Critical Legal Studies School of Jurisprudence

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Critical Legal Studies School of Jurisprudence

Although the members of Critical Legal Studies School of jurisprudence have not come to an understanding on some issues, common thoughts can be generally traced.

Originating in the late 70s in the USA, CLS school gained hundreds of supporters on both sides of the ocean in two decades. It should be noted that the movement of the CLS unites people of different occupation: famous scientists, practitioners, politicians, businessmen, human rights defenders. The interest in this scientific movement is due to many reasons. The chief ones are the desire for freedom and openness of scientific discourse, and radical political orientation, because its members are opposed to absolute liberal values.

CLS affect problems of legal science education law, the application of literary theories to legal studies, comparative law, etc..

CSL school, for example, sought to highlight the processes that lead to the emergence of crime and investigation of ciminal conduct, as well as matters relating to criminal prosecution. The members of the school also tried to find out why the legal response to the increasing number of violent crimes was not successful.

Representatives of the CLS school rejected the explanation of the criminal law which in some way reflected the shared values, social needs, moral outrage, or increasing reasonableness (rationality) of the legal system. Instead, proponents of Critical Legal Studies believed that the definition of a criminal offense depends on its social and political context. For example, criminal offenses have been studied taking into account the changes in the political and economic structure of society of XVI and XVII centuries. These studies have shown that certain types of offenses which were considered torts in the past have now become criminal offenses.

However, fairness in legal field would be found due to the coherence, which implies a precedent. The fact that professional decision is made after debate and thought, even in those cases when a precedent is obsolete or previously made decision is actually incorrect instills confidence in the future decisions of the same character.

This conception can also be countered with the thought that every decision of the courts may be resolved more flexible and in each situation judge may decide on his own individual believes and persuasions. Proceedings in such style of law reform would become long and strenuous, instead of fast tracking the precedent of previous judgments.

Critical legal scholarship believes that law is just politics. This means, that mindsets of participants of legal proceedings are formed by new governments. This way of thinking predetermines what is common law by the judgments. Making free decisions in judgment politics and law would be separated without influence, bearing the onus of subjectivity.

Summing up, it could be said that approach of CLS concerning fairness has more drawbacks than benefits.

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