Peter Tiersma asks: What is Language and Law? And Does Anyone Care?
Here is something to get you started on. It is a bit more real and important than that deconstruction stuff. The Supreme Court has held that a moment of silence in a public school violates the Establishment Clause by endorsing an unspecified religion. It just resembles prayer. Is it OK to have a bunch of Latin words in the law? Latin is the foreign language of a specific church.
this strikes me as less serious than deconstruction. but to answer your question: most uses of latin in the law are pretentious and serve to mystify the law and make it less accessible. i think it would be good practice to eliminate most of it, since mystification of the law is bad and accessibility is good. an establishment clause challenge will get nowhere, unless four justices were feeling very perverse on cert day.
Uri: Thanks for the reply. I am curious about something. Were you ever told the Scholasticist origin of the word, reasonable? Or do you know its meaning, otherwise?
I do have a pretty good sense of what "reasonable" means. I don't know the scholasticist origin of the word.
Try this on a Con Law Prof. Most of the core doctrines were in Henry of Bratton's Case Book from the 13th Century. He was a judge, and a monk. He was trained by St. Thomas Aquinas at the Paris Cathedral University. You may have learned about Scholasticism in 10th Grade World History or Western Civ 101. If you read the Catholic Catechism, much of it will sound familiar. Man from the Garden of Eden after Original Sin. As a result, his logic, intellect, rationality can be deceived by the Deadly Sins. Basing moral decisions, such as those of the law, on intellect may result in bad mistakes. The most reliable way to make moral decisions is to rely on reason. The most reliable guide to reason is the New Testament. Reasonable means, in accordance with the New Testament. Also you know that the reasonable person, setting standards of conduct, must be fictional. Basing a standard on a sensible, but real person results in a mistrial. There is a good chance that the word, reasonable, is lawyer code for Jesus Christ.
A further objection to your counterproposal is that the conduct of A in the possible worlds includes the notion of legitimacy, which is itself a modal concept that would require a separate possible worlds analysis. At the very least this adds an extra layer of analysis.ArticleArticleArticleArticleArticleArticle
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