June 20, 2016

Guerra-Pujol on the Law of the Law of Interpretation

Enrique Guerra-Pujol, University of Central Florida and Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico, has published The Law of the Law of Interpretation. Here is the abstract.
Courts must resort to various theories of interpretation when there are gaps in the law or when the applicable law consists of conflicting rules or legal principles. In a new article, William Baude and Stephen Sachs claim that "interpretive rules are conceptually possible, normatively sensible, and actually part of our legal system." Alas, there is a fundamental logical flaw in their thesis: the problem of infinite regress. Specifically, what happens when there are gaps in these second-order interpretative rules themselves, or when the rules in this second-order system are themselves in conflict? Is there a third-order law (i.e. a law of the law of interpretation) to help us interpret the second-order interpretation rules, or do we have an infinite regress?
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

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