Rhetoric and The Rule of Law

Author: Neil MacCormick
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191018783
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When cases come before courts can we predict the outcome? Is legal reasoning rationally persuasive, working within a formal structure and using recognisable forms of arguments to produce predictable results? Or is legal reasoning mere ŕhetoric ́in the pejorative sense, open to use, and abuse, to achieve whatever ends unscrupulous politicians, lawyers and judges desire? If the latter what becomes of the supposed security of living under the rule of law? This book tackles these questions by presenting a theory of legal reasoning, developing the author's classic account given in Legal Reasoning and Legal Theory (OUP, 1978). It explains the essential role syllogism plays in reasoning used to apply the law, and the elements needed in addition to deductive reasoning to give a full explanation of how law is applied and decisions justified through the use of precedent, analogy and principle. The book highlights that problems of interpretation, classification and relevance will always arise when applying general legal standards to individual cases. In justifying their conclusions about such problems, judges need to be faithful to categorical legal reasons and yet fully sensitive to the particulars of the cases before them. How can this be achieved, and how should we evaluate the possible approaches judges could take to solving these problems? By addressing these issues the book asks questions at the heart of understanding the nature of law and the moral complexity of the rule of law.

Practical Reason in Law and Morality

Author: Neil MacCormick
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191021474
Format: PDF
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The concept of practical reason is central to contemporary thought on ethics and the philosophy of law - acting well means acting for good reasons. Explaining this requires several stages. How do reasons relate to actions at all, as incentives and in explanations? What are values, how do they relate to human nature, and how do they enter practical reasoning? How do the concepts of 'right and wrong' fit in, and in what way do they involve questions of mutual trust among human beings? How does our moral freedom - our freedom to form our own moral commitments - relate to our responsibilities to each other? How is this final question transposed into law and legal commitments? This book explores these questions, vital to understanding the nature of law and morality. It presents a clear account of practical reason, valuable to students of moral philosophy and jurisprudence at undergraduate or postgraduate levels. For more advanced scholars it also offers a reinterpretation of Kant's views on moral autonomy and Smith's on self-command, marrying Smith's 'moral sentiments' to Kant's 'categorical imperative' in a novel way. The book concludes and underpins the author's Law, State, and Practical Reason series. Taken together the books offer an overarching theory of the nature of law and legal reason, the role of the State, and the nature of moral reason and judgement.

Legal reasoning

Author: Aulis Aarnio
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN:
Format: PDF, Kindle
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This Major Reference series brings together a wide range of key international articles in law and legal theory. Many of these essays are not readily accessible, and their presentation in these volumes will provide a vital new resource for both research and teaching. Each volume is edited by leading international authorities who explain the significance and context of articles in an informative and complete introduction.

A Theory of Legal Argumentation

Author: Robert Alexy
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 9780199584222
Format: PDF
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What is to be understood by 'rational legal argument'? To what extent can legal reasoning be rational? Is the demand for rationality in legal affairs justified? And what are the criteria of rationality in legal reasoning? The answer to these questions is not only of interest to legal theorists and philosophers of law. They are pressing issues for practicing lawyers, and a matter of concern for every citizen active in the public arena. Not only the standing of academic law as a scientific discipline, but also the legitimacy of judicial decisions depends on the possibility of rational legal argumentation. A theory of legal reasoning which tries to answer these questions pre-supposes a theory of general practical reasoning. This theory is the subject matter of the first two parts of the book. The result is a theory of general practical discourse which rests on insights of both Anglo-Saxon and German philosophy. It forms the basis of the theory of rational legal discourse, which is developed in the third part of this book.

Interpreting Statutes

Author: D. Neil MacCormick
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351926381
Format: PDF
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This book is a work of outstanding importance for scholars of comparative law and jurisprudence and for lawyers engaged in EC law or other international forms of practice. It reviews, compares and analyses the practice of interpretation in nine countries representing Europe as well as the US and Argentina in common and civil law; it also explores implications for general theories of interpretation and of justification. Its authors, who include Aulis Aarnio, Robert Alexy, Ralf Dreier, Enrique Zuleta-Puceiro, Michel Troper, Christophe Grzegorczyk, Jean-Louis Gardes, Enrico Pattaro, Michele Taruffo, Massimo La Torre, Jerry Wroblewski, Alexsander Peczenik, Gunnar Bergholtz and Zenon Bankowski, as well as editors Robert S. Summers and D. Neil MacCormick, constitute an international team of great distinction; they have worked on this project for over seven years.

Institutions of Law

Author: Neil MacCormick
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 019102175X
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Institutions of Law offers an original account of the nature of law and legal systems in the contemporary world. It provides the definitive statement of Sir Neil MacCormick's well-known 'institutional theory of law', defining law as 'institutional normative order' and explaining each of these three terms in depth. It attempts to fulfil the need for a twenty-first century introduction to legal theory marking a fresh start such as was achieved in the last century by H. L. A. Hart's The Concept of Law. It is written with a view to elucidating law, legal concepts, and legal institutions in a manner that takes account of current scholarly controversies but does not get bogged down in them. It shows how law relates to the State and civil society, establishing the conditions of social peace and a functioning economy. In so doing, it takes account of recent developments in the sociology of law, particularly 'system theory'. It also seeks to clarify the nature of claims to 'knowledge of law' and thus indicate the possibility of legal studies having a genuinely 'scientific' character. It shows that there is an essential value-orientation of all work of this kind, so that valid analytical jurisprudence not merely need not, but cannot, be 'positivist' as that term has come to be understood. Nevertheless, it is explained why law and morality are genuinely distinct by virtue of the positive character of law contrasted with the autonomy that is foundational for morality.

Legal Reasoning and Legal Theory

Author: Neil MacCormick
Publisher: Clarendon Press
ISBN: 0191018597
Format: PDF, Docs
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What makes an argument in a law case good or bad? Can legal decisions be justified by purely rational argument or are they ultimately determined by more subjective influences? These questions are central to the study of jurisprudence, and are thoroughly and critically examined in Legal Reasoning and Legal Theory, now with a new and up-to-date foreword. Its clarity of explanation and argument make this classic legal text readily accessible to lawyers, philosophers, and any general reader interested in legal processes, human reasoning, or practical logic.

The Nature and Authority of Precedent

Author: Neil Duxbury
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139470973
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Neil Duxbury examines how precedents constrain legal decision-makers and how legal decision-makers relax and avoid those constraints. There is no single principle or theory which explains the authority of precedent but rather a number of arguments which raise rebuttable presumptions in favour of precedent-following. This book examines the force and the limitations of these arguments and shows that although the principal requirement of the doctrine of precedent is that courts respect earlier judicial decisions on materially identical facts, the doctrine also requires courts to depart from such decisions when following them would perpetuate legal error or injustice. Not only do judicial precedents not 'bind' judges in the classical-positivist sense, but, were they to do so, they would be ill suited to common-law decision-making. Combining historical inquiry and philosophical analysis, this book will assist anyone seeking to understand how precedent operates as a common-law doctrine.

MacCormick s Scotland

Author: Neil Walker
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
ISBN: 0748649301
Format: PDF
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A Gedenkschrift to one of Scotland's most prominent jurists and legal thinkers.

The Power of Precedent

Author: Michael J. Gerhardt
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199795797
Format: PDF
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The role that precedent plays in constitutional decision making is a perennially divisive subject among scholars of law and American politics. The debate rages over both empirical and normative aspects of the issue: To what extent are the Supreme Court, Congress, and the executive branch constrained by precedent? To what extent should they be? Taking up a topic long overdue for comprehensive treatment, Michael Gerhardt connects the vast social science data and legal scholarship to provide the most wide-ranging assessment of precedent in several decades. Updated to reflect recent legal cases, The Power of Precedent clearly outlines the major issues in the continuing debates on the significance of precedent and evenly considers all sides. For the Supreme Court, precedents take many forms, including not only the Court's past opinions, but also norms, historical practices, and traditions that the justices have deliberately chosen to follow. In these forms, precedent exerts more force than is commonly acknowledged. This force is encapsulated in the implementation and recognition of what Gerhardt calls the "golden rule of precedent," a major dynamic in constitutional law. The rule calls upon justices and other public authorities to recognize that since they expect others to respect their own precedents, they must provide the same respect to others' precedents. Gerhardt's extensive exploration of precedent leads him to formulate a more expansive definition of it, one that encompasses not only the prior constitutional decisions of courts but also the constitutional judgments of other public authorities. Gerhardt concludes his study by looking at what the future holds for the concept, as he examines the decisions and attitudes toward precedent exhibited by the shift from the Rehnquist to the Roberts Court. Authoritative and incisive, Gerhardt presents an in-depth look at this central yet understudied phenomenon at the core of all constitutional conflicts and one of undeniable importance to American law and politics. Ultimately, The Power of Precedent vividly illustrates how constitutional law is made and evolves both in and outside of the courts.