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A Protest Against Law Taxes

Showing The

Peculiar Mischievousness of all Such Impositions

as Add to the Expense of Appeal to Justice.

Jeremy Bentham

(Printed in 1793, and First Published in 1795.)
Since the law-taxes on civil suits Bentham here complains of were repealed, it might seem that this essay would no longer be of much interest. But there are two arguments that Bentham rebuts that are of interest here: firstly, there is the idea that the users of a government service, in this case the law courts, ought to be the ones to pay for it, the which rule Benthan argues is inappropriate in this instance. Secondly, there is the question of whether there ought to be some pecuniary check to ``groundless'' or ``frivolous'' litigation, some thing that is an issue in the so-called ``tort reform'' movement in the United States. This idea, Bentham also rejects. (I offer no assessment, yet, of the merits of Bentham's counterarguments.) [Paul Lyon]

A Note on the Text

This text was digitized from Volume II of the Bowring edition of Bentham's works (1843). The Bowring text, in turn, was derived from a pamphlet published in 1795.

The Text

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Last modified: Fri Mar 1 12:21:41 CST 2002