The Interpretation of Foreign Law: How Germane Is Gadamer.

Glanert, Simone (2017) The Interpretation of Foreign Law: How Germane Is Gadamer. In: Glanert, Simone and Girard, Fabien, eds. Law’s Hermeneutics: Other Investigations. Routledge, London, pp. 63-80. ISBN 9781138123724. E-ISBN 9781317301653. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Abstract

Globalization processes attest to foreign law’s increasing relevance. Consider how the US Supreme Court, one of the most influential interpreters in the legal world, has been referring to foreign law in high-profile decisions regarding the meaning of the US Constitution. Also, in cases involving immigrants German judges are having to assess whether a defendant’s cultural background should impact a decision on guilt or civil responsibility. Meanwhile, New York University has established the Hauser Global Law School, Georgetown the Center for Transnational Legal Studies, Harvard the Institute for Global Law and Policy and King’s College London the Dickson Poon Transnational Law Institute. Journals like the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law, the Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies and Transnational Legal Theory have emerged, not to mention an immense proliferation of exchange programmes, summer schools, curricula, courses, symposia, colloquia, books, dissertations and blogs. This massive paraphernelia of collective intellectual effort makes challenging interpretive demands on lawyers and suggests the need for reliable theoretical frameworks. In this respect, Hans-Georg Gadamer’s philosophical hermeneutics solicits special attention. Not only has Gadamer had a profound impact on literary and social theory by underwriting the “interpretive turn”, but he devotes important sections of his masterpiece, Truth and Method, to law. However, can Gadamer’s work on interpretation assist ascription of legal meaning across cultural lines? Reactions about the applicability of Gadamer’s interpretive insights to intercultural understanding diverge widely (this situation incidentally vindicating his claim that “one always understands differently, if one understands at all”). I address this controversy.

Item Type: Book section
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > Kent Law School
Depositing User: Simone Glanert
Date Deposited: 29 Jul 2015 15:07 UTC
Last Modified: 25 May 2017 13:33 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/49888 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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