Richard Ekins

in The Nature of Legislative Intent

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199646999
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191741159 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Legal Philosophy


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This introductory chapter explains the point and scheme of the book. It begins by outlining the centrality of legislative intent in interpretive practice and legal theory, before considering how and why that centrality has been called into question. Many scholars and judges doubt the intelligibility of legislative intent and the doubts share much common ground. The chapter sketches the grounds for scepticism about legislative intent by outlining the arguments of the early legal realist Max Radin. Radin's work anticipates the main lines of argument that follow in later, more sophisticated philosophical work. The chapter goes on to sketch the scheme of the book, which is intended to answer the sceptical arguments, in part by attending to the point of legislation and legislating, before concluding with a brief reflection on the significance of scholarly argument about legislative intent.

Keywords: legislative intent; jurisprudence; scepticism; statutory interpretation; Max Radin

Chapter.  5954 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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