Jacqueline Laing is Supervisor in Jurisprudence at Emmanuel College, Cambridge and a Supervisor in Criminal Law at Hughes Hall, Cambridge. Educated in Calcutta, India, and Canberra, Australia, she completed her doctorate in jurisprudence at Brasenose College, Oxford, after taking degrees in philosophy and law at the Australian National University. There she won prizes in philosophy and jurisprudence and a Commonwealth Scholarship to study at Oxford. She has taught at St Edmund Hall, Oxford, briefly at the Open University and at the University of Melbourne. She has legal experience as a UK Crown Prosecutor, and as a clerk to a judge in Canberra. She has contributed to broadcast discussions on medical law and ethics. Her publications include the books, Human Lives: Critical Essays on Consequentialist Bioethics and The Natural Law Reader, articles in journals such as the Medical Law Review, Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, New Law Journal, Journal of Criminal Law, Monist International Journal of Philosophical Enquiry, European Journal of Health Law and editorial comment pages in the national and international press. Founder of Juris, a forum for jurisprudential discussion at London Metropolitan University, she helped organise the 2008 conference entitled Disability Matters and the 2010 conference, Life and Death Matters. Co-organiser of the law research seminars since 2010, her research interests include: Jurisprudence, Criminal Law, Medical Law, Ethics and Human Rights on which subjects she is currently supervising a number of students. Her research and teaching interests lie in Jurisprudence, Criminal Law, Legal System, Moral Philosophy, Action Theory and Law and Religion.
Writing in the natural law tradition, Laing proposes capital punishment for the legal positivist, so long as the relevant black-letter laws outlining this outcome contain stringent safeguards, are procedurally valid and legally binding, and amount to a social fact. For the moral relativist she advocates a consensus-based clout around the head. In the interests of the greater good, she suggests that the world would be better off, all things considered and ceteris paribus, without utilitarians. After all, their harsh canons of maximisation only serve to undermine normal attitudes of care for the vulnerable, promote illicit industries, ride roughshod over the innocent and, she claims, make a mockery of the very idea of justice.
For hedonists, the life-long use of soma is recommended. The feeling of happiness is, after all, preferable to the real thing. Sitting around and watching while pacifists are beaten to a pulp might, she advises, provoke a rediscovery of the concept of reasonable and proportionate defensive action. While always suspecting the doctrine of nihilism to be subject to an unnerving charge of self defeatingness (if true then false, if false then false), she endorses, both as a test of their bona fides and as an expression of her own personal will-to-power, a slave trade in nihilists. Laing commends the dictatorship of any proletariat that would resist Marxism and any dialectical move away from the purely materialistic to the contemplative and religious, Marx's 'opiate'. A fervent believer in the rule of law, she opposes any anarchic icepick-in-the-back-of-the-head approach to politics and laments the entryism and subterfuge that accompanies Trotskyism, Straussian naturalism, Government House utilitarianism and auto-detonating taqiyya alike.
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