Legal construction of life and death in the common law

Cameron Stewart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Historical role of the common law in giving meaning to the concepts of life and death - different meanings of death which have existed in common law - meanings of death are not confined to traditional biological or scientific understandings - concepts of life and death in common law have depended not only on the practice of medicine and the interests of science, but on social factors as well - current controversy concerning the legal definition of biological death needs to be viewed as part of a wider historical process including an understanding of how the language of life and death are shaped by the common law - social forces behind legal understandings of death must not be hidden or disguised by the language of law.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-91
Number of pages25
JournalOxford University Commonwealth Law Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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