How can Ratio Legis help a lawyer to interpret a legal text? Employing the purpose of a regulation for legal interpretation

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Abstract

Legislative activity is undoubtedly purposive. By enacting the law, the lawgiver means to achieve set goals that refer to the organisation of a society and its functioning. This fact must be considered in the interpretation of legal provisions, and, consequently, an interpreter is obliged to reconstruct legal norms that allow the aim of a given regulation to be attained. Ratio legis, conceived of as the lawmaker's purpose of establishing a specific regulation, i.e. a legal provision, a set of provisions or an entire normative act, can be understood instrumentally-as the certain configuration of social relations that should be achieved through such a regulation-or axiologically-as the value that a given regulation serves to protect or actualise. The objective of this article is to discuss possible ways that ratio legis influences the result of the interpretation process and to determine the relation of the purposive (teleological) rules of interpretation to those that are linguistic or systemic. It should be noted that the mere fact that such issues can be raised is based on the premise that the wording of legal provisions does not always adequately reflect the intent of the law-creating body, which means that there may be a conflict between a legal text and the lawmaker's intention.

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Hermann, M. (2018). How can Ratio Legis help a lawyer to interpret a legal text? Employing the purpose of a regulation for legal interpretation. In Ratio Legis: Philosophical and Theoretical Perspectives (pp. 187–205). Springer International Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-74271-7_9

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