Statutory Interpretation and the Many Virtues of Legislation
Oxford J Legal Studies (2016). doi: 10.1093/ojls/gqw011. First published online: May 27, 2016
Posted: 29 May 2016
Date Written: May 27, 2016
The question of statutory interpretation is closely connected to convictions we have in our political theory. This article explores one such connection, focusing on the relationship between the respect owed to legislative decisions and our interpretive practices. It develops two arguments in this regard. The first argument traces the way varying understandings of modern legislation and alternative accounts of the value of legislative practices entail different modes of statutory interpretation. The second argument criticises existing theories of statutory interpretation for assuming a monolithic account of the value of legislation and suggests that different approaches to statutory interpretation might be appropriate for dealing with different exercises of legislative power.
Keywords: statutory interpretation, adjudication, legal reasoning, political authority, legislation
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