The Concept of Law and the New Public Law Scholarship

This article is an attempt to identify the nature of an emerging field of legal scholarship known as “New Public Law.” “New,” of course, is a dangerous term. Our society’s image of itself as forward looking and its tendency to market itself to itself through claims of novelty has spawned a range of phrases from the New Deal to the New Criticism to various new, improved laundry detergents. One does not hear very many positive comments about the “old” these days. The argument that old ways of doing things are better has become an emblem of mistaken thought, and the elderly have been demoted from a source of experience and wisdom to just one more underrepresented group. As a result, it is very easy to make grandiose and ultimately unjustified claims for minor changes by slapping the word “new” on them.