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Statutory and Common Law Interpretation - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Statutory and Common Law Interpretation

Kent Greenawalt


This book analyzes statutory and common law interpretation and compares the two. In respect to statutory interpretation, it first asks whether judges are “faithful agents” of the legislature or “independent cooperative partners.” It concludes that the obvious answer is that neither simple categorization really fits—that the function of judges involves a combination of roles. The next issue addressed is whether the intent of those in authority matters for interpreting the kinds of instructions contained in statutes. At the general level, the answer is “yes.” This answer follows even if one thin ... More

Keywords: statutory law interpretation, common law interpretation, constitutional structure, unreliability, legislative history, rule of lenity, administrative interpretation, reasoning by analogy

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780199756148
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199756148.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Kent Greenawalt, author
Columbia University