chapter  23
18 Pages

Certainty as Illusion: The Nature and Purpose of Uncertainty in the Law

ByJudith S. Jones

This review of uncertainty within the discipline of law focuses on the legal institutions (the parliament, the courts and the government) and the actors (bureaucrats, lawyers and their clients). The review is not comprehensive. To give some specificity to otherwise very general comments about the practices and processes of law, it is ‘sprinkled’ with some illustrative examples and also drills into my area of expertise – environmental law. To some extent the chapter deliberately skims over diverse territory in an attempt to elicit feedback on the most interesting avenues for future work on uncertainty in law. It also, perhaps inevitably, reflects my own legal training, with the analysis focusing on the common law traditions of nations such as Australia. Comparisons with other legal traditions and with international law, which are beyond the scope of this chapter, would no doubt be very interesting and informative.