Principles, Values, and Rules in Legal Decision-Making and the Dimensions of Legal Rationality

Ratio Juris 3 (s1):100-117 (1990)
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The author singles out various conceptions of rationality used in practical legal discourse: formal and substantive rationality, instrumental goal‐ and means‐rationality, communicative rationality. Practical rationality is expressed in decisions justified by epistemic and axiological premises according to the rules of justificatory reasoning. Five levels of analysis of this justification are identified. Rules, principles and evaluations are used as justifying arguments and their characteristics determine the dimensions of rationality of decision depending on the features of rules, various conceptions of principles, and kinds of relativisation of evaluations. The dimensions of legal rationality depend mainly on three singled out conceptions of rationality, i.e., formal rationality dealing with the deep structure of justification, instrumentally oriented rationality as content of justifiability, and communicative rationality linked with the pragmatics of human interaction. Legitimacy, according to the presented analysis, appears as a subclass of external justification dealing with axiological premisses in terms of instrumental rationality and/or communicative rationality.



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Citations of this work

Principles of Criminal Liability from the Semiotic Point of View.Michał Peno & Olgierd Bogucki - 2020 - International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique 34 (2):561-578.

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References found in this work

Legal reasoning and legal theory.Neil MacCormick (ed.) - 1978 - New York: Oxford University Press.
On law and justice.Alf Ross - 1958 - London,: Stevens. Edited by Jakob vH Holtermann & Uta Bindreiter.
On Law and Justice.Alf Ross - 1958 - Ethics 70 (2):175-177.

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