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The Decline of Natural LawHow American Lawyers Once Used Natural Law and Why They Stopped$
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Stuart Banner

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780197556498

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2021

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780197556498.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 04 December 2021

The Explosion in Law Publishing

The Explosion in Law Publishing

(p.119) 5 The Explosion in Law Publishing
The Decline of Natural Law

Stuart Banner

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the rapid proliferation of case reporting that took place in the 19th century. There were few published court opinions available to lawyers in the early part of the century. Lawyers necessarily grounded their arguments on broad principles, including principles of natural law. But by the century’s end, lawyers complained that they were drowning in reported cases. It was a common observation in the second half of the century that the glut of published opinions had changed the nature of law practice. Precedents had pushed principles aside. Natural law accordingly began to play a smaller role in litigation.

Keywords:   law reporting, case reporting, legal publishing, precedent, legal principle

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