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Analogical Reasoning and Extensive Interpretation

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Extensive interpretation of legal provisions is in tension with the prohibition of reasoning by analogy in criminal law, for it is unclear what the difference is between the two. Some scholars claim that they differ from a theoretical point of view, since they do not have the same argumentative structure. On the other hand, the two come to the same result starting from the same legal materials: they justify the extension of a regulation to a case that is not explicitly considered by the law. The paper deals with this issue discussing a recent Italian case (the "Vatican Radio case") and proposes an account of the distinction between the two based upon the principle of semantic tolerance and its inferential structure in legal argumentation.
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Keywords: ANALOGY; ARGUMENTATION; CRIMINAL LAW; EXTENSIVE INTERPRETATION; LEGAL INFERENTIALISM; LEGAL INTERPRETATION; SEMANTIC TOLERANCE; VAGUENESS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2017-01-01

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  • Archiv für Rechts- und Sozialphilosophie, edited by authorisation of the International Association for Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy (IVR), is an international, peer-reviewed journal, first published in 1907. It features original articles on philosophical research on legal and social questions, covering all aspects of social and legal life.
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