On Law and Logic

Ratio Juris 9 (4):331-348 (1996)
Abstract
The main purpose of this paper is to explore the role played by logic in the legal domain. In the traditional conception which underlies the movement of codification, judges are able to find in the legal system (the Master System) a unique answer for every legal problem. This entails its completeness, consistency and the possibility of deriving from it the contents of all judicial decisions. Although the ideal model of this conception is supported by important theoretical and political ideals, it has significant shortcomings. The elements of normative systems (Master Systems) are “norms” and not mere “norm-formulations.” A “norm” is the meaning attributed to normative linguistic expressions. The set of all normative expressions, such as statutes, codes, etc. forms what is called the Master Book. One of the main problems for the ideal model is the identification of a normative system behind the Master Book. Interpretative arguments are the tools designed to solve these problems. Although the requirements of the model are not totally fulfilled in actual practice, it remains as an effective ideal rational goal behind legal activities linked to adjudication and most theoretical approaches to law.
Keywords Legal reasoning  Legal interpretation
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9337.1996.tb00250.x
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