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Almost forty years ago, the United Nations began recognizing a "rising [environmental] crisis of worldwide proportions." Around the same time, the New Haven School was building worldwide "a jurisprudence of human dignity." That jurisprudence, a combined effort of sociologist Harold D. Lasswell and law professors Myres S. McDougal and Michael Reisman, described itself as "a contextual, policy-oriented jurisprudence, postulating as its overriding goal the dignity of man in an increasingly universal public order." Drawing on insights from the social and behavioral sciences, Lasswell and McDougal developed an elaborate system of legal analysis intended to flesh out the core values of human dignity, and the processes necessary to translate those values into universal theories of legal decisionmaking. Their process-oriented jurisprudence produced an impressive body of scholarship. It remains one of the major theories of law and one of the few that attempts to account for law in both domestic and international arenas.

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