Belmont Law Review


What are the qualities and characteristics of the common law that feature or reflect libertarianism? The common law is both a historical phenomenon and an active process or a juridical mode of settling disputes. Therefore, a precise answer to questions about the compatibility between libertarianism and the common law is difficult to articulate. This Essay describes elements of the common law - both its manifestation in history and its theoretical approaches to judging - that illuminate its libertarian attributes and tendencies. It suggests that the common law has epistemological importance as a kind of bottom-up ordering based on traceable patterns of human behavior.