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On the Relation between Form and Substance in Law

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Abstract. 

In this paper the author deals with some theoretical aspects of Robert Summers' last book ( Summers 2006). In particular, he concentrates on the hazy relationship between form and substance in Summers' theory. In order to analyze some major difficulties entailed in the thesis that form and substance are different and independent things, the author discusses three specific questions: (1) the difference between form and substance; (2) the possibility of a form meant to be value-neutral; (3) how to distinguish a form-centered approach from a formalistic approach when one has to interpret a statute. This last question is dealt with through examples taken from two legal decisions. *
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Michigan Law SchoolHutchens HallAnn Arbor, MI 48109USA, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 2007-03-01

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