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The Variable Determinacy Thesis

Harry Surden

Title:
The Variable Determinacy Thesis
Author(s):
Surden, Harry
Date:
Type:
Articles
Department:
Law
Volume:
12
Permanent URL:
Book/Journal Title:
Columbia Science and Technology Law Review
Abstract:
This Article proposes a novel technique for characterizing the relative determinacy of legal decision-making. I begin with the observation that the determinacy of legal outcomes varies from context to context within the law. To augment this intuition, I develop a theoretical model of determinate legal decision-making. This model aims to capture the essential features that are typically associated with the concept of legal determinacy. I then argue that we can use such an idealized model as a standard for expressing the relative determinacy or indeterminacy of decision-making in actual, observed legal contexts. From a legal theory standpoint, this approach — separating determinacy and indeterminacy into their constituent conceptual elements — helps us to more rigorously define these theoretical ideas. Ultimately, from a practical standpoint, I assert that this framework assists in understanding why legal outcomes in certain contexts are determinate enough to be amenable to resolution by computers.
Subject(s):
Law
Item views:
129
Metadata:
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