Vagueness and Power-Delegation in Law: A Reply to Sorensen
University of Surrey - School of Law
April 15, 2012
M. Freeman & F. Smith (Eds.), Current Legal Issues: Law and Language (Oxford University Press) 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.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 18
Keywords: Philosophy, Law, Language, Vagueness, Legislation, Delegation of Power
Date posted: April 15, 2012 ; Last revised: November 23, 2012