Your Task

Unit 1: Legal Philosopher Assignment
An ability to truly appreciate the philosophical nature of jurisprudence we need to
become familiar with those philosophers that ‘broke ground’. Their beliefs and contributions
about human nature, justice, equity, equality, fairness and the role of law are what our legal
systems are founded on. Your challenge is to become familiar with who they were, their beliefs
and contributions to jurisprudence and their philosophical ‘take’ on selected laws.
Your Task:
Research: Using library resources and/or the internet, you are to research your chosen
philosopher and his/her views regarding human nature, law and justice. Use a minimum
of three (3) sources and include a works cited page (MLA style). All rough work and
notes must be submitted with the final copy as part of your process mark.
Legal Theorists:
- Socrates
- Plato
- Aristotle
- Cicero
- Hugo Grotius
- David Hume
- Immanuel Kant
- St. Thomas Aquinas
- Thomas Hobbes
- John Locke
- Jeremy Bentham
- John Austin
- John Rawls
- Jean Jacque Rousseau
Write-up: min. 2 pages double spaced, Times New Roman 12 pt font
 ½ page biography of your philosopher’s life. When s/he lived, where s/he
lived, who s/he was influenced by, where s/he studied, political/global
events occurring during their time, and how s/he died, etc.
 1 page summary highlighting your philosopher’s ideas on law and
justice. Focus specifically on 4 main principles of law your philosopher
supports or advocates for. Principles of law are those ‘ideas’ that are
recognized in all legal relationships including such concepts as equity,
impartiality, justice, fairness, rule of law, constitutional supremacy,
presumption of innocence, duty of care… provide an example for each.
 ½ page account of how your philosopher would perceive the merit, value,
and purpose of any 3 of the 5 laws listed below. Be sure to support your
response with your philosopher’s specific take on the principles of justice
you identified as being important to them.
a) A law that would decriminalize prostitution or gambling
b) A law that would permit the government to take DNA samples
from newborns in order to maintain a databank
c) A law that permits mercy killing
d) A law to legalize capital punishment in the case of serial killers
e) A law that permits members of certain ethnic groups to be
interrogated without legal representation to combat terrorism
Work Periods: _______________________________
Due Date: ___________________________________