Legislation as Balancing

  • Jan-R. SieckmannEmail author
Part of the Legisprudence Library book series (LEGIS, volume 5)


I will argue that balancing is the core of rational lawmaking. Balancing has been intensively analysed as a form of judicial reasoning. Legislative balancing, however, has features that are distinct from judicial balancing. In particular, it is open because the legislature may, in general, pursue its political objectives without further legitimation and is not necessarily bound to consider only legal principles. It is “pure” as the issue of control and its effects on the structure of balancing are not present in legislative balancing. And it is complex for it is not restricted to claims advanced in a judicial procedure. The aim of this contribution is to explore the distinctive features of legislative balancing as a method of rational decision-making. In particular, I will analyse complex problems of balancing and ask in which way the model of balancing that has been developed for the elementary case of two principles in conflict must be amended or modified in order to cope with more complex problems of balancing.


Balancing Legislative rationality Optimisation Rights Utilitarianism 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Rechtsphilosphie, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen NürnbergErlangenGermany

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