Doing justice to rights and values: teleological reasoning and proportionality

Author: Sartor, Giovanni

Source: Artificial Intelligence and Law, Volume 18, Number 2, June 2010 , pp. 175-215(41)

Publisher: Springer

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This paper studies how legal choices, and in particular legislative determinations, need to consider multiple rights and values, and can be assessed accordingly. First it is argued that legal norms (and in particular constitutional right-norms) often prescribe the pursuit of goals, which may be in conflict one with another. Then a model of teleological reasoning is brought to bear on choices affecting different goals, among which those prescribed by constitutional norms. An analytical framework is provided for evaluating such choices with regard to possible alternatives. The assessment of legislative choices according to proportionality is then considered, and is modelled using the provided analytical framework. Finally, the framework is expanded to include the ideas of reasonableness and institutional deference, and the corresponding margins of appreciation.

Keywords: Argumentation; Constitutional review; Norms; Proportionality; Teleological reasoning; Values

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Law Department Villa Schifanoia, European University Institute, Via Boccaccio 121, 50133, Florence, Italy, Email:

Publication date: June 1, 2010

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