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Proportionality in Lawmaking

An Attempt of Justification in the Light of a Constitutionalist and Argumentative Conception of Law
  • Gema MarcillaEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Legisprudence Library book series (LEGIS, volume 5)

Abstract

The judgment of proportionality—i.e. the weighing or balancing of two or more competing legal principles—is often said to be the core of legal reasoning. One of the premises underlying such a contention is that judges (should) adhere to a non-positivistic legal approach: when justifying their rulings, that is, they are certainly “bound by the Law”, but not as this is understood within legal positivism. A non-positivistic conception of law entails the claim that judges interpreting and applying legal norms do combine, in fact, legal and moral reasoning. On the other hand, constitutionalism , as a paradigm in law and jurisprudence, implies that a culture of justification extends to all public authorities, i.e. not only to the executive branch and the judiciary but also to legislatures. Thus, the sole fact that a parliament has been democratically elected is not enough to entirely satisfy its claim to legitimacy—in other words, winning elections cannot be the only basis of legislative authority. Against this backdrop, the focus of this chapter is to explore the possibility of broadening the principle of proportionality , as characterized by Robert Alexy, to legislative decisions. Additionally, and in connection with the non-positivistic legal approach just mentioned, the second part of the essay will highlight some misunderstandings about the study of lawmaking which one can find in the province of legal theory.

Keywords

Alexy Proportionality Legal drafting Lawmaking Constitutionalism Post-positivism 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This contribution is part of the Research Project DER2017-82484-P (“Precedent and legal reasoning. A comprehensive vision of precedents in civil law systems”), directed by Marina Gascón and Leonor Moral, and supported by the Programa Estatal de Fomento de la Investigación de Excelencia of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (MICINN).

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Facultad de Derecho, Campus de Albacete, Universidad de Castilla-La ManchaAlbaceteSpain

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