Constitutional and Statutory Interpretation

Kent Greenawalt

in The Oxford Handbook of Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

Published in print January 2004 | ISBN: 9780199270972
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Law

 Constitutional and Statutory Interpretation

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This article discusses relatively established theories with respect to statutory and constitutional interpretation. Written constitutions and statutes provide authoritative directions for officials and citizens within liberal democracies. The article mentions that descriptive and normative theories connect with each other in critical respects. Statutory interpretation involves the construction and application of provisions adopted by legislatures. The theoretical questions about interpreting statutes and constitutions suggest more general questions about the meaning of human communications; and scholars of philosophy of language, linguistics, literary theory, and religious hermeneutics discuss analogous issues. This article discusses an important issue in statutory interpretation that is the nature and status of legislative intent. A vital aspect of the issue concerns the sources on which judges should draw. This article deals with central features of American constitutionalism as the situation within which to consider problems of constitutional interpretation.

Keywords: statutory interpretation; constitutional interpretation; legislatures; American constitutionalism

Article.  20342 words. 

Subjects: Law ; Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law ; Constitutional and Administrative Law

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