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The craft of legal interpretation

W. Bradley Wendel

pp. 153-178

Legal scholars sometimes demand too much from legal determinacy or objectivity. In order for the law to perform its social function, it must be possible to identify well grounded legal positions and differentiate them from positions that lack sufficient support in the law. Using the example of the US government legal opinions authorizing torture, this chapter argues that lawyers can evaluate legal judgments for their plausibility. If this argument is sound, then as an ethical matter lawyers can be required to take responsibility for the quality of the legal advice they give to clients, and can be criticized in ethical terms for manipulating or abusing the law in the service of clients.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-1506-6_9

Full citation:

Wendel, W. (2011)., The craft of legal interpretation, in Y. Morigiwa, M. Stolleis & J. Halpérin (eds.), Interpretation of law in the age of enlightenment, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 153-178.

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