JSI Seminar Series: Professor Andrei Marmor

18 April 2013

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Varieties of Vagueness in the Law

The main purpose of this paper is to articulate the different types of vagueness, and related linguistic indeterminacies, that we find in statutory language and to explain their different rationales. Professor Marmor argues that the various normative considerations involved in employing vague terms in legislation depend on the kind of vagueness in question. He shows that while some cases of vagueness in law are concerned with fairly standard problems of borderline cases, other are not. He also argues that semantic vagueness can be distinguished from conversational vagueness, which we also find in law, and that vagueness in law should be clearly distinguished from cases of ambiguity and polysemy.

About the speaker:

AndreiMarmor is Professor of Philosophy and Maurice Jones Jr. Professor of Law at the University of Southern California. He is director of theUSCCenter for Law & Philosophy and editor-in-chief of theJournal of Ethics & Social Philosophy, an on-line peer-reviewed journal in moral, political and legal philosophy. A prolific author on issues concerning the relations between law morality and politics, Professor Marmor has writtenInterpretation and Legal Theory(Oxford University Press, 1992;Hart Publishing, 2005);Positive Law & Objective Values(Oxford University Press 2001);Law in the Age of Pluralism(Oxford University Press, 2007);Social Conventions(Princeton University Press, 2009),Philosophy of Law(Princeton, 2011); and numerous journal articles. Professor Marmor earned his B.A. and M.A. in philosophy, as well as his LL.B., fromTelAvivUniversity and earned his DPhil fromOxfordUniversity. He was a professor atTel Aviv University, Israel, and taught as a visiting professor at several universities before joining theUSC Law and Philosophy faculties in 2002.

Time: 6pm - 8pm

Location: Faculty Common Room, Level 4, Sydney Law School, Building F10, Eastern Avenue, University of Sydney

Cost: Free - Registration Essential

Contact: PLaCE Coordinator

Phone: 02 9351 0323

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