Category Archives: Interpretation

‘Rethinking Uniformity in Statutory Interpretation’

Ryan Doerfler, Can a Statute Have More Than One Meaning?, 94 New York University Law Review 213 (2019). It is a persistent theme in statutory interpretation theory – one shared by textualists, purposivists, and intentionalists alike – that a statutory term must have the same meaning from case to case and from litigant to litigant. […]

‘On the Uniform Construction of Contract Boilerplate’

“Contract language is often recycled. The same words get reused in separate transactions between different parties. Generally speaking, the fact that different parties use the same boilerplate does not entail that those words should receive the same judicial interpretation in each transaction. Parties’ prior dealings, what they said during negotiations, local usages, the structure of […]

Harold Anthony Lloyd, ‘How To Do Things With Signs: Semiotics in Legal Theory, Practice, and Education’

ABSTRACT Discussing federal statutes, Justice Scalia tells us that ‘[t]he stark reality is that the only thing that one can say for sure was agreed to by both houses and the president (on signing the bill) is the text of the statute. The rest is legal fiction’. How should we take this claim? If we […]

Digon, Mehiz and Cole, ‘Judicial Interpretation of Standard Arbitration Clauses’

ABSTRACT Traditionally, courts exercised a balance between careful scrutiny of arbitration agreements and limited review of arbitral procedures and awards, thereby laying the foundation for the development of arbitration from a niche method of dispute resolution into one of the primary methods through which international commercial disputes are resolved. However, the growth of international commercial […]

Evan Zoldan, ‘Corpus Linguistics and the Dream of Objectivity’

ABSTRACT A growing number of scholars and judges have embraced corpus linguistics as a way to interpret legal texts. Their stated goal – to make legal interpretation more objective – is an admirable one. But, is their claim that corpus linguistics reduces the subjectivity associated with judicial intuition and biased data more than just a […]

Aubrecht and Kovac, ‘“Brexit” and the Boilerplate Clauses in Commercial Contracts’

ABSTRACT Business lawyers and commercial contracting have been stressed by political uncertainty over the past two years. The prospect of states withdrawing from the European Union creates questions for business law scholarship and practitioners. Lawyers drafting contracts for firms conducting business across borders in different jurisdictions have found new ways to address these risks in […]

Rónán Condon, ‘After Law Society v MIBI: Contextualism and Contracting in Irish Contract Law’

INTRODUCTION … In Law Society v MIBI and Greene v IRBC, two recent Supreme Court judgments, the Court stated that interpretation should not rest solely on ‘internal linguistic considerations’, and instead expounded a contextualist default legal position. However, while the Court has endorsed the modern approach to interpretation, the different opinions and judgments equivocate on […]

Derek Whayman, ‘The Rectification (and Construction) of Computer-Generated Documents’

INTRODUCTION This article is a fresh consideration of the courts’ powers to construe or rectify defective written instruments, specifically where they are assembled by computer program (‘document assembly’ or ‘computer-generation’). This is where the computer takes instructions from a client – usually via a web form – and generates the document through a serious of […]

Law and Contemporary Problems – issue on ‘The Butterfly Effect in BoilerPlate Contract Interpretation’

The Butterfly Effect in Boilerplate Contract Interpretation (John F Coyle) Risk-Averse Contract Interpretation (Aditi Bagchi) The Unpredictability of Insurance Interpretation (Michelle E Boardman) The Butterfly Effect in Interpreting Insurance Policies (Christopher C French) Boilerplate No Contest Clauses (David Horton and Reid Kress Weisbord) Boilerplate and Party Intent (Gregory Klass) Consumertarian Default Rules (Lior Jacob Strahilevitz […]

‘Crowdsourcing Plain Meaning’

James A Macleod, Ordinary Causation: A Study in Experimental Statutory Interpretation, 94 Indiana Law Journal (forthcoming 2019), available at SSRN. Employment discrimination doctrine is a mess, and one of the messiest parts concerns causation. Problems with causation have been the focal point of many articles in recent years, often in response to the ‘tortification’ of […]