It is agreed that both the American realists and
CLS theorists are sceptical and anti-formalist and
both seek to debunk the law in order to reveal law
But is there a difference between these two?
Johnson et al asserts that there is in fact a
distinction between CLS and American realists in
.1. The American realists held the belief that the
legal system can be improved if lawyers and
students are made to understand the reality of
how law operates in practice.
On the other hand, CLS theorists see society
as marked by oppression and inequality, and
that law is involved in preserving this by
retaining and promoting the status quo.
.3. The principal aim of CLS is to disclose the
role played by law in supporting both injustice
.4. For CLS adherents, social science is utilised
to create ‘a true scienc
e of law as a social
In addition to the above distinction, Wacks adds the
following four distinctions between CLS and