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Rhetoric and The Rule of LawA Theory of Legal Reasoning$
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Neil MacCormick

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199571246

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199571246.001.0001

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Judging by Consequences

Judging by Consequences

(p.101) 6. Judging by Consequences
Rhetoric and The Rule of Law


Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that a certain kind of consequentialist reasoning is of decisive importance in justifying legal decisions. Reasoning about the problems of relevancy and of interpretation, and some aspects of reasoning about the problem of classification or evaluation, typically involve issues about the appropriate line of legal development through the particular case in hand. This raises questions such as: Should liability for some kind of harmful actions be extended into new fields, or restricted? Should a statutory right to compensation for unfair dismissal include a right to compensation for injury to feelings, or only for loss of a strictly financial kind caused by job loss? These and other questions are addressed in the chapter.

Keywords:   liability, consequentialist reasoning, legal decisions

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