Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Hard Cases Make Good Law

By Arthur Corbin


When a stated rule of law works injustice in a particular case; that is,would determine it contrary to \u22the settled convictions of the community,\u22- the rule is pretty certain either to be denied outright or to be undermined by a fiction or a specious distinction. It is said that \u22hard cases make bad law;\u22 but it can be said with at least as much truth that hard cases make good law. It was largely the crystallization of the rules of the common law that caused the constant appeals to the conscience of the king and his chancellor, and developed the system of law that we know as equity. Even the common law judges themselves had a \u22conscience.\u22 When their stated rules developed hard cases, the rules were modified by the use of fiction, by exceptions and distinctions, and even by direct overruling

Topics: Law
Publisher: Yale Law School Legal Scholarship Repository
Year: 1923
OAI identifier:
Download PDF:
Sorry, we are unable to provide the full text but you may find it at the following location(s):
  • (external link)
  • (external link)
  • Suggested articles

    To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.