Hrafn Asgeirsson, ‘Authority, Communication, and Legal Content’

Sample chapter from H Asgeirsson, The Nature and Value of Vagueness in the Law (Hart Publishing, 2020), in which I present and partially defend a version of what has come to be called the communicative-content theory of law. Book abstract: Lawmaking is – paradigmatically – a type of speech act: people make law by saying things. It is natural to think, therefore, that the content of the law is determined by what lawmakers communicate. However, what they communicate is sometimes vague and, even when it is clear, the content itself is sometimes vague. The monograph examines the nature and consequences of these two linguistic sources of indeterminacy in the law with the aim of providing plausible answers to three related questions: In virtue of what is the law vague? What might be good about vague law? How should courts resolve cases of vagueness?

Asgeirsson, Hrafn, Authority, Communication, and Legal Content (2020). Asgeirsson, H, The Nature and Value of Vagueness in the Law (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2020).

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