Efficacy, impact and English legal history

Authors

  • Thomas Glyn Watkin Queen’s Counsel (honoris causa); Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales; Honorary Professor of Law, Bangor University https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6438-5876

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.18778/0208-6069.91.07

Keywords:

Legal history, legislation, efficacy, impact, judiciary, interpretation, purposive

Abstract

Theorists of law and of social policy distinguish between the efficacy and the impact of laws and legislation. Efficacy concerns the achievement of the effects intended by law-makers. Impact refers to the actual consequences. At times, the two diverge. Sometimes, it is only after a lengthy period that the impact is appreciated. The impact sometimes requires intervention by legislators or judges acting purposively in order to correct unforeseen or unfortunate consequences. The extent of judicial intervention is not always clear from the surviving records. This article argues that an awareness of the possibility of such occurrence is essential if legal history is to present the whole truth concerning legal developments.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

Ashburner, Walter. 1933. Principles of Equity. Edited by D. Browne. 2nd ed. London: Butterworths.
Google Scholar

Baker, John H. 1977. The Reports of Sir John Spelman: Part I. Vol. 93 for 1976. London: Selden Society.
Google Scholar

Baker, John H. 1978. The Reports of Sir John Spelman: Part II. Vol. 94 for 1977. London: Selden Society.
Google Scholar

Bolland, William C. 1915. Year Books of 5 Edward II (1311–1312). Vol. 31. London: Selden Society.
Google Scholar

Bolland, William C. 1916. Year Books of 5 Edward II (1312). Vol. 33. London: Selden Society.
Google Scholar

Brand, Paul A. 1975. “Formedon in the Remainder before De Donis”. Irish Jurist 10: 318–323.
Google Scholar

Brand, Paul A. 1992. The Making of the Common Law. London & Rio Grande: The Hambledon Press.
Google Scholar

Douglas, David C. 1964. William the Conqueror. London: Eyre Methuen.
Google Scholar

Kaye, John M. 1988. “A Note on the Statute of Enrolments 1536”. Law Quarterly Review 104: 617–634.
Google Scholar

Maitland, Frederic William. 1909. The Forms of Action. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Google Scholar

Martin, Jill E. 2001. Hanbury and Martin Modern Equity. 16th ed. London: Sweet & Maxwell.
Google Scholar

Miers, David R. Alan C. Page. 1990. Legislation. 2nd ed. London: Sweet & Maxwell.
Google Scholar

Milsom, Stroud F.C. 1956. “Formedon before De Donis”. Law Quarterly Review 72: 391–397.
Google Scholar

Milsom, Stroud F.C. 1985. Studies in the History of the Common Law. London & Ronceverte: The Hambledon Press.
Google Scholar

Plucknett, Theodore F.T. 1949. Legislation of Edward I. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Google Scholar

Watkin, Thomas Glyn. 1977. “The Spirit of the Seventies”. Anglo-American Law Review 6: 119–127.
Google Scholar

Watkin, Thomas Glyn. 1991. “Quia emptores and the Entail: Subinfeudation and the Family Settlement in Thirteenth-Century England”. Tijdschrift voor Rechtsgeschiedenis 59: 353–374.
Google Scholar

Watkin, Thomas Glyn. 1997. “The Political Philosophy of the Lord King”. In Communities and Courts in Britain 1150–1900. Edited by Christopher W. Brooks, Michael Lobban. 1–12. London and Rio Grande: The Hambledon Press.
Google Scholar

Downloads

Published

2020-04-02

How to Cite

Watkin, T. G. . (2020). Efficacy, impact and English legal history. Acta Universitatis Lodziensis. Folia Iuridica, 91, 83–98. https://doi.org/10.18778/0208-6069.91.07