Book Review: Allan C Hutchinson, Toward an Informal Account of Legal Interpretation
80 Modern Law Review (2017) 1178-1183
Posted: 15 Oct 2020
Date Written: 2017
As stated in its title, this book urges the legal community to embrace what the book’s author, Allan C Hutchinson, describes as an ‘informal’explanation of legal interpretation. Hutchinson employs ‘interpretation’broadly to encompass the activities of finding the law, applying the law, and justifying the result.‘Interpretation’covers statutory and constitutional interpretation as well as judicial pronouncements of common law. Basically, then, ‘interpretation’ is synonymous with judicial activity and, by extension, the activity of lawyers and others involved with the law. The final chapters of the book sketch Hutchinson’s ‘account’ of what is ‘informal’in legal interpretation. It will be seen that ‘informal’signifies more than a mere rejection of what Hutchinson terms ‘formalist’ interpretive methods.
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