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Law's Infamy – Understanding the Canon of Bad Law - NYU Press Scholarship Online
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Law's Infamy: Understanding the Canon of Bad Law

Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha M. Umphrey


This book addresses whether and how to tell the story of the law’s infamy. Who tells that story? And for what purpose? Is it a consoling story of progress and redemption, or a piercing story of law covering the tracks of its complicity with evil? Law’s Infamy examines when and why the word “infamy” should be used to characterize legal decisions or actions taken in the name of the law. It does so while acknowledging that law’s infamy is by no means a familiar locution. More commonly, the stories we tell of law’s failures talk of injustices not infamy. Labelling a legal decision “infamous” sugge ... More

Keywords: infamy, injustice, law’s failures

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2021 Print ISBN-13: 9781479812080
Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: May 2022 DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479812080.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Austin Sarat, editor
Amherst College

Lawrence Douglas, editor
Amherst College

Martha M. Umphrey, editor
Amherst College

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