Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Dworkin’s thoughts on interpretation, more specifically the fluidity of it, were pretty intriguing to me. I had not thought of interpretation of an art work as altering although it really does make sense that it not be set and that there be different interpretations over time and even by the same person when viewed through a different perspective. This idea of interpretation not as the intent or frame of mind of the author does however seem to pose a problem when it comes to interpreting law. Using this sort of readily alterable stance on interpretation I think would make the interpreting of law and the application of it from those interpretations difficult in a way that would set up precedent. I do think that more thought needs to be applied when interpreting things than just the mindset of the author or the history or past equated with the work, but this far into the reading I am thinking that there need to be a way of ranking these interpretations as to know which one may be more suitable to the situation than others, which Dworkin did not really seem to think was very plausible.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Finding Form

When reading Weinrib’s article "Legal Formalism" the main thing I was contemplating was whether or not a conceptualization being comprised solely of thoughts can be said to be outside the realm of a bias that would influence its conceptualization. I do not think that Weinrib is saying that a bias does not exist in the form of law but rather that law being a concept without a physical type form can not be said to be hindered by these biases, but perhaps even enhanced by them. These alterations to the character or essence of law are what make law of itself because it is found to have characteristics that give it form and being that there is no real startling proof or varying distinction in this form of law it can be said to be one that is an accurate portrayal of law. I think that the distinction between the form and the different sorts of characteristics that help distinguish the form while still allowing for variation and differences within the same general category or form in this case.
I also wondered if the argument that law has immanent intelligibility was at all weakened by Weinrib’s argument about understanding certain characters or forms in relation to other things that share these same or similar characteristics. I guess it does not as you could still group together something that comprised itself by reference back to other characteristics present within the form, but I do think it is an odd way to support classifying something through the use of characteristics that are present in other similar things as how you can see that these things with similar characteristics must all be classified in some category that exists through itself.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Policy v. Principle

Dworkin's distinction between the use of principle and that of policy for adjudication did not seem like it was a new or distinct idea. I believe we have been seeing similar arguments along these lines, which all go back to trying to decide just where the line is that divides the amount and type of discretion that should be given to judges. The idea that policy is or should be the driving force behind judicial decisions is as Dworkin point's out not really applicable to all situations becuase these applications of policy are not very elaborate and do not allow room for the future presently unconcieved cases or situations that are to arise. This is why often times the application of principle as a guidepost to the law can be more beneficial to the process of adudicating namely becuase it allows for wide application and has a broader scope with which to apply to cases. I do agree with Dworkin when he talked about how there needs to be an interaction between the use of principle and policy and that the use of either can not alone be sufficient guidelines or limitaions upon a judges application of the law. There needs and depending upon the case is usually a mixture of these two forms within the discision that is reached. Judges should not strictly be held to follow policy, but should also not be free to run rampent applying principles that can not be consistenntly applicable.