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The Normative Construction of Legislative Intent

While intentionalism as an approach to meaning and interpretation has greatly influenced jurisprudence and legal hermeneutics, its application to the concept of ‘legislative intent’ has met with considerable opposition. Besides sceptics dismissing notions of group intentions and agency as fictive or philosophically unsound, many others have challenged the application to legislative bodies of reductive accounts of collective intentions designed for smaller groups. By exploring the anaphoric structure of our legislative practices and how legislative intent relies on normative ascriptions of communicative intentions to individual legislators, Professor Poscher’s seminar on doctrinal methods will not only be of interest to Max Planck Law researchers looking to better understand the overlap of interlocking communicative intentions necessary for the concept of legislative intent to work, but to clarifying our practice of legal interpretation and how it fits into the overall analytical reconstruction of legal hermeneutics.

Professor Dr Ralf Poscher is a Director at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law

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The Normative Construction of Legislative Intent

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