Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

I Do Solemnly Swear
The Moral Obligations of Legal Officials


  • Date Published: June 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521735087

£ 24.99

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • What should the people expect from their legal officials? This book asks whether officials can be moral and still follow the law, answering that the law requires them to do so. It revives the idea of the good official - the good lawyer, the good judge, the good president, the good legislator - that guided Cicero and Washington and that we seem to have forgotten. Based on stories and law cases from America's founding to the present, this book examines what is good and right in law and why officials must care. This overview of official duties, from oaths to the law itself, explains how morals and law work together to create freedom and justice, and it provides useful maxims to argue for the right answer in hard cases. Important for scholars but useful for lawyers and readable by anybody, this book explains how American law ought to work.

    • Tells stories from ancient Greece to modern movies to explain the problems of law so the reader understands them
    • Contains useful rules that officials and citizens can understand and argue
    • Explores the real stakes we the people have in officials' decisions
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    '… interesting, readable and richly illustrated …' Ecclesiastical Law Journal

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2009
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521735087
    • length: 306 pages
    • dimensions: 226 x 150 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.5kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Law and office
    2. The stakes: the interests of others in official actions
    3. Officials' obligations arise from more than the law alone
    4. The moral obligations of legal officials
    5. Patterns of relationship between legal and moral obligations
    6. Breaching duties
    7. Tools for the trade: maxims and fallacies.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Government Lawyer
    • Wrongful Convictions
  • Author

    Steve Sheppard, University of Arkansas
    Steve Sheppard is the William Enfield Professor of Law at the University of Arkansas School of Law. He has written articles in legal history, legal philosophy, international law, and the practice of law. With George Fletcher, he wrote American Law in a Global Context: The Basics. He is the editor of the Aspen Bouvier: A Law Dictionary, The Selected Writings of Sir Edward Coke, The History of Legal Education in the United States, Karl Llewellyn's The Bramble Bush, and several series of law books, as well as contributing introductions to the revived works of John Selden, Sir William Jones, and Francis Leiber, among others. He clerked and practised law in Mississippi and throughout the South and lives with his family in the Ozarks. He completed his doctorate in the science of law at Columbia University and holds other degrees from Columbia, Oxford University, and the University of Southern Mississippi.

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.