Legislative Intent in Law's Empire

26 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2011

See all articles by Richard Ekins

Richard Ekins

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law

Date Written: December 2011


This article considers Dworkin's influential argument against legislative intent in chapter 9 of Law's Empire. The argument proves much less than is often assumed for it fails to address the possibility that the institution of the legislature may form and act on intentions. Indeed, analysis of Dworkin's argument lends support to that possibility. Dworkin aims to refute legislative intent in order to elucidate his own theory of statutory interpretation. That theory fails to explain plausibly legislative action. Dworkin's argument does not refute legislative intent but instead suggests there is reason to think that the legislature is capable of intentional action.

Suggested Citation

Ekins, Richard, Legislative Intent in Law's Empire (December 2011). Ratio Juris, Vol. 24, Issue 4, pp. 435-460, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1954458 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9337.2011.00494.x

Richard Ekins (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law ( email )

St Giles
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3JP
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.ox.ac.uk/profile/richard.ekins

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