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Full-Text Articles in Jurisprudence

The Legacy Of Ronald Dworkin (1931-2013): A Legal Theory And Methodology For Hedgehogs, Hercules, And One Right Answers, Imer Flores Dec 2014

The Legacy Of Ronald Dworkin (1931-2013): A Legal Theory And Methodology For Hedgehogs, Hercules, And One Right Answers, Imer Flores

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In this paper the author addresses Ronald Dworkin’s work and assesses his legacy to legal, moral and political philosophy. And so, considers among its merits having developed an original legal theory with its distinctive methodology, which not only has transcended the Natural Law and Legal Positivism dichotomy, but also has reintegrated law into a branch of political morality and defended as a corollary the one right answer thesis. Hence, commences by identifying the dworkininan challenge; continues by introducing some basic definitions and distinctions between jurisprudence, legal philosophy (or philosophy of law) and legal theory (or theory of law), on ...


The Unity Of Interpretation, Lawrence B. Solum Jan 2010

The Unity Of Interpretation, Lawrence B. Solum

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

What is interpretation? One can imagine a range of answers to this question. One answer might begin with the observation that the English word “interpretation” is used to refer to a variety of human activities. Translators at the United Nations interpret remarks made in French when they offer an English translation. Literary critics interpret novels when they investigate the deep and sometimes unconscious motivations of the author. Conductors interpret a score when they make decisions about meter, tempo, and dynamic range. Actors interpret a screenplay when they improvise new lines based on their understanding of the characters. Judges interpret statutes ...


Rights, Harms, And Duties: A Response To Justice For Hedgehogs, Robin West Jan 2010

Rights, Harms, And Duties: A Response To Justice For Hedgehogs, Robin West

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The author responds to the three jurisprudential positions that Ronald Dworkin discusses in his book--albeit briefly--so as to integrate them into his hedgehoggian program. The first is that we should think of rights as political trumps, such that the individual liberty protected by the right, and hence the behavior protected by the right, trumps in importance and in effect, both in law and in popular imaginings, the various collective goals with which the right might be in conflict. Second, we should think about our collective life, and the principles that should guide it, through the lens of the rights of ...


Procedural Justice, Lawrence B. Solum Jan 2004

Procedural Justice, Lawrence B. Solum

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This article begins in part I, Introduction, with two observations. First, the function of procedure is to particularize general substantive norms so that they can guide action. Second, the hard problem of procedural justice corresponds to the following question: How can we regard ourselves as obligated by legitimate authority to comply with a judgment that we believe (or even know) to be in error with respect to the substantive merits?

The theory of procedural justice is developed in several stages, beginning with some preliminary questions and problems. The first question--what is procedure?--is the most difficult and requires an extensive ...


Integrity And Universality: A Comment On Dworkin's Freedom's Law, Robin West Jan 1997

Integrity And Universality: A Comment On Dworkin's Freedom's Law, Robin West

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Ronald Dworkin has done more than any other constitutional lawyer, past or present, to impress upon us the importance of integrity to constitutional law, and hence to our shared public life. Far from being merely a private virtue, Dworkin has shown that integrity imposes constraints upon and provides guidance to the work of judges in constitutional cases: Every constitutional case that comes before a court must be decided by recourse to the same moral principles that have dictated results in relevant similar cases in the past. Any group or individual challenging the constitutionality of legislation which adversely affects his or ...


Law, Literature, And The Celebration Of Authority, Robin West Jan 1989

Law, Literature, And The Celebration Of Authority, Robin West

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Richard Posner's new book, Law and Literature: A Misunderstood Relation, is a defense of “liberal legalism” against a group of modern critics who have only one thing in common: their use of either particular pieces of literature or literary theory to mount legal critiques. Perhaps for that reason, it is very hard to discern a unified thesis within Posner's book regarding the relationship between law and literature. In part, Posner is complaining about a pollution of literature by its use and abuse in political and legal argument; thus, the “misunderstood relation” to which the title refers. At times ...


Adjudication Is Not Interpretation: Some Reservations About The Law-As-Literature Movement, Robin West Jan 1987

Adjudication Is Not Interpretation: Some Reservations About The Law-As-Literature Movement, Robin West

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Among other achievements, the modern law-as-literature movement has prompted increasing numbers of legal scholars to embrace the claim that adjudication is interpretation, and more specifically, that constitutional adjudication is interpretation of the Constitution. That adjudication is interpretation -- that an adjudicative act is an interpretive act -- more than any other central commitment, unifies the otherwise diverse strands of the legal and constitutional theory of the late twentieth century.

In this article, I will argue in this article against both modern forms of interpretivism. The analogue of law to literature, on which much of modern interpretivism is based, although fruitful, has carried ...