Introduction: Hermeneuticizing the Law

Glanert, Simone and Girard, Fabien (2017) Introduction: Hermeneuticizing the Law. In: Glanert, Simone and Girard, Fabien, eds. Law's Hermeneutics: Other Investigations. Routledge, London, pp. 1-7. ISBN 9781138123724. (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

What are the possibilities and limits of legal interpretation? Are lawyers neutral interpreters of legal texts? Can they ever become unprejudiced, say, through resort to a method? Are there words that can constrain the most activist of judges? Must even the adherent to the strongest form of judicial restraint accept that words carry inherent interpretative latitude? Does legal interpretation involve more than the simple application of the law to the facts? To what extent do economic, socio-political or religious factors influence the interpretation of law and how legitimately so? Ought the age and gender of the interpreter to play a determining role in the understanding of legal texts? Can rules of interpretation lead the interpreter to the correct meaning of the law? Is there the exact meaning of the law in any event? Further, one may ask whether it is not problematic that the interpretation of international legal texts should vary significantly from one country to another. For example, does one expect Chinese and Japanese judges to adopt the same approach to the legal interpretation of an international treaty? Can we at least assume that English and North-American lawyers read legal texts in English in the same way? Is it possible to achieve a uniform interpretation of an international legal instrument across a great number of different countries or Member States? This collection of essays explores the matter of reading the law and inquires into the emergence of meaning within the dynamic between reader and text against the background of the reader’s worldly finiteness. It wishes to contribute to an improved appreciation of the merits and limits of law’s hermeneutics which, it argues, is emphatically not to be reduced to a simple tool for textual exegesis. In this regard, the various chapters purport to supplement and update the body of work to be found in the available literature on legal hermeneutics, whether ancient or recent. More precisely, the contributions to this volume aim to revisit legal hermeneutics by making particular reference to such other disciplines as philosophy, sociology and linguistics.

Item Type: Book section
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
K Law
K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > Kent Law School > Centre for European and Comparative Law
Depositing User: Simone Glanert
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2016 21:36 UTC
Last Modified: 23 May 2017 13:34 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/59589 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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