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Legal fictions before the age of reform

Lobban, Michael (2015) Legal fictions before the age of reform. In: Del Mar, Maksymilian and Twining, William, (eds.) Legal Fictions in Theory and Practice. Law and Philosophy Library (110). Springer, Cham, Switzerland, pp. 199-223. ISBN 9783319092324

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Identification Number: 10.1007/978-3-319-09232-4_10


Before the era of reform, the common law was replete with fictions. The procedure by which litigation commenced in the common law courts was premised on fictions, while litigants also used fictions to enable themselves to avail themselves of convenient remedies. In allowing litigants to make false statements of facts, the courts allowed the law to develop in new directions, while disguising the fact that it was changing. However, there were also other kinds of fictions, which operated more like rules of law. They included ‘metaphysical’ fictions (as where something which no longer existed was deemed still to be in existence) as well as ‘fictions’ which were in effect metaphors or analogies. This chapter explores the operation of these fictions, as well as the criticisms and defences made of fictions before their nineteenth century reform.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2015 Springer International Publishing Switzerland
Divisions: Law
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2015 12:37
Last Modified: 30 Mar 2022 18:03

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