Legal Interpretation and Standards of Proof : Essays in Philosophy of Law and Evidence Law Theory
Sammanfattning: This dissertation addresses the issues of the indeterminacy of law and judicial discretion in the decision of the quaestio facti. It is composed of four papers:In the first paper, I develop an account of legal indeterminacy called the ‘systemic indeterminacy’ thesis. This thesis claims that legal indeterminacy and judicial discretion are the results of features of the structure of typical rational legal systems such as interpretative codes with a plurality of interpretative directives, the non-redundancy clause, and the non-liquet rule. In the second paper, I criticise two approaches that support the thesis that law ought to ascertain the truth of the quaestio facti: the motivation approach and the legal approach. First, I advance two objections to a version of the motivation approach that I call the ‘behaviour-guidance’ theory. The first objection claims that the appearance of ascertaining the truth is enough to produce the psychological state of compliance. The second objection claims that the indeterminacy of law brings about the impossibility of an ex ante knowledge of the content of the law, thus, the governed cannot gain knowledge of the law’s efforts to ascertain the truth. Second, I explore if the legal approach is plausible. I provide five different legal reasons to support the claim that the law ought to ascertain the truth of the quaestio facti. However, I show that none of these reasons are particularly convincing.In the third paper, I advance three objections to the idea of reducing the indeterminacy of the standard of proof rules by adding new legal rules for their interpretation. The first objection claims that these interpretative rules, do not provide any guidance to the trier of fact to set the quantum of evidence. The second objection claims that insofar as these interpretative rules are posited in a natural language they are also indeterminate. The third objection claims that these interpretative rules are redundant legal rules.In the fourth paper, I develop the thesis that standards of proof are competence norms that grant competence to triers of fact to set the quantum of evidence in a case-by-case manner.
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