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Philosophical Foundations of Constitutional Law$
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David Dyzenhaus and Malcolm Thorburn

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198754527

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198754527.001.0001

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On Constitutional Implications and Constitutional Structure

On Constitutional Implications and Constitutional Structure

Chapter:
(p.53) 3 On Constitutional Implications and Constitutional Structure
Source:
Philosophical Foundations of Constitutional Law
Author(s):

Aharon Barak

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198754527.003.0004

This chapter is concerned with the interpretation of written constitutions, arguing that the implied meaning of the text is as much a part of the constitution as its explicit meaning. The author argues that the implied meaning of a constitution need not follow the framers’ intent; originalism, intentionalism, and purposive interpretation are all possible ways of determining a constitution’s implied meaning. What is central on any account of constitutional implication, however, is an appreciation for the constitution’s structure. The chapter then examines some present-day constitutions, to explore implied meanings in practice. Finally, the author discusses the relationship between constitutional implication, semantics, and Grice’s view of pragmatics.

Keywords:   constitutional implication, constitutional structure, implied meaning, express meaning, originalism, intentionalism, purposive interpretation, Grice, semantics, pragmatics

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