Law, Liberty, and Custom in James C. Carter


The chief American advocate of historical jurisprudence is James C. Carter, who defended the common law of New York State from David Field’s scheme for codification. He sought successfully to preserve legal traditions and the spontaneous growth of these traditions from radical Benthamite schemes to supplant legal tradition with a legislative code. By reading several of Carter’s lectures, we were able to evaluate Carter’s striking claims that custom is the basis of liberty.


Conference Readings

Carter, James C. The proposed codification of our common law: a paper. New York: TBD, 1926.

Carter, James Coolidge. Law - Its Origin, Growth, and Function. New York City: The Knickerbocker Press, 1907.