William Blackstone Law

The Rights of Things, Blackstone`s longest volume, deals with property. Most of the text is devoted to land ownership, which is the most valuable type of feudal law on which English land law is based. Movable property was already beginning to eclipse land ownership, but its law lacked the complex feudal context of the common land law and was not treated as comprehensively by Blackstone. It is proposed to draw up a general and complete plan of English laws; derive their history; apply and illustrate its guiding rules and basic principles; and to compare them with the laws of nature and other nations. Of Public Wrongs is Blackstone`s treatise on criminal law. Here, Blackstone, the apologist, takes center stage; He attempts to explain how England`s penal laws were just and merciful, although they later became known as the Bloody Code because of their severity. He admits, however, that “it is a sad truth that among the variety of acts which men may commit daily, no less than one hundred and sixty have been declared criminals by the Act of Parliament without the benefit of the clergy; or, in other words, to be worthy of immediate death.” Blackstone often assured his reader that laws, as written, were not always enforced and that the king`s power of forgiveness could be exercised to correct difficulties or injustices. He wrote in volume 4 of the Commentaries: “Freedom of the press is indeed essential to the nature of a free state: but this consists in not imposing prior restrictions on publications, not in not being subject to censorship for criminal cases when they are published. There is much of what was later called in the comments “Whig history”; [citation needed] the simple and contradictory assertion that England`s present political arrangement represented the optimal state of rational and just government, while at the same time asserting that this optimal state was an ideal that had always existed in the past, despite the many battles in England`s history between overwhelming kings and stubborn parliaments. The following selection comes from the founding constitution. Volume 5 (Doc. 4). Edited by Philip B.

Kurland and Ralph Lerner. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986. You can find the print edition on Amazon or online under the Founder`s Constitution. The frieze on the north wall in the courtroom of the Supreme Court of the United States shows William Blackstone as one of the most influential legal commentators in the history of the world. [116] For decades, the study of comments was mandatory for all first-year law students. Lord Avonmore said of Blackstone: “It was he who first gave the law the air of a science. He found a skeleton and dressed it in life, color and complexion. He kissed the cold statue and thanks to his touch, it became young, healthy and beautiful. Jeremy Bentham, who was a critic of the comments when they were first published, credits Blackstone with “.