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McCoubrey & White's Textbook on Jurisprudence

McCoubrey & White's Textbook on Jurisprudence (5th edn)

James Penner and Emmanuel Melissaris
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date: 23 June 2024

p. 1239. Law and Adjudicationlocked

p. 1239. Law and Adjudicationlocked

  • J. E. PennerJ. E. PennerProfessor of Law, University College London
  •  and E. MelissarisE. MelissarisSenior Lecturer in Law, London School of Economics


This chapter explores one of the central features of law, adjudication, and the theories attention to it has generated. It is organised as follows. Section 1 deals with American legal realism and its sceptical challenge to the idea that judges decide cases by applying determinate legal rules. Section 2 considers legal interpretivism, a theory of law originating in the work of Dworkin, and which began its life as a way of better accounting for the nature of legal argument and judicial decision-making. Finally, the chapter looks at the rule of law and the recent claim by Waldron that the values underlying adjudication deserve a more prominent place in our understanding of the value of law.

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