The ‘Jurisprudence of Interests’ (Interessenjurisprudenz) from Germany: History, Accomplishments, Evaluation
February 26, 2012
International Journal of Law, Language and Discourse, Volume 3.1, June 2013, pp. 55-78
The balance or proportionality (rationality of conflicting considerations) is today the dominant model in legal reasoning.
The major thinkers responsible for creating this approach were Oliver Wendell Holmes, in the United States, René Demogue, in France and Philipp von Heck,in Germany.
There were certain influences from Continental Europe to United States, but they seem to have been forgotten today. That is exactly the case of 'Jurisprudence of Interests' (Interessenjurisprudenz), which was developed by Philipp von Heck at Tubingen, and which has become one of the most important German methodological school.
This doctrine was part in a great methodological debate (Methodenstreit) about role of the judge, which emerged by the beginning of twentieth century in Germany. The ancient conceptual methodology (Begriffsjurisprudentz) came under siege from new methodological orientations like the ‘Free Law School’ and the ‘School of Objective interpretation’. The most effective challenger and the final winner of the debate was Interessenjurisprudenz.
After a first part focusing on historical developments the paper articulates the main contributions and the specific vision of the movement.
The last part will briefly assess the actual significance of Interessenjurisprudenz for Germanic legal space and for other legal cultures (Anglo-Saxon and French).
Number of Pages in PDF File: 24
Keywords: Interessenjurisprudenz, Conflicting considerations, Interest, Begriffsjurisprudentz, School of Objective interpretation, Free Law School, Wertungsjurisprudentz
JEL Classification: K00, K40Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: February 27, 2012 ; Last revised: January 30, 2014
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