Strategic Indeterminacy in the Law

New York, USA: Oxford University Press (forthcoming)
Authors
David Lanius
Karlsruhe Institute Of Technology
Abstract
In this book I examine various forms of indeterminacy in the law and scrutinize (i.a. by way of game theoretical models) the conditions under which they can be strategically used. In particular, I analyze the advantages and disadvantages of indeterminacy in the wording of laws, contracts, and verdicts. Legal texts are particularly interesting insofar as they address a heterogeneous audience, are applied in a variety of unforeseeable circumstances and must, at the same time, lay down clear and unambiguous standards. I argue for the claim that semantic vagueness is less relevant than commonly supposed in the debate, while other forms of indeterminacy (in particular, polysemy and standard-relativity) are underrated or altogether ignored. This misconception is, as I argue, due to a systematic confusion between semantic vagueness and these forms of indeterminacy. Once it is resolved, the value of indeterminacy can be clearly shown.
Keywords Legal Theory  Jurisprudence  Indeterminacy  Vagueness  Ambiguity  Generality  Hard Cases  Legal Interpretation  Strategic Vagueness  Power Delegation
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