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Jurist in Context
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Book description

This is the engaging and accessible intellectual memoir of a leading jurist. It tells the story of the development of his thoughts and writings over sixty years in the context of three continents and addresses the complexities of decolonisation, the troubles in Belfast, the contextual turn in legal studies, rethinking evidence and the implications of globalisation which have been central to his life and research. In propounding his original views as an enthusiastic self-styled 'legal nationalist', Twining maps his ideas of law as a unique discipline, which pervades all spheres of social and political life while combining theory and practice, concepts and values, facts and rules in uniquely fascinating ways. Addressed to academic lawyers generally and to other non-specialists, this story brings out the importance and fascinations of a discipline that has changed, expanded and diversified in the post-War years, with an eye to its future development and potential.


‘William Twining has for more than half a century made important contributions to the study of evidence and proof, legal realism, legal reasoning, legal history, and legal sociology, but this book is far more than a memoir. It is an imaginative use of all of these fields, and more, to offer an integrative guide to thinking about what law is and what law does in the extraordinarily diverse array of contexts in which law exists.'

Frederick Schauer - University of Virginia

‘This fascinating book is an engaging tour of the professional life and interests of William Twining, a leading jurist with substantial contributions to evidence theory, legal education, and various topics in jurisprudence. Readers are introduced to major intellectual figures and ideas he personally encountered across more than six decades as an academic and the ways in which they influenced his thinking. This thoroughly enjoyable and illuminating memoir, exhibiting Twining's characteristic open-mindedness and sharp analysis, offers a panoply of insights about law and how it should be taught and understood.'

Brian Tamanaha - Washington University School of Law

‘Among late twentieth century evidence scholars, the name ‘William', was sufficient to refer to William Twining; a key figure, if not the key figure, in refocusing the field's cutting edge on proof rather than on rules. But Twining's intellectual autobiography ranges well beyond evidence law; it offers much to anyone interested in legal philosophy, legal education or the contextualized life of the law.'

Richard Lempert - University of Michigan

‘William Twining puts jurisprudence in context. This intellectual biography of one of its major figures gives flesh and blood to legal theory. A must read for all students and jurists who know already or are yet to be convinced that law and life are intrinsically intertwined.'

Benoit Frydman - Université Libre de Bruxelles

'A triumph of intellectual autobiography in a discipline not given often to such a turn by such an accomplished scholar.'

Christopher Stanley Source: The Law Society Gazette

‘The book advances a conception of Jurisprudence that contributes to the academic discipline of Law in several ways, and it provides a vivid and often amusing context for all of William’s writings.’

David Sugarman Source: Journal of Law and Society

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