Fuller Case 1 By; Shaista Malik

Q: Do you agree that the case of Speluncean
Explorers (Fuller Case) leads to the study of theory of legal positivism, theory of morality and even the theory of necessity? Ans: The case of Speluncean Explorers is a famous hypothetical
case used in the study of law, which was written by Lon Fuller in 1949 for Havard Law Review. This hypothetical case illustrates divergent theories of law. Lon Fuller's Case of the Speluncean Explorers is the greatest fictitious legal case of all time. It is called "a classic in jurisprudence," "a microcosm of this century's debates," and a "breathtaking intellectual accomplishment." Fuller based his fictitious case on some disturbingly real ones. The two uppermost in his mind were undoubtedly U.S. v. Holmes (1842) and Regina v. Dudley & Stephens (1884), two lifeboat cases in which disaster at sea was followed by homicide and prosecution. In the Holmes case, the homicides were to lighten a badly overloaded lifeboat. In Dudley & Stephens, the homicide was to create a meal for the starving survivors. It would oversimplify Fuller's ingenuity to say that he fine-tuned the facts until the case for acquittal was just about exactly as strong as the case for conviction. The case would be balanced in a broader sense if the several opinions were equally strong in their arguments or equally faithful to the law.

The Case of Speluncean Explorers (1949) In the Supreme Court of Newgarth, 4300
The defendants are members of the Speluncean Society, an organization of amateurs interested in the exploration of caves. Early in May of 4299, they in the company of Roger Whetmore penetrated into the interior of a limestone cavern. Meanwhile, a landslide occurred and heavy boulders completely blocked the only known opening of the cave. When they were finally released it was learned that Whetmore had been killed and eaten by his companions. From the testimony of defendants which was accepted by the jury, it appeared that it was Whetmore who proposed that they might find nutriment in the flesh of one of their own number, without which their survival was impossible. It was also Whetmore who first proposed the

that the court determine the guilt or innocence of the defendants and whether the decision of the trial court was correct? The Court concluded being equally divided that the original decision would stand and that the men should be hanged for murder. by human beings. After the rescue of defendants. admires the decision made by the jury and trial judge. C. The trial judge addressed a similar communication.L. Decision of the Trial Court. • • There is not any inherent or necessary association between the validity conditions of law and ethics or morality.L. In this case the jury asked the court for a “special verdict” i. largely developed by nineteenth-century legal thinkers like Jeremy Bentham and John Austin. Fuller Case 2 By. its members joined in a communication that the sentence be commuted to an imprisonment of six months. The theory of legal positivism states that. He felt to comply with the only course open to them . Appeal to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court. The five justices take different views on the philosophy of jurisprudence THEORY OF LEGAL POSITIVISM: Legal positivism is a school of thought of philosophy of law and jurisprudence. The Trial Judge then sentenced them to be hanged because the law of commonwealth permitting him no discretion with respect to the penalty to be imposed. they were indicted for the murder of Roger Whetmore. where the panel had different notions to conclude this case. Truepenny J.e.J. whether deliberately or unintentionally. Laws are rules made. affirmed the decision of the Court of General Instances. Shaista Malik use of some method of casting lots with a pair of dice he happened to have with him.. Whetmore withdrew himself from the arrangement and decided to wait for the rescue team. When it came Whetmore’s turn. the cast went against him and he was then put to death and eaten by his companions. Others charged him with a breach of faith and proceeded to cast the dice. Truepenny. After the release of the jury.. However.

A (N. • The case is governed by law of nature and morality. the views of the justice Keen and justice Truepenny led to the theory of legal positivism or theory of positivism.L.S. if not geographical "state of nature. • • • • • It is not the function of judiciary to give instructions to the executive.S. a school of thought in philosophy of law and jurisprudence. He states that the legislative branch of the government is supreme.S. . He supports the innocence of the explores and opines that. The sole question is whether the explorers willfully took the life of Whetmore? The answer is clear that they intentionally and willfully murdered Whetmore. there really were only two significant jurisprudential philosophies in the air: natural law and positivism.) Sec. (Statute N. According to this theory. 12-A). the willful taking of another mans life must be punishable by death permits no exception to this case and our personal sympathies must not overshadow the strength of this statute. claims there is no inherent and necessary connection between the validity. Fuller Case 3 By. He is of the opinion that.C. Keen J.) NATURAL LAW OR MORALITY: When Lon Fuller put together his Speluncean Explorers in the 1940s. shall be punished with death. Holmes. So.S. the laws of Commonwealth was clear on this situation that whoever willfully take the life of another. therefore the judiciary must give effect to that law and not concern itself with issues of morality.L. but was revived in the hypothetical by Justice Foster.). Judiciary is not concerned with morality. Justice Keen. The former had largely been discredited. condition of law and ethics or morality.A. who claimed that the trapped explorers were in a moral." I think the reason Fuller included a natural law argument in the hypothetical was that the one of the underlying real cases was US v. Shaista Malik under the law (Statue N. (N.C. Justice Foster. He says that a judge is not there to determine “right or wrong” but to apply the law of the land. is the exponent of positivism in the hypothetical. where the defendant's attorneys unsuccessfully tried to argue such a defense for Holmes. Sec 12-A.

to interpret and apply the statute not literally that holds the fate of . • The inapplicability of the positive law of this Commonwealth including all its statutes and precedents. and similar justifications for this kind of extra-legal action have been advanced by more recent legal authorities. thereby providing the label that would come to be attached to the judgment and the doctrine that it was establishing. The defendants were innocent under the circumstances. Therefore the law of nature applies and under those conditions they agreed to a new set of principles. He believes to declare them innocent on two independent grounds. Ghulam Mohammad. In modern times. 'that which is otherwise not lawful is made lawful by necessity'. THEORY OF NECESSITY: The term Doctrine of Necessity is a term used to describe the basis on which extra-legal actions by state actors. So. Justice Foster.L. Justice Foster’s arguments lead us to the theory of necessity also. The case should be handled in the manner of what ancient writers in Europe and America call the law of nature. The maxim on which the doctrine is based originated in the writings of the medieval jurist Henry de Bracton. to which Whetmore was himself a party. the force of positive law should disappear. These men of course.L. the Chief Justice cited Bracton's maxim. Fuller Case 4 By. Foster J. including William Blackstone. which are designed to restore order. It is assumed that the consolidated statutes have the powers to penetrate the solid rocks. violated the statute that he who shall willfully take the life of another is a murderer. Shaista Malik • • • The circumstances meant that the basic principles underlying the law that assume that men can live together could no longer apply. • Situation these men found themselves has taken away them from the effects of positive law. This was an extreme situation and thus the underlying premise of legal order lost meaning. the term was first used in a controversial 1954 judgment in which Pakistani Chief Justice Muhammad Munir validated the extra-constitutional use of emergency powers by Governor General. observed that the law of our Commonwealth should not compel these explorers of being murderers.[1] In his judgment. are found to be constitutional. This means when man is in so far over his head that coexistence becomes impossible.

The public tends to keep a tie between the law and man. And thereby interpret the statute in way for the exception of self defense although the same is not mentioned literally. Fuller Case 5 By. where the defendant was accused for the theft of a loaf of bread. law must not be put aside in order to give effect to personal morality/moral ideas. Justice Tatting disregarded the Justice Foster’s plea of. the statute in question does not apply to the case at hand. The same reasoning is applicable to the case at hand. Foster's concluded that the defendants are innocent of the murder of Whetmore and the conviction should be set aside. j. how would it justify the killing and eating of a man? But. Justice Handy considered the defendants innocent of the allegation of murder and concluded that the conviction should be set aside. state of nature. Shaista Malik the explorers. then show that it does. If a group of men ever find themselves in a predicament such as explorers. those who reported back. CONCLUSION: In my opinion personal as far as question of morality and the laws of Newgarth is concerned. self defense and necessity.L. Tatting could not reach any conclusion of this case and declared his withdrawal from the decision. His defense of starving to death and needed that bread to survive was not taken into account. referred another case of Commonwealth v. If you think your oath of office permits this indulgence of your personal morality. So. But one cannot argue that this killing was necessary and defendants were blameless . Therefore. If extreme hunger cannot justify the theft of food. is the most likely to touch with the common man. Valjean. A newspaper held a poll that said what the Supreme Court should do with the Speluncean Explorers? Ninety percent. Judiciary. Justice Handy. Justice Tatting.L. Justice Handy observed that government regulates human affairs and men are ruled by other men not words on paper or abstract theories. expressed that the defendants should be pardoned. you can be sure decisions on whether to live or die will not be controlled by the contents of our law. among all the branches of government. Deciding that who has the greater right to live is the hard part because all the lives are equal in eyes of law. A man threatening the life of another would naturally repel the threatened man.

Roger Wetmore’s life was as important as the other explorers that must have been respected and protected. Shaista Malik Decide the case under the law. support your verdict with arguments.L. So. . Necessity and morality are not the possible excuses which could negate criminal intents of the murderers.L. Fuller Case 6 By. and show the weaknesses in the arguments for the other verdict.

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