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Utility and DemocracyThe Political Thought of Jeremy Bentham$
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Philip Schofield

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780198208563

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198208563.001.0001

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The Politics of Law Reform

The Politics of Law Reform

Chapter:
(p.304) 12 The Politics of Law Reform
Source:
Utility and Democracy
Author(s):

Philip Schofield (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198208563.003.0012

In the late 1820s, Bentham returned to the question of law reform, and in particular the reform of the judicial establishment. Now equipped with his analysis of sinister interest, and fully committed to republicanism, he advocated the codification of English law. Encouraged to some extent by the reforms of Robert Peel, he pressed for much more wide-ranging measures which would have seen the establishment of a series of local courts competent to decide all disputes, subject to appeal, presided over by qualified judges, appointed by a justice minister. He received support in parliament from Daniel O’Connell, but his proposals, far too radical for the vast majority of lawyers, came to nothing.

Keywords:   legal reform, judiciary, justice minister, courts, codification, English law, Peel, parliament, O’Connell

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