Interpretation and Indeterminacy
Forthcoming, Jerusalem Review of Legal Studies
10 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2013
Date Written: November 9, 2013
Legal interpretation is a reasoning process. It is needed whenever reasoning is needed in order to decide what a legal instrument means. I defend this approach through a critical discussion of the view that Andrei Marmor defends, in Philosophy of Law (2011), that legal interpretation is needed when the law is indeterminate. I also offer reasons for disagreeing with Marmor’s argument that H.P.Grice’s ‘cooperative principle’ does not generally apply in legal discourse. The content of the law made by legislation includes what the legislation asserts, and also those implicatures that courts have conclusive reason to act upon, in light of the cooperative principle.
Keywords: interpretation, indeterminacy, implicatures, pragmatics, Grice
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation