Guidance & Constraint

The Action-Guiding Capacity of
Theories of Legal Reasoning

Juridiska Fakulteten Uppsala, No. 108

By Torben Spaak
December 2007
Iustus Forlag                                                                          
Distributed by
ISBN: 9789176786642                                                                  
279 pages, 6 x 8 5/8"
$125.00 Hardcover


Questions concerning the methods and techniques of legal reasoning have always been of great interest to judges and lawyers, and even more so to legal scholars. In this book, I want to explore the action-guiding capacity of two general, normative theories of legal reasoning, developed by Neil MacCormick and Ronald Dworkin, respectively, and one normative theory of statutory interpretation developed by William Eskridge.

More specifically, the aim of the book is to determine whether any of these theories will take us further than the so-called legal method, and, if so, whether it can give us the kind of concrete guidance we need when confronted with a hard case. Suppose a judge or an attorney or an administrator really understood and could apply these theories. Would they be of any use to him when faced with a hard case? Would they be able to guide him to a decision when the interpretive arguments conflict with one another?

Legal Theory        

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