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Of Promulgation of the Laws
Promulgation of the Reasons Thereof

Jeremy Bentham

One of Bentham's complaints about the English Law of his time was that it was mostly unknown to the citizenry; in part because of the obscurity of statute law and in part because much of common law was actually embodied in judicial decisions, the which were mostly unavailable to any but lawyers. Accordingly, Bentham regarded the promulgation of the laws as a matter of great importance, as is herewithin stated. In addition, tho', Bentham regarded the promulgation of the reason of the laws as almost as important. (For him, of course, the reason would be found on the greatest happiness principle.) Interestingly enough, this leads him to write things that almost sound like Rousseau or Kant.

[Paul Lyon]

Source of the Text

This text was digitized from Volume I of the 1843 Bowring edition of Bentham's works. About it, Bowring says this:

Edited from the French of Dumont and the original MSS. and printed works of Bentham.
In Volume I of the Bowring edition, this essay is paired with another called ``A Specimen of a Penal Code'', which, unfortunately, is partly missing in the copy of Volume I available to me. I hope that I will be able to secure a copy of the missing bit soon.

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Last modified: Fri Mar 29 20:41:50 CST 2002