Should law be based on moral ideas and formal rules, or on particular facts and predictable consequences (à la holmes)?

Posted: November 5th, 2022

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Description
Holmes says that to know the law we must look at it like a bad man, who is unconcerned with morality but only with what the court will do to him. “The prophecies of what the courts will do in fact, and nothing more pretentious, are what I mean by the law.” Realists say that in deciding cases, judges should react primarily to the underlying facts of the case, rather than to applicable legal rules and reasons. Thus, the motto of legal realism may well be: “Law is simply the behavior patterns of judges.”
Discussion Forum Prompt:
Should law be based on moral ideas and formal rules, or on particular facts and predictable consequences (à la Holmes)?
Should law govern society, or the reverse? That is, should law (formal rules) shape society, or should society (and its hoped-for improvement) operate to shape the law?
What are the strengths and weaknesses of legal realism?

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