Our Word Is Our Bond explains that neither law nor justice are what lawyers and judges say, nor what officials and scholars claim they are. However inadequate our law and language may be to the world, Constable argues that we know our world and name our ways of living and being in it through law and language. Justice today, however impossible to define and difficult to determine, depends on relations we have with one another through language and on the ways in which legal speech—the claims and responses that we make to one another in the name of the law—acts.
"Our Word is Our Bond transforms how we think about law, about language, and above all about the inextricable interdependencies that enmesh them. Marianne Constable explores the sovereignty of language in and over law with insight, eloquence, erudition, subtlety and imagination."—Martin Krygier, University of New South Wales, Australia
"Combining theory and case law, linguistics and jurisprudence, Our Word is Our Bond provides a uniquely sophisticated and dramatically accessible guide to the rhetoric of justice and the politics of judgment. Barack Obama's flubbed oath of office, Palsgraf v Long Island Railroad, the California Criminal Code are but a few of the diverse array of substantive examples that Constable subjects to coruscating critical disposition."—Peter Goodrich, Benjamin N. Cardozo Law School, Yeshiva University