Critical Legal Studies

The Critical Legal Studies (“CLS”) movement emerged in the United States in the late 1970’s. Established and perpetuated by far-left thinkers, it considers that law is primarily politics, not justice or reason. The aim of the movement was to expose and dismantle the prevailing ideologies and schools of thought of the day, and shape society based on human personality devoid of personal and hidden interests and class structures which CLS scholars argued were the basis of Western Liberal legal institutions.

Continuing on from the view that law is politics, CLS scholars believed judges could not be neutral adjudicators and should instead become more involved in the application and creation of law. CLS scholars believed that this new law should favour disadvantaged groups. Stemming from this was the notion that there is no such thing as a correct legal solution, merely one that is the correct political and ethical solution to the problem at law.

Prominent Thinkers:

Duncan Kennedy     Roberto Mangabeira Unger

See Also:

Marxism     Postmodernism