Ronald Dworkin's Case Of The Queen V. Dudley And Stephens

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This paper discusses the case of The Queen v. Dudley and Stephens from November 7th, 1884 and the verdict that was reached by the judges who tried this case. Through thorough analysis of the texts it is clear that the final judgement, which was that Thomas Dudley and Edward Stephens was guilty of the murder of a fellow sea man, followed a method that examined both sides to the case to reach a verdict that seemed the most suitable and justified; in other words, Ronald Dworkin’s method of interpretive adjudication was followed, but due to the moral analysis of the laws and the situation it is evident that the method was not consistent with Hart’s legal positivism. The facts of the case and an explanation of the relevant theories are described below.

The Queen v. Dudley and Stephens case was tried by Lord Coleridge along with others, that convicted Thomas Dudley and Edward Stephens of the murder of one Richard Parker at sea, in 1884. The three men, along with a fourth man Brooks, were trapped in a storm ‘1600 miles from the Cape of Good Hope’ (The Queen v. Dudley and Stephens, p. 154) with little to no food and no water for days, when Dudley and Stephens came to an agreement to kill Parker to sustain themselves by eating his flesh and blood. The judge after several considerations came to the resolution that Dudley and Stephens were in fact guilty of murder, no matter what the circumstances were. In reaching his verdict as a judge, I believe that he did follow Dworkin’s

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