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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Before the dice are cast, Whetmore allegedly expresses a wish to withdraw from the arrangement, preferring to wait another week “before embracing an expedient so frightful and odious”. The Chief Justice states that the statute is unambiguous, with no applicable legal defences, so it must be applied by the court.

The Case of the Speluncean Explorers – Wikipedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Justice Keen objects vehemently to Justice Foster’s purposive approach allowing the plain words of the law to be ignored.

The others refuse to accept his change of mind, and cast the dice on his behalf. The Case of the Speluncean Explorers. If their appeal to the Supreme Court of Newgarth fails, they face a mandatory death sentence.

Defendants were in a “state of nature” so Newgarth’s normal laws did not apply spelhncean them; the laws of nature would allow them to agree to sacrifice one’s life to spelhncean the other four If the laws of Newgarth do apply, then a purposive approach must be taken to the statute.

Radio contact is eventually established with the cavers on the 20th day of the cave-in, and the cavers learn that another 10 days would be required in order to free them. Fuller – – Harvard Law Review. Realism speluncena Legal Reasoning in Philosophy of Law. Legal Realism in Philosophy of Law. As the Court’s decision is a tie, the original convictions are upheld and the men are sentenced to death.


The cavers are ultimately convicted of murder. Simon Butt – unknown. Principal purpose of the criminal law — deterrence — would not be served by convicting the defendants. Request removal from index. He spluncean the other judges for failing to distinguish the legal from the moral aspects of the case. These opinions include perspectives from communitarian, feminist, expllorers, postmodern and economic theories of law, updating Fuller’s original case and bringing contemporary theories of law to bear on the five original opinions.

The judges voting to uphold the convictions simply differ from Justices Foster and Handy on whose role it is to spare the defendants from the death penalty.

The Case of the Speluncean Explorers

Douwe Korff – unknown. History of Western Philosophy. Sign in to use this feature. Interpretivist Theories of Law in Philosophy of Law. George Washington Epeluncean Review. Torben Spaak – – Ratio Juris 22 4: Despite rejecting Justice Foster’s reasoning, Justice Tatting cannot bring himself to reach the alternative view, that the defendants’ convictions should be upheld.

Added to PP index Total downloads 54, of 2, Recent downloads 6 months 21 21, of 2, How can I increase my downloads? Progress Toward the Rule of Law in China. Find it on Scholar. It will show you how judges with different moral and political beliefs interpret written law, how explorres use precedents, how they conceive the proper role speuncean judges, how they conceive the relationship between law and morality, and how they defend their judicial practices against criticism.

Whetmore then asks if they should draw lots to select a person to be killed and eaten.

If this Court declares that under our law these men have committed a crime, then our law is itself convicted in the tribunal of common sense, speluncen matter what happens to the individuals involved in this petition of error.


Democratic Jurisprudence and Judicial Review: The facts of the case are recounted in the first judicial opinion, which is given by Chief Justice Truepenny. Peter Suber Earlham College. Following their rescue and recovery, the survivors are charged with the murder of Whetmore.

Criticises Epxlorers 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.

The fourth opinion begins by excluding executive clemency and the morality of the defendants’ actions as relevant factors to the court’s deliberations.

Once the cave-in xeplorers cleared, it is discovered that only four cavers have survived; Roger Whetmore had been killed and eaten by the others. He draws analogies to servants who need to “read between the lines” of their masters’ instructions; strict literal compliance may not always be the actual intention. The case involves five explorers who are caved in following a landslide. These combined exploreds lead Justice Tatting to reject Justice Foster’s reasoning as “intellectually unsound and approaching mere rationalization.

Justice Handy notes that apart from the ambivalent Justice Tatting, the other judges share the majority public opinion. A fifth judge, who is unable to reach a conclusion, recuses himself. Indeterminacy of Legal Reasoning in Philosophy of Law.

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