Law as a Practice, Inaugural Lecture by Prof. Richard Mullender, 16th October 2014
Law is a practice that begins naively and has the potential to ramify in ways that sustain plural values, a variety of ideals of justice, and distinct models of human association. Just such a process of development is apparent on tracing an extended timeline in classical antiquity. A timeline beginning in early modern European history presents a variation on the same theme. This lecture draws together the jurisprudential contribution of Herbert Hart and the political philosophy of Isaiah Berlin and Michael Oakeshott to make sense of law as a practice. Moreover, it forges links between law as a practice and Immanuel Kant's account of pragmatic anthropology and dwells on law's uneasy relationship with the individual. Finally, it supports the conclusion that the practice of law presents us with a history to which we are answerable.