Those who value individual freedom should reassess the place of the individual within the legal system as a whole. It is no longer a question of defending this or that particular freedom. . . . It is a question of deciding whether individual freedom is compatible in principle with the present system centered on . . . legislation.
—Bruno Leoni, from the introduction
The greatest obstacle to rule of law in our time, contends the author of this thought-provoking work, is the problem of overlegislation. In modern democratic societies, legislative bodies are increasingly usurping functions that were and should be exercised by individuals or groups rather than government. The result is an unwieldy surfeit of laws and regulations that by their sheer volume stifle individual freedom.
Bruno Leoni (1913–1967) was an attorney and Professor of Legal Theory and the Theory of the State at the University of Pavia, Italy.
Arthur Kemp is Professor Emeritus of Economics, at Claremont McKenna College.