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Law and Philosophy

, Volume 36, Issue 6, pp 651–674 | Cite as

Three Kinds of Intention in Lawmaking

  • Marcin MatczakEmail author
Open Access
Article

Abstract

The nature of legislative intent remains a subject of vigorous debate. Its many participants perceive the intent in different ways. In this paper, I identify the reason for such diverse perceptions: three intentions are involved in lawmaking, not one. The three intentions correspond to the three aspects of a speech act: locutionary, illocutionary and perlocutionary. The dominant approach in legal theory holds that legislative intent is a semantic (locutionary) one. A closer examination shows that it is, in fact, an illocutionary one. In the paper, I draw the consequences for legal interpretation of this more theorized model of legislative intent.

Notes

Acknowledgements

The author would like to thank Mikołaj Barczentewicz, Laurence Claus, Tomasz Kwiatkowski, Szymon łajszczak, Martin Kelly, Andrei Marmor, Maurice O’Brien, Stanley L. Paulson, Zygmunt Tobor, Maciej Witek, Radosław Zubek, the members of the Jurisprudence Discussion Group at the University of Oxford and the members of the Edinburgh Legal Theory Research Group at the University of Edinburgh, and two anonymous reviewers, for their invaluable comments on the earlier drafts of this paper.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of WarsawWarsawPoland

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