Discourse, interests, and the law: Some pragma-legal reflections

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Abstrakt

The present paper discusses the evolution of legal discourse as it is happening in a number of well-publicized American cases. Discussions of the First and Second Amendments to the US Constitution in relation to freedom of the press and the freedom to carry and use arms are followed by a general discussion of what it means to have a legal text considered as binding across the centuries. It is shown that legal discourse is pragmatically oriented, that is to say, its application and evolution are subject to the general evolution of society and its members, the people interacting with, and interpreting that discourse; this evolution is thus a typical pragmatically relevant process. Over the course of the centuries and years, accumulative gradual developments have often ended up totally altering the interpretation of certain laws and statutes - sometimes to the advantage, sometimes to the disadvantage of underprivileged segments of society, such as the Black population and people of different sexual orientations. The paper will discuss some characteristic historic and contemporary cases of this development.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftInternational Journal of Legal Discourse
Vol/bind2
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)13-27
ISSN2364-8821
DOI
StatusUdgivet - apr. 2017

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