- Research Handbooks in Comparative Law series
Edited by Pier Giuseppe Monateri
Chapter 10: Interstitium and Non-law
Peter Goodrich* Modern law is understood overwhelmingly as a structure. The English jurist Blackstone nicely coined the term establishment to describe not simply the legal status quo ante, institute and institutions, but also the implicit desirability of observing and obeying our directors, priests, professors, judges and lawyers. Legal structure connotes hierarchy and the accompanying beneﬁcence of the invisible, of sources both absent and above. The sovereign (super-anus), after all, is one who sits above and it is that feature of distance and overlooking, of detachment and supervision that best captures the innately modernist legal drive to abstraction and universality, to a law in nubibus, which aerial and absconded being so troubles and exercises the comparative lawyer. The longue durée of nomos is paradoxically the narrative of a trajectory towards virtuality. The paradox lies in the fact that, as Vico observed, nomos was originally of the earth and catalogued appropriation, division, locality and difference rather than the extraterritoriality and angelology that Roman jurisprudence cunningly ﬂung to the Western mob. Law as corpus, the Latin body, norm as institution and personality – aetas, scientia, mores et ordo in the Anglican ecclesiastical vocabulary – signiﬁes geometrical measure and general rule, doctrine and universality, axiom and order rather than corporeality, place and comparison. If there is a modus, a method and melody to the angst of comparative law, a theme that conjoins the grand and merry men of situated difference, it is that of the singular universal, the unhappy consciousness of the particular...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.