Iudex in Fabula: Some Reflections on Jackson's Paper
Author: Luzzati, C.
Source: International Journal for the Semiotics of Law, Volume 14, Number 2, 2001 , pp. 111-119(9)
Abstract:The key issue of this paper is that Professor Jackson's attempt to shed new light on the notion of literal meaning is both stimulating and unconvincing. On the one hand he is perfectly right when he tries to draw attention to the shortcomings which affect most of the longstanding theories about legal interpretation. In fact, his essay is based on the footing that interpretation is under-determined by semantic rules and conventions. From such a point of view, as both rule-scepticism and the semantic conception are old fashioned and unsound, we need a comprehensive theory of textual structures. On the other hand, however, Professor Jackson concedes too much to rule-scepticism with his narrative approach. Furthermore, his too sharp opposition between the modern Western model of law, mainly a written law where so-called ``literal meaning'' is of the greatest importance (at least on an ideological ground), and the model of early Biblical law, where the meaning stems from the social context, does not hold completely. It is easy to find legal systems, for instance the later rabbinic law, which neither of Jackson's two models can explain, since the reality of law is far more complex than we believe.
Document Type: Regular Paper
Affiliations: Università degli Studi di Milano, Istituto di Filosofia e Sociologia del Diritto, via Festa del Perdono 7, 20122 Milano, Italy. E-mail: email@example.com
Publication date: 2001