Law is not necessarily troubled by reliance on imaginary facts. See
e.g., Trustees of Dartmouth College v. Woodward, 17 U.S. 518, 4 Wheat. 636
(1819) (Marshall, C. J.) ("[a] corporation is an artificial being, invisible,
intangible, and existing only in contemplation of law").
the actual definition of a corporation upon which the law is based or is that
something else that defines a corporation? How were the first corporations
formed? Acts of parliament (or other legislative bodies), perhaps? Royal
Imaginary facts about something that is intangible or an
abstraction should not trouble the law especially when they have been created
But to have imaginary facts about something tangible?
In the appropriate circumstances, would the law recognise my statement under
oath that Harry Potter is a fictional character that often wears glasses? Would
the law recognise my statement under oath that Daniel Radcliffe is taller than
One is a fact, backed up by evidence in the books and
films, based on a fictional character. The other is a blatent lie about a
living person. Only one of those statements would be unacceptable.
legal fiction that a general purpose computer becomes a new machine when new
software is loaded and running is a fiction about a physical object which the
evidence refutes. The only way that this legal fiction could, in my mind,
become acceptable to the courts is if it was defined in an act of law and passed
through the legislature.
I'd be interested in knowing what other legal
fictions there are and if any of those are about something that is
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