Ian’s Legal Fact of the Week 8/17/15: Legal Fictions

A legal fiction is a fact that is assumed or created by courts in order to apply a legal rule. Most often a feature of common law systems, perhaps the best-known (and one of the most controversial) such fictions in the U.S. is the concept of corporate personhood. A long-standing rule was that only persons could sue or be sued; with the growth of corporations after the Industrial Revolution a legal fiction was created that corporations were also persons, thereby allowing corporations to be held liable for their debts. For another example, see my blog post on adultery law.


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