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Deduction, legal reasoning, and the rule of law: Rhetoric and the rule of law. Atheory of legal reasoning. By Neil MaCormick. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005. Pp. xvi + 287.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Law, Department of Law.
2006 (English)In: Constitutional Commentary, ISSN 0742-7115, Vol. 23, no 1, 121-137 p.Article, book review (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In Rhetoric and the Rule of Law, MacCormick sums up the developments of his views on legal reasoning since the publication of his book Legal Reasoning and Legal Theory. He maintains, inter alia, that in the case of statutory (and constitutional) interpretation, the judge should begin with a textual analysis of the relevant statutory provision; that if a textual analysis does not yield a determinate result, he should proceed to consider systemic arguments; and that if neither textual nor systemic arguments nor any combination of these arguments yields a determinate result, he should resort to teleological (or purposive) arguments (Ch. 7). The central question in Rhetoric, however, is whether we can square a belief in the Rule of Law, which entails a belief in legal certainty, with a belief in (what MacCormick refers to as) the Arguable Character of Law, that is, the notion that the content of law depends on argumentation. In this review, I consider MacCormick's reconciliation claim (as I shall call it), and argue that it is not persuasive. In addition, I discuss MacCormick's views on deduction, universalizability, and consequentialist reasoning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, Law School , 2006. Vol. 23, no 1, 121-137 p.
Keyword [en]
Rule of law, deduction, universalizability, consequentialist reasoning
National Category
Law and Society
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-83131OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-83131DiVA: diva2:111038
Available from: 2006-10-18 Created: 2006-10-18 Last updated: 2014-03-17Bibliographically approved

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