Vagueness and Power-Delegation in Law: A Reply to Sorensen
M. Freeman & F. Smith (Eds.), Current Legal Issues: Law and Language (Oxford University Press) 2012
18 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2012 Last revised: 23 Nov 2012
Date Written: April 15, 2012
Roy Sorensen has argued that vagueness in the law cannot be justified by appeal to the value of power-delegation, and thereby threatens to take away one of the main reasons for thinking that vagueness can be valuable to law. Delegation of power to officials is justified, he thinks, only if these officials are in a better position to discover whether a particular x is F, a condition not satisfied in cases of vagueness. I argue that Sorensen’s argument is unsound: delegation of power can be valuable even if the delegates are not in a better position to answer that question.
Keywords: Philosophy, Law, Language, Vagueness, Legislation, Delegation of Power
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