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How to Do Things with Legal Doctrine$
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Pierre Schlag and Amy J. Griffin

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226726106

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226726380.001.0001

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(p.138) 7 Interpretation
How to Do Things with Legal Doctrine

Pierre Schlag

Amy J. Griffin

University of Chicago Press

In this chapter, we will deal with two predominant modes of legal interpretation—namely, textualism and purposivism. These two modes seem to recur frequently across many different national and international legal regimes. The inquiry here will focus on the stylized challenges and problems that arise within each mode of interpretation. Such an “intramodal” focus presumes the interpreter is already committed to a particular mode of interpretation rather than having to decide between different modes of interpretation (the “inter-modal”). The focus on the intra-modal allows the identification of the stereotyped decision-points that a judge or lawyer confronts when practicing a particular mode of interpretation.

Keywords:   textualism, purposivism, legal interpretation

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