Purposive Interpretation in Law

Author: Aharon Barak

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400841267

Category: Law

Page: 448

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This book presents a comprehensive theory of legal interpretation, by a leading judge and legal theorist. Currently, legal philosophers and jurists apply different theories of interpretation to constitutions, statutes, rules, wills, and contracts. Aharon Barak argues that an alternative approach--purposive interpretation--allows jurists and scholars to approach all legal texts in a similar manner while remaining sensitive to the important differences. Moreover, regardless of whether purposive interpretation amounts to a unifying theory, it would still be superior to other methods of interpretation in tackling each kind of text separately. Barak explains purposive interpretation as follows: All legal interpretation must start by establishing a range of semantic meanings for a given text, from which the legal meaning is then drawn. In purposive interpretation, the text's "purpose" is the criterion for establishing which of the semantic meanings yields the legal meaning. Establishing the ultimate purpose--and thus the legal meaning--depends on the relationship between the subjective and objective purposes; that is, between the original intent of the text's author and the intent of a reasonable author and of the legal system at the time of interpretation. This is easy to establish when the subjective and objective purposes coincide. But when they don't, the relative weight given to each purpose depends on the nature of the text. For example, subjective purpose is given substantial weight in interpreting a will; objective purpose, in interpreting a constitution. Barak develops this theory with masterful scholarship and close attention to its practical application. Throughout, he contrasts his approach with that of textualists and neotextualists such as Antonin Scalia, pragmatists such as Richard Posner, and legal philosophers such as Ronald Dworkin. This book represents a profoundly important contribution to legal scholarship and a major alternative to interpretive approaches advanced by other leading figures in the judicial world.
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The Judge in a Democracy

Author: Aharon Barak

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400827043

Category: Law

Page: 368

View: 9603

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Whether examining election outcomes, the legal status of terrorism suspects, or if (or how) people can be sentenced to death, a judge in a modern democracy assumes a role that raises some of the most contentious political issues of our day. But do judges even have a role beyond deciding the disputes before them under law? What are the criteria for judging the justices who write opinions for the United States Supreme Court or constitutional courts in other democracies? These are the questions that one of the world's foremost judges and legal theorists, Aharon Barak, poses in this book. In fluent prose, Barak sets forth a powerful vision of the role of the judge. He argues that this role comprises two central elements beyond dispute resolution: bridging the gap between the law and society, and protecting the constitution and democracy. The former involves balancing the need to adapt the law to social change against the need for stability; the latter, judges' ultimate accountability, not to public opinion or to politicians, but to the "internal morality" of democracy. Barak's vigorous support of "purposive interpretation" (interpreting legal texts--for example, statutes and constitutions--in light of their purpose) contrasts sharply with the influential "originalism" advocated by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. As he explores these questions, Barak also traces how supreme courts in major democracies have evolved since World War II, and he guides us through many of his own decisions to show how he has tried to put these principles into action, even under the burden of judging on terrorism.
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A Purposive Approach to Labour Law

Author: Guy Davidov

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0191076848

Category: Law

Page: 270

View: 8966

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The mismatch between goals and means is a major cause of crisis in labour law. The regulations that we use - the legal instruments and techniques - are no longer in sync with the goals they are supposed to advance. This mismatch leads to a problem of coverage, where many workers who need the protection of labour law are not covered by it, as well as a problem of obsoleteness, as labour laws are not sufficiently updated in light of dramatic changes in the labour market. Adopting a purposive approach to interpretation and legislative reform, this volume addresses this crisis of mismatch. It first articulates the goals of labour law, both general and specific, through an in-depth normative discussion and a consideration of critiques. The book then proceeds to reconsider our means, asking what we need to change or improve in the laws themselves in order to better advance the goals. Some of the proposed solutions are at the level of judicial interpretation, others at the legislative level. The book offers several examples of the way a purposive analysis should be performed in concrete cases. It also recommends institutional structures that are suited to ongoing adaptation of the law to ensure that our goals are advanced even when circumstances frequently change. Finally, in response to the crisis of enforcement in this field, which frustrates the achievement of labour law's goals, several proposals to improve compliance and enforcement are considered.
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Interpretation in International Law

Author: Andrea Bianchi,Daniel Peat,Matthew Windsor

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191038709

Category: Law

Page: 380

View: 9762

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International lawyers have long recognised the importance of interpretation to their academic discipline and professional practice. As new insights on interpretation abound in other fields, international law and international lawyers have largely remained wedded to a rule-based approach, focusing almost exclusively on the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. Such an approach neglects interpretation as a distinct and broader field of theoretical inquiry. Interpretation in International Law brings international legal scholars together to engage in sustained reflection on the theme of interpretation. The book is creatively structured around the metaphor of the game, which captures and illuminates the constituent elements of an act of interpretation. The object of the game of interpretation is to persuade the audience that one's interpretation of the law is correct. The rules of play are known and complied with by the players, even though much is left to their skills and strategies. There is also a meta-discourse about the game of interpretation - 'playing the game of game-playing' - which involves consideration of the nature of the game, its underlying stakes, and who gets to decide by what rules one should play. Through a series of diverse contributions, Interpretation in International Law reveals interpretation as an inescapable feature of all areas of international law. It will be of interest and utility to all international lawyers whose work touches upon theoretical or practical aspects of interpretation.
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Statutes in Court

The History and Theory of Statutory Interpretation

Author: William D. Popkin

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 9780822323280

Category: Law

Page: 340

View: 7240

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Popkin provides a survey of the history of American statutory interpretation and then offers his own theory of "ordinary judging" that defines the proper scope of judicial discretion."--BOOK JACKET.
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Interpretation in Polish, German and European Private Law

Author: Grzegorz Zmij,Bettina Heiderhoff

Publisher: Walter de Gruyter

ISBN: 3866539304

Category: Law

Page: 120

View: 6664

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The interpretation of declarations of intent and contracts is a very difficult task, especially with regard to crossborder partners. Read the informative proceedings of the international conference in Katowice as to the topics: - Interpretation of foreign law by German courts - Theories of interpretation in private law - Interpretation of contracts under the German BGB and under the CFR - Interpretation of the juridical acts - a comparative perspective - The "common" interpretation of national law - Iuris cogentis and iuris dispositivi rules / provisions in contract and corporate law - Relevance of circumstances in which the contract was concluded - Is there "the one true interpretation of a law"? - Is the wording of the law a limitation for its interpretation?
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Israel Among the Nations

International and Comparative Law Perspectives on Israel's 50th Anniversary

Author: Alfred E. Kellermann,Kurt Siehr,Talia Einhorn

Publisher: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers

ISBN: 9789041111425

Category: Law

Page: 392

View: 9498

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On the occasion of Israel's 50th anniversary, eminent American, European and Israeli jurists contributed essays of great relevance to the current debate on constitutionalism and its values, the international legal dimension of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the dilemma of democracies when dealing with terrorism, the establishment of the concept of UN peace-keeping forces, individual responsibility and superior orders for war crimes, and the ombudsman as defender of democracy and human rights.
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Environmental Judicial Review

Author: R. J. Moules

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1847318118

Category: Law

Page: 430

View: 2097

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Judicial review of environmental decisions is an important and growing area of public law. But although the general principles of judicial review have been clearly mapped out, their application to the particular context of the environment is under-explored. This book therefore seeks to provide a detailed and critical account of environmental judicial review in both domestic and EU law. Part I explains the central principles of environmental law, such as the polluter pays principle and the precautionary principle, and shows how they influence the application of public law standards of legality. Part II considers the procedure for judicial review with particular emphasis on standing, protective costs and the availability of interim relief. Part III consists of a detailed examination of how each of the grounds for judicial review is applied in the environmental context. It highlights the increased emphasis on consultation and public participation in environmental matters, the degree of deference afforded by the courts to scientific and political judgments, and the prevalence of 'hard-edged' questions of law. Part IV focuses on EU law and examines direct and indirect actions before the EU courts, preliminary references and state liability. It also considers infraction proceedings brought by the EU Commission, the role of individuals and NGOs in relation to such proceedings and the interrelationships between infraction proceedings and judicial review. Finally, Part V explains the complex regime governing access to environmental information.
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Human Dignity

The Constitutional Value and the Constitutional Right

Author: Aharon Barak

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1316240983

Category: Political Science

Page: N.A

View: 6580

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Human dignity is now a central feature of many modern constitutions and international documents. As a constitutional value, human dignity involves a person's free will, autonomy, and ability to write a life story within the framework of society. As a constitutional right, it gives full expression to the value of human dignity, subject to the specific demands of constitutional architecture. This analytical study of human dignity as both a constitutional value and a constitutional right adopts a legal-interpretive perspective. It explores the sources of human dignity as a legal concept, its role in constitutional documents, its content, and its scope. The analysis is augmented by examples from comparative legal experience, including chapters devoted to the role of human dignity in American, Canadian, German, South African, and Israeli constitutional law.
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