Robin L. West (Georgetown University Law Center) has posted  Re-Imagining Justice to SSRN. From the abstract:

Justice – and more particularly legal justice – is a badly under-theorized topic in jurisprudence; perhaps surprisingly, there is little written on it. The paucity of writing of course has a history. It can be traced to the turn of the last century – formative years of legal pedagogy and legal curriculum – when legal formalists and legal realists, who disagreed on virtually everything else regarding law, oddly enough agreed on the need to sever law from moral philosophy and more generally from high culture…Holmes and Langdellian skepticism notwithstanding, one can quite easily discern a conventional, and largely uncriticized, turn-of-the-century understanding of legal justice, inside the academy and the profession. It finds oratorical expression in law day and graduation day speeches, in the major unspoken premises of countless conventional legal arguments, and in some, although again not much, jurisprudential scholarship. That conception – call it the dominant or conventional conception-I will argue below, is seriously flawed. More specifically, I want to suggest that it is seriously flawed in a way that directly and negatively affects feminist and progressive efforts at achieving political reform. Feminists and progressives need to take up the task of criticizing our conventional understanding of legal justice. More importantly, we need to take up the task of crafting alternatives.

 

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