Chapter published in:Legal Pragmatics
Edited by Dennis Kurzon and Barbara Kryk-Kastovsky
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 288] 2018
► pp. 231–256
On the balance between invariance and context-dependence
Legal concepts and their environments
The central question asked in this chapter is how to reconcile the well-known conundrum of legal language being at the same time decontextualized yet influenced by context. This paradox is addressed here by reviewing the meaning of currently topical legal notions in environments where there are two or more valid jurisdictions – the national and the supranational or transnational – simultaneously present. Textualism and contextualism need not be conflicting paradigms in finding a solution between competing meanings. Rather, a balance could be struck through linguistic explanation. The paradox of competing interpretations is discussed here from the point of view of both law-givers and law-takers.
Published online: 26 April 2018
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