Lex Populi : The Jurisprudence of Popular Culture
This is a book about jurisprudence--or legal philosophy. The legal philosophical texts under consideration are, to say the least, unorthodox. Tolkien, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Harry Potter, Million Dollar Baby, and other cultural products are all referenced as exemplary instances of what the author calls lex populi--"people's" or "pop law". There, more than anywhere else will one find the leading issues of legal philosophy. These issues, however are heavily coded, for few of these texts announce themselves as expressly "legal". Nonetheless, Lex Populi reads these texts "jurisprudentially": that is, with an eye to their hidden legal philosophical meanings, enabling connections such as: Tolkien's Ring as Kelsen's grundnorm; vampire slaying as legal language's semiosis; Hogwarts as substantively unjust; and a seriously injured young woman as termination's rights-bearer. In so doing, Lex Populi attempts not only a jurisprudential reading of popular culture, but a popular rereading of jurisprudence, removing it from the legal experts in order to restore it to the public at large: a lex populi by and for the people.