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Critical Introduction to Law [Paperback]

Wade Mansell , Belinda Meteyard
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Paperback, 1 Sep 1999 --  
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Critical Introduction to Law (New Title) Critical Introduction to Law (New Title) 5.0 out of 5 stars (4)
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Book Description

1 Sep 1999 1859415334 978-1859415337 2nd Revised edition
The orthodoxy as to what must necessarily be an introductory book has traditionally included a description of the institutions of the law. an explanation of the methods of the law and some consideration of legal principles and rules. The danger with this approach is that it tends to perpetuate the myth of legal objectivity and political neutrality. The approach of this book is to attempt to understand the role of law in the wider world rather than simply in its own terms. Law is considered as ideology and as politics. and a political critique of law's role in facilitating a capitalist world is presented.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 210 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge Cavendish; 2nd Revised edition edition (1 Sep 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1859415334
  • ISBN-13: 978-1859415337
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.5 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,855,843 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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'... has a distinctly intellectual appeal often lacking in legal tomes,and is a refreshing change as an introduction to law ... it is a book that deserves both warm congratulation and purchase.' Anglo-American Law Review. 'I have long recommended the first edition of this text and will go on doing so.' Terry Woods, University of North London.

About the Author

Wade Mansell, BA, LLB, LLM, Barrister and Solicitor (New Zealand), Belinda Meteyard, M Phil, and Alan Thomson, BA, LLB, all at the University of Kent Law School.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating alternative view of the law 9 Mar 2009
I found this book thoroughly enjoyable to read and didn't find that any specialist legal knowledge was needed to understand it. I particularly thought the anthropological perspective on the law was well covered and opened my eyes to a different perspective of legal systems. I would encourage anyone who aims to study the law to read this book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Calling all law students ... 19 Aug 2003
If it weren't obvious, law is really about the exercise of power. This book is an aid to beginning to understand how and why. There are many approaches used here; sociological, anthropological, philosophical, historical. Part of the purpose is to demonstrate in what ways law, a seemingly complete and self-contained system of thought, is really a contingent social phenomenon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Challenging but certainly worth it 26 Sep 2010
By Chris R
This book is not your typical introductin to law, but it certainly is worth a read. It contains some rather complex theroising about the way we interpret the laws and the world arround us which sometimes takes a moment to get your head arround, but it is easy to follow and a rewarding read. I feel that it has helped me go into the first year of my law degree questioning certain aspects of the law, somthing that will definately help me engage with the topic to a greater extent.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I have never learned so much in so few pages 27 Mar 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book has sat on my shelf for two years, and I wish I had picked it up sooner. I am not a lawyer, I'm a medical student, and I disagree with one of the previous reviewers in that I think it is a very easy read, and for a law book, lacks jargon. It is exactly the right length (ie. short!) and takes you on a ride from Inuit 'song-duels' to the role of the IMF. It is less about the 'facts' of the law, and more about the anthropology, philosophy, and politics of the law.

It begins by questioning how the 'rule of law' developed and how it is intimately connected with the protection of prviate property, by giving anthropological examples of ways that other cultures settle disputes. It suggests that formal law is not necessary in a society that does not have a notion of private property, and questions the view that humans are 'naturally' savage and competitive animals.
The second part of the book deals with the institution of marriage and its laws, and details how marriage has prolonged the oppression of women.
The third part of the book details how a Western formation of law has been imposed on other countries, the role of 'global' institutions such as the WTO, World Bank, and IMF, and how these institutions have used the rule of law to impose liberal capitalism on third-world countries, keeping them in debt whilst claiming to sort out their credit problems. It draws parallels and links between the worlds of economics and law.
And if this all sounds a bit lefty for you, well quite rightly they finish by critiquing their own book and examining its limitations.

I think it is highly telling that this book only has three reviews (although all of five stars!), and "The Rule of Law" by Tom Bingham has 37 reviews.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Critical Introduction to Law by Mansell and Meteyard 9 Dec 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
There is a brilliant second edition of this book (published Sept 99) available from amazon.co.uk. Why is this website page not updated with details of the new edition?
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