Crime and Punishment at 150 (2016)

Dostoevsky’s Jurisprudence, or Why Lawyers Have Been Reading Everything From Notes from Underground through The Brothers Karamazov Weisberg, Richard


Law students, lawyers, and judges, have been reading CRIME AND PUNISHMENT for decades as part of the renewed "Law and Literature movement". Lately they have been assessing the novel for its acute representation of the law's treatment of the outsider, the way prosecutors and judges seek to uncover the truth, the narrative aspects of criminal law, the relationship of law and religion, and many other pressing practical and jurisprudential issues. I have been privileged both to find my work anthologized in several Norton Critical editions of Dostoevsky and to help bridge disciplinary divides by bringing this story to the attention of this vast and influential legal audience. In this paper, I will report on the novel's enduring and profound significance to the 21st century world.

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