Defeasibility, Axiological Gaps, and Interpretation*

Riccardo Guastini

in The Logic of Legal Requirements

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199661640
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745461 | DOI:
Defeasibility, Axiological Gaps, and Interpretation*

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This chapter attempts to connect systematically a couple of ideas encountered in Carlos Alchourrón's and Eugenio Bulygin's legal theory — viz. the idea of axiological gap and the idea of defeasibility — with a sceptic or realistic theory of legal interpretation. It argues that ‘defeasibility’ is just a novel name for two very well-known techniques of construction: restrictive interpretation, in civil law legal orders, and distinguishing, in common law ones.

Keywords: Carlos Alchourrón; Eugenio Bulygin; legal theory; axiological gap; defeasibility; legal interpretation; restrictive interpretation; civil law; common law

Chapter.  5895 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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