The Nature of Legislative Intent

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

The Nature of Legislative Intent

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This chapter explains how the legislative assembly forms and acts on intentions, which intentions are the legislative intent. It begins by outlining the standing intention of the legislature, which is to form, consider, and adopt coherent, reasoned lawmaking proposals, such that on majority vote the legislature acts on the relevant proposal. All legislators, whether in majority or minority, participate in this act. The detail of parliamentary procedure illustrates how the well-formed assembly may conceive of and deliberate about proposals for lawmaking choice in this way. The chapter goes on to explain that the legislative intent in any particular lawmaking act is to change the law in the complex, reasoned way set out in the open proposal for legislative action. It argues that this account, which affirms the legislature's rational agency, does not rule out, and is not frustrated by, legislative compromise.

Keywords: legislative intent; legislating; assembly; legislative procedure; group agency; compromise

Chapter.  10958 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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