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BENTHAM, Jeremy.

The Rationale of Judicial Evidence. Specially applied to English Practice.

Availability: In stock

Published: London Hunt and Clarke, 1827

Stock Code: 101517

OR On display in 100 Fulham Road


First edition of this massive work - over a million words long - which was assembled from Bentham's manuscripts written between 1802 and 1812 under the editorship of J. S. Mill. It is one of the most important sources for the understanding of Bentham's thoughts on jurisprudence. "The Rationale of Judicial Evidence is one of the richest in matter of Bentham's productions. The book contains, very fully developed, a great proportion of all his best thoughts; while among more special things it comprises the most elaborate exposure of the vices and defects of English Law, as it then was" (Marke, Law Collection at NYU, p. 524).
"In these writings Bentham attacked what he called the 'technical' system of evidence and adjective law which was employed in England, and which, in his opinion, led to obscurity in the law and unnecessary expense, delay, and corruption. Bentham recommended the 'natural' system of procedure where all parties were heard, all evidence admitted, cross-examination encouraged, and increased powers given to courts to obtain evidence" (ODNB).
Provenance: Henry Waters Taft (1859-1945) was the brother of President William Howard Taft, and a high-profile lawyer. President of the New York State Bar Association, and Vice President of the New York City Bar Association, he was awarded the Order of the Double Rays of the Rising Sun by the Emperor of Japan in 1929.

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5 volumes, octavo (209 x 130 mm). Near-contemporary red half morocco and marbled boards, spines lettered gilt, marbled endpapers and edges.


Pictorial bookplate of Henry W. Taft to front pastedowns. Joints cracked but still sound, wear to extremities with small repairs to the head of two spines. Bound without the preliminary blanks and errata leaves, gathering E in volume 5 in duplicate. A very fine set.


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