Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 33 (4):821-842 (2013)

Abstract
This review article examines Richard Ekins’ attempt to defend the concept of legislative intention from influential criticism, and to demonstrate its indispensable and central role in statutory interpretation. He rejects accounts of legislative intention in terms of the aggregation of the intentions of individual legislators, and instead, draws on recent philosophical work on the nature of group agency to propose a unitary model, in which the relevant intention is that of the legislature itself, although it is supported by the ‘interlocking’ of the intentions of all its members. The legislature has two relevant intentions: a secondary or standing intention to operate by way of agreed procedures to develop and enact particular proposals for legislation to enhance the welfare of the community; and primary intentions that consist of the content of those proposals once the legislature has enacted them. Ekins restricts the evidence that is relevant and admissible in order to determine the content of such proposals; because they must be ‘open’ to all legislators, and transparent to the community, the evidence must be publicly available. This article summarizes the main theses of the book, and subjects them to critical examination. It concludes that the book adds considerable depth, rigour and theoretical insight to our understanding of these issues. But it also suggests that his argument is vulnerable to criticism at a few points, at least one of which is crucial. The argument needs a better account of what it is that constitutes the content of particular proposals when they are put to the legislature for enactment.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/ojls/gqt016
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 53,666
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Legislative Intent in Law's Empire.Richard Ekins - 2011 - Ratio Juris 24 (4):435-460.
We-Intentions Revisited.Raimo Tuomela - 2005 - Philosophical Studies 125 (3):327 - 369.
Are Intentions Self-Referential?Alfred R. Mele - 1987 - Philosophical Studies 52 (3):309-329.
War and Intention.Darrell Cole - 2011 - Journal of Military Ethics 10 (3):174-191.
What Are Intentions?Elisabeth Pacherie & Patrick Haggard - 2010 - In L. Nadel & W. Sinnott-Armstrong (eds.), Conscious Will and Responsibility. A tribute to Benjamin Libet. Oxford University Press. pp. 70--84.
The Nature of Legislative Intent.Richard Ekins - 2012 - Oxford University Press.
Collective and Joint Intention.Raimo Tuomela - 2000 - Mind and Society 1 (2):39-69.
Causalism and Intentional Omission.Joshua Shepherd - 2014 - American Philosophical Quarterly 51 (1):15-26.
The Content of Intentions.Elisabeth Pacherie - 2000 - Mind and Language 15 (4):400-432.
Shared Intention and Personal Intentions.Margaret Gilbert - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 144 (1):167 - 187.
Intention Detecting.Richard Holton - 1994 - Philosophical Quarterly 44 (172):298-318.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2013-12-02

Total views
26 ( #384,026 of 2,349,172 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #511,414 of 2,349,172 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes