a dispensation allowing the Jews to remain in their lands, so as to spare their subjects from even greater economic misfortune.

Israel's 1967 Governmental Debate about the Annexation of East Jerusalem: The Nascent Alliance with the United States, Overshadowed by “United Jerusalem,” by Ofra Friesel

The main position of modern international law prohibits the annexation of occupied territory. Israel, however, like Jordan two decades earlier, annexed East Jerusalem after its occupation in June 1967, and applied its national laws there. Although the legality of the Israeli move according to international law has been debated extensively ever since, the fact that in doing so Israel chose to act contrary to expressed American objections to this move has not been thoroughly examined, however. This research focuses on the Israeli governmental deliberations and eventual decision to annex East Jerusalem, against the backdrop of the early days of the emergence of a hesitant Israeli–American alliance following the 1967 War. Through an analysis of Israeli government meeting protocols, now released to the public, together with American and United Nations sources and existing scholarship, I aim to uncover what weight the United States objection to Israeli annexation of East Jerusalem held in the Israeli government's deliberations concerning whether or not to annex it.

International Criminal Law's Millennium of Forgotten History, by Ziv Bohrer

At the close of World War II (WWII), Winston Churchill suggested summarily executing the remaining Nazi leadership. Franklin Delano Roosevelt disagreed, insisting on prosecuting them in an international military tribunal. This is considered the “birth” of International Criminal Law (ICL), following a consensus that “[t]he Nazi atrocities gave rise to the idea that some crimes are so grave as to concern the international community as a whole.” A few earlier instances of penal action against violators of the laws of war are acknowledged, but they are dismissed as unrelated to current ICL, because (presumably) these cases are sporadic domestic legal actions that lack a common doctrine.

The Custody Crucible: The Development of Scientific Authority About Gay and Lesbian Parents, by Marie-Amélie George

In 1974, gay father Bruce Voeller sought visitation with his three children after divorcing his wife. The New Jersey family court held a six day trial that centered on expert witness testimony as to whether Voeller's homosexuality would be detrimental to his children. Drs. Richard Green and John Money testified on Voeller's behalf, whereas Voeller's ex-wife called Dr. Richard Gardner, who concluded that “‘the total environment to which the father exposed the children could impede healthy sexual development in the future.’” In his opinion, which imposed strict limitations on visitation, the judge focused on the opposition within the American Psychiatric Association (APA) over the decision to declassify homosexuality as a mental illness, reasoning that psychiatrists' inability to agree on how to define or classify homosexuality indicated that it was impossible to know what effect Voeller's homosexuality would have on his children. The court consequently concluded that the medical controversy, combined with “the immutable effects which are engendered by the parent-child relationship, demands that the court be most hesitant in allowing any unnecessary exposure of a child to an environment which may be deleterious.” The court imposed visitation restrictions to prevent the children from being in “any homosexual related activities,” which included prohibiting Voeller from ever introducing his partner to the children.

Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger, trans. Thomas Dunlap, The Emperor's Old Clothes: Constitutional History and the Symbolic Language of the Holy Roman Empire, New York: Berghahn Books, 2015. Pp. 332. $125.00 cloth (ISBN 9781782388050).

Sara Ludin

Thomas G.W. Telfer, Ruin and Redemption: The Struggle for a Canadian Bankruptcy Law, 1867–1919, Toronto: University of Toronto Press/The Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History, 2014. Pp. 297. $75.00 (ISBN 978-0-8020-9343-1)

Charles J. Tabb

Joseph M. Gabriel, Medical Monopoly: Intellectual Property Rights and the Origins of the Modern Pharmaceutical Industry, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2014. Pp. 328.  30.00 e-book (ISBN 9780226108216).

Kara W. Swanson

J. Shoshanna Ehrlich, Regulating Desire: From the Virtuous Maiden to the Purity Princess, New York: SUNY Press, 2014. Pp. 213. $80.00 (ISBN 13: 978-1-4384-5305-7).

Maya Manian

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