Vagueness and the Law

Author: Ralf Poscher
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198782888
Format: PDF
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Vague expressions are omnipresent in natural language. As such, their use in legal texts is virtually inevitable. If a law contains vague terms, the question whether it applies to a particular case often lacks a clear answer. One of the fundamental pillars of the rule of law is legal certainty. The determinacy of the law enables people to use it as a guide and places judges in the position to decide impartially. Vagueness poses a threat to these ideals. In borderline cases, the law seems to be indeterminate and thus incapable of serving its core rule of law value. In the philosophy of language, vagueness has become one of the hottest topics of the last two decades. Linguists and philosophers have investigated what distinguishes "soritical" vagueness from other kinds of linguistic indeterminacy, such as ambiguity, generality, open texture, and family resemblance concepts. There is a vast literature that discusses the logical, semantic, pragmatic, and epistemic aspects of these phenomena. Legal theory has hitherto paid little attention to the differences between the various kinds of linguistic indeterminacy that are grouped under the heading of "vagueness," let alone to the various theories that try to account for these phenomena. Bringing together leading scholars working on the topic of vagueness in philosophy and in law, this book fosters a dialogue between philosophers and legal scholars by examining how philosophers conceive vagueness in law from their theoretical perspective and how legal theorists make use of philosophical theories of vagueness. The chapters of the book are organized into three parts. The first part addresses the import of different theories of vagueness for the law, referring to a wide range of theories from supervaluationist to contextualist and semantic realist accounts in order to address the question of whether the law can learn from engaging with philosophical discussions of vagueness. The second part of the book examines different vagueness phenomena. The contributions in part 2 suggest that the greater awareness to different vagueness phenomena can make lawyers aware of specific issues and solutions so far overlooked. The third part deals with the pragmatic aspects of vagueness in law, providing answers to the question of how to deal with vagueness in law and with the professional, political, moral, and ethical issues such vagueness gives rise to.

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr and Legal Logic

Author: Frederic R. Kellogg
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022652406X
Format: PDF
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With Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. and Legal Logic, Frederic R. Kellogg examines the early diaries, reading, and writings of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (1841–1935) to assess his contribution to both legal logic and general logical theory. Through discussions with his mentor Chauncey Wright and others, Holmes derived his theory from Francis Bacon’s empiricism, influenced by recent English debates over logic and scientific method, and Holmes’s critical response to John Stuart Mill’s 1843 A System of Logic. Conventional legal logic tends to focus on the role of judges in deciding cases. Holmes recognized input from outside the law—the importance of the social dimension of legal and logical induction: how opposing views of “many minds” may converge. Drawing on analogies from the natural sciences, Holmes came to understand law as an extended process of inquiry into recurring problems. Rather than vagueness or contradiction in the meaning or application of rules, Holmes focused on the relation of novel or unanticipated facts to an underlying and emergent social problem. Where the meaning and extension of legal terms are disputed by opposing views and practices, it is not strictly a legal uncertainty, and it is a mistake to expect that judges alone can immediately resolve the larger issue.

Legal Knowledge and Information Systems

Author: F. Bex
Publisher: IOS Press
ISBN: 1614997268
Format: PDF, Mobi
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As with almost every other part of our daily lives, information technology is now indispensable in the legal sphere. The variety of applications has grown, keeping pace with developments in the wider field of artificial intelligence: logic and argument have been joined by statistical methods and data, and knowledge engineering has been enriched by machine learning. This book presents the papers delivered at the 29th International Conference on Legal Knowledge and Information Systems – JURIX 2016, held in Nice, France, in December 2016. From the 56 submissions received for the conference, 11 were selected for publication as full papers, 10 as short papers, and 10 as posters, which are included in the proceedings for the first time. The papers address a wide range of topics at the interface of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Law, such as argumentation, norms and evidence, network science, information retrieval, and natural language processing. Many of the theories and technologies explored in the papers are drawn from real-life materials, including cases brought before the European Court of Human Rights, Dutch and Greek legal texts, and international investment agreements and contracts. Reflecting the many facets and the interdisciplinary character of AI and Law, the book will be of interest to all those whose work involves them in these fields.

Legal Interpretation Perspectives from Other Disciplines and Private Texts

Author: Kent Greenawalt
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199842434
Format: PDF, ePub
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In Legal Interpretation, Kent Greenawalt focuses on the complex and multi-faceted topic of textual interpretation of the law. All law needs to be interpreted, and there are many ways to do it. But what sorts of questions must one seek to answer in interpreting law and what approach should one take in each case? Whose interpretations should be prioritized? Why would one be drawn to one strategy over another? And should legal interpretation seek to satisfy specific aims or general objectives? In order to provide the answers to these questions, Greenawalt explores the ways in which interpretive strategies from other disciplines--the philosophy of language, literary and musical interpretation, religious interpretation, and general interpretive theory--can augment and enrich methods of legal interpretation. Over the course of the book, he suggests how such forms of interpretation are analogous to legal interpretation--and points to those cases in which interpretation must rest on the distinctive aspects of legal theory, such as is the case with private documents. Furthermore, Greenawalts meditation suggests that interpretive strategies from other disciplines can shed light on the essential nature of legal interpretation and provide roads by which to account for dissonance between various methods of interpretation. Legal Interpretation is a thought-provoking reflection on the ways that insights from a range of intellectual traditions can deepen our understanding of law, particularly with regard to constitutional law.

Vagueness in Psychiatry

Author: Professor of Philosophy Geert Keil
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198722370
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Blurred boundaries between the normal and the pathological are a recurrent theme in almost every publication concerned with the classification of mental disorders. However, systematic approaches that take into account the philosophical discussions about vagueness are rare. This is the first volume to systematically draw various lines of philosophical and psychiatric inquiry together, including the debates about categorical versus dimensional approaches in current psychiatric classification systems, the principles of psychiatric classification, the problem of prodromal phases and sub-threshold disorders, and the problem of over- diagnosis in psychiatry, and to explore the connections of these debates to philosophical discussions about vagueness. The book consists of three parts. The first part encompasses historical and recent philosophical positions regarding the nature of demarcation problems in nosology. Here, the authors discuss the pros and cons of gradualist approaches to health and disease, and the relevance of philosophical discussions of vagueness for these debates. The second part of the book narrows the focus to psychiatric nosology. The authors approach the vagueness of psychiatric classification by drawing on contentious medical categories, such as PTSD or schizophrenia, and on the dilemmas of day-to-day diagnostic and therapeutic practice. Against this background, the chapters critically evaluate how current revisions of the ICD and DSM manuals conceptualise mental disorders and how they are applied in various contexts. The third part is concerned with social, moral, and legal implications that arise when being mentally ill is a matter of degree. Not surprisingly, the law is ill-equipped to deal with these challenges due to its binary logic. Still, the authors show that there are more and less reasonable ways of dealing with blurred boundaries and of arriving at warranted decisions in hard cases.

Pragmatics and Law

Author: Francesca Poggi
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319446010
Format: PDF, ePub
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This volume is the second part of a project which hosts an interdisciplinary discussion about the relationship among law and language, legal practice and ordinary conversation, legal philosophy and the linguistics sciences. An international group of authors, from cognitive science, philosophy of language and philosophy of law question about how legal theory and pragmatics can enrich each other. In particular, the first part is devoted to the analysis of how pragmatics can solve problems related to legal theory: What can pragmatics teach about the concept of law and its relationship with moral, and, in particular, about the eternal dispute between legal positivism and legal naturalism? What can pragmatics teach about the concept of law and/or legal disagreements? The second part is focused on legal adjudication: it aims to construct a pragmatic apparatus appropriate to legal trial and/or to test the tenure of the traditional pragmatics tools in the field. The authors face questions such as: Which interesting pragmatic features emerge from legal adjudication? What pragmatic theories are better suited to account for the practice of judgment or its particular aspects (such as the testimony or the binding force of legal precedents)? Which pragmatic and socio-linguistic problems are highlighted by this practice?

The Right to Work

Author: Virginia Mantouvalou
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1782254994
Format: PDF
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The value of work cannot be underestimated in today's world. Work is valuable because productive labour generates goods needed for survival, such as food and housing; goods needed for self-development, such as education and culture; and other material goods that people wish to have in order to live a fulfilling life. A job also generally inspires a sense of achievement, self-esteem and the esteem of others. People develop social relations at work, which can be very important for them. Work brings both material and non-material benefits. There is no doubt that work is a crucial good. Do we have a human right to this good? What is the content of the right? Does it impose a duty on governments to promote full employment? Does it entail an obligation to protect decent work? There is also a question about the right-holders. Do migrants have a right to work, for example? At the same time many people would rather not work. What kind of right is this, if many people do not want to have it? The chapters of this book address the uncertainty and controversy that surround the right to work both in theoretical scholarship and in policymaking. They discuss the philosophical underpinnings of the right to work, and its development in human rights law at national level (in jurisdictions such as the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, France and the United States) and international level (in the context of the United Nations, the European Social Charter, the International Labour Organization, theEuropean Convention on Human Rights and other legal orders).

Vagueness in Law

Author: Timothy Andrew Orville Endicott
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198268408
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Vagueness in law can lead to indeterminacies in legal rights and obligations. This book responds to the challenges that those indeterminacies pose to theories of law and adjudication.

The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Law

Author: Andrei Marmor
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 0415878187
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Law provides a comprehensive, non-technical philosophical treatment of the fundamental questions about the nature of law. Its coverage includes law's relation to morality and the moral obligations to obey the law, the main philosophical debates about particular legal areas such as criminal responsibility, property, contracts, family law, law and justice in the international domain, legal paternalism and the rule of law. The entirely new content has been written specifically for newcomers to the field, making the volume particularly useful for undergraduate and graduate courses in philosophy of law and related areas. All 39 chapters, written by the world's leading researchers and edited by an internationally distinguished scholar, bring a focused, philosophical perspective to their subjects. The Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Law promises to be a valuable and much consulted student resource for many years.