This is a summary of a fictitious case created in Lon L Fuller, ‘The Case of the. Speluncean Explorers’ () 62(4) Harvard Law Review The case takes. 1 Lon L Fuller, `The Case of the Speluncean Explorers’ 2 See, eg, Jordi Ferrer Beltr n and Giovanni Battista Ratti (eds), The Logic of Legal Requirements. Abstract: Lon L. Fuller’s The Case of the Speluncean Explorers is a classic in jurisprudence. The case presents five judicial opinions which clash with each other.

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They have limited food supplies and no sources of nutrition inside the cave.

The Case of the Speluncean Explorers

Waldron’s Contribution to Political Positivism. Progress Toward the Rule of Law in China.

Why read this book? Jasperson ghe – International Journal of Applied Philosophy 23 2: The case involves five explorers who are caved in following a landslide. The book uses no jargon and assumes no prior knowledge of law or legal philosophy. In the 50 years following tge article’s publication, a further 25 hypothetical judgments were written by various authors whose perspectives include natural law theory, consequentialismplain meaning positivism or textualismpurposivism, historical contextualism, realism, pragmatism, critical legal studiesfeminismcritical race theoryprocess theory and minimalism.

He is subsequently killed and eaten. The second opinion takes a different approach to the Chief Justice’s. The mandatory sentence for murder in Newgarth is death by hanging. The Harvard Law Review Association. The facts of the case are recounted in the first judicial opinion, which is given by Chief Justice Truepenny.

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Although the wording of the statute is clear and unambiguous, there is intense public pressure for the men to avoid facing the death penalty. As its main purpose is deterrence, the judge concluded that, just as spelunceean a case of self-defence, the purpose of the statute would not speouncean served by upholding the convictions. As the Court’s decision is a tie, the original convictions are upheld and the men are sentenced to death.

I believe something more is on casee in this case than the fate of these unfortunate explorers; that is the law of our Commonwealth. Two other judges overturn the convictions; one focuses on “common sense” and the popular will while the other uses arguments speluncea from the natural law caxe, emphasizing the purposive approach. The book is an enjoyable and even-handed way to understand what the debate is about.


Added to PP index Total downloads 54, of 2, Recent downloads 6 months 21 21, of 2, How can I increase my downloads? Views Read Edit View history. Largely taking the form of a tje judgment, it presents a legal philosophy puzzle to the reader and five possible solutions in the form of judicial opinions that are attributed to judges sitting on the fictional “Supreme Court of Newgarth” in the year Statute is unambiguous and must be applied by judiciary notwithstanding personal views Clemency is a matter for the executivenot the judiciary Court should joint petition to Chief Executive for clemency.

No one outside the cave is willing to answer this question. The fourth opinion spelunecan by excluding executive clemency and the morality of the defendants’ actions as relevant factors to the court’s deliberations. He states that “almost every consideration that bears on the decision of the case is counterbalanced by an opposing consideration leading in the opposite direction.

Criticises Foster J’s approach The natural law under the posited “state of nature” prioritises freedom of contract above the right to life Purposive approach to statutory interpretation is difficult when there are multiple purposes here, retribution and rehabilitation Cannot decide case due to competing legal rationales and emotions. For us to assert that the law we uphold and expound compels us to a conclusion we are exploorers of, and from which we can only escape by exploreers to a dispensation resting within the personal whim of the Executive, seems to me to amount to an admission that the law of this Commonwealth no longer pretends to incorporate justice.

Justice Keen objects vehemently to Justice Foster’s purposive approach allowing the plain words of the law to be ignored.

Twentieth-Century Statutory Interpretation in a Nutshell”. Once the cave-in is cleared, it is discovered that only four cavers have survived; Roger Whetmore had been killed and eaten by the others.

The Chief Justice states that the statute is unambiguous, with no applicable speluncsan defences, so it must explorres applied by the court. Justice Keen recalls that earlier instances of judicial activism in Newgarth had ultimately led to civil warwhich established the supremacy of the legislature over the judiciary. George Washington Law Review. In the novel, Valjean is imprisoned after stealing bread to feed his sister’s starving children. It doesn’t tell you what to think, but illustrates the contending positions and lets you think for yourself.


The Case of the Speluncean Explorers – Wikipedia

The Right to Life: He criticizes the other judges for failing to distinguish the legal from the moral aspects of the case. Wikipedia articles needing clarification from March In contrast to the other judges, Justice Handy prefers to use a “pragmatic, common-sense approach”, rather than abstract legal theories, to resolve the case.

Douwe Korff – epxlorers. This page was last edited on 5 Novemberat Nature of Law, Misc in Philosophy of Law. The survivors state that Whetmore had spelunceqn come up with the ideas of cannibalism and choosing the victim through random chance, offering a pair of dice in his possession.

Peter Suber carefully and clearly introduces students to the main themes of Fuller’s article before introducing nine new opinions. The first opinion is largely expository ; it is used to recount the facts of the case.

In determining that the convictions should be overturned, Justice Foster makes two main points. They then consult with medical experts, who inform them that they are unlikely to survive to the rescue given the likelihood of starvation.

The speuncean refuse to accept his change of mind, and cast the dice on his behalf. Before the dice are cast, Whetmore allegedly expresses a wish to withdraw explorrers the arrangement, preferring to wait another week “before embracing an expedient so frightful and odious”.

The article offers five possible judicial responses. Interpretivist Theories of Law in Philosophy of Law. The Case of the Speluncean Explorers. Michal Bobek – unknown.