Speluncean explorers' case
Speluncean explorers' casea fictitious case written by a Harvard law professor to illustrate various arguments then current in jurisprudence in a practical context. The facts of the case are that four men are trapped underground and in order to survive they have to eat one of their number. The original plan was to draw lots. The man whose idea it was ultimately changed his mind, rejecting chance. However, he became the ultimate meal. The fictitious case is the appeal on the conviction and death sentence of the three survivors. The judgments illustrate POSITIVISM, NATURAL LAW and legal REALISM as well as illustrating the operation of the judicial process. See also NECESSITY.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006