David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
This article documents the increased use of long and substantive preambles in federal legislation from 1985 to 2000. Only nine statutes had such preambles in the first five years of this study, while in the last five years, twentynine statutes did. Preambles were most frequently included in legislation arising from intergovernmental agreements, symbolic legislation, ideologically charged amendments of criminal and environmental laws, and legislation enacted in reply to court decisions. Plato suggested that preambles should persuade citizens to obey important laws by speaking to their hearts and minds through both reason and poetry. The author contends that this ideal is not met by contemporary preambles. Though preambles are often included in important legislation, they rarely speak directly to citizens as they do not use popular language or a persuasive voice. Various political uses of preambles are examined and the author concludes that contemporary preambles often seek to establish legitimacy by providing a narrative of the origins and purposes of the legislation. The professional uses of preambles are also examined, particularly the role of preambles in statutory and constitutional interpretation and in dialogues between the legislature and courts. The author concludes that while preambles have frequently oversold legislation and have been excluded from working versions of the law, they should still be included in important laws to better outline the purposes and processes which led to the enactment of the legislation and better communicate with the multiple audiences of modern legislation.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Only published papers are available at libraries|
Similar books and articles
David Lewis (2008). Ten Years of Public Interest Disclosure Legislation in the UK: Are Whistleblowers Adequately Protected? [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 82 (2):497 - 507.
Isabel Karpin (2012). Perfecting Pregnancy: Law, Disability, and the Future of Reproduction. Cambridge University Press.
Jan Stepan (ed.) (1990). International Survey of Laws on Assisted Procreation. Schulthess Polygraphischer Verlag.
Zaid Hamzah (2007). Biomedical Science: Law & Practice: From R & D to Market. Sweet & Maxwell Asia.
Zelman Cowen (1985/1986). Reflections on Medicine, Biotechnology, and the Law. Distributed by the University of Nebraska Press.
Jeremy Waldron (1999). The Dignity of Legislation. Cambridge University Press.
David W. Meyers (1990). The Human Body and the Law. Stanford University Press.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads2 ( #254,287 of 1,004,841 )
Recent downloads (6 months)0
How can I increase my downloads?