Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date




This article discusses relatively established theories with respect to statutory and constitutional interpretation. Written constitutions and statutes provide authoritative directions for officials and citizens within liberal democracies. The article mentions that descriptive and normative theories connect with each other in critical respects. Statutory interpretation involves the construction and application of provisions adopted by legislatures. The theoretical questions about interpreting statutes and constitutions suggest more general questions about the meaning of human communications; and scholars of philosophy of language, linguistics, literary theory, and religious hermeneutics discuss analogous issues. This article discusses an important issue in statutory interpretation that is the nature and status of legislative intent. A vital aspect of the issue concerns the sources on which judges should draw. This article deals with central features of American constitutionalism as the situation within which to consider problems of constitutional interpretation.


Administrative Law | Constitutional Law | Law