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All the Things That You Can Do With Jus Cogens: : A Pragmatic Approach to Legal Language

Linderfalk, Ulf LU (2013) In German Yearbook of International Law 56. p.351-386
Abstract
Investigating the meaning of conceptual terms is an important task for international legal scholars. In the analysis of the usage of conceptual terms in international legal discourse, traditionally, most international lawyers have confined studies to the descriptive meaning of those terms. They have assumed that conceptual terms describe a relationship between, on the one hand, the particular properties identifying a particular phenomenon or state of affairs as one that belongs to the extension of a particular concept, and on the other hand, the legally relevant inferences ensuing from the categorisation. While this theory works reasonably well as long as studies are confined to the meaning of conceptual terms in law, it is ill-suited for... (More)
Investigating the meaning of conceptual terms is an important task for international legal scholars. In the analysis of the usage of conceptual terms in international legal discourse, traditionally, most international lawyers have confined studies to the descriptive meaning of those terms. They have assumed that conceptual terms describe a relationship between, on the one hand, the particular properties identifying a particular phenomenon or state of affairs as one that belongs to the extension of a particular concept, and on the other hand, the legally relevant inferences ensuing from the categorisation. While this theory works reasonably well as long as studies are confined to the meaning of conceptual terms in law, it is ill-suited for any similar study of international legal discourse. In the search for possible alternatives, this article adopts instead a pragmatic approach to legal language. More specifically, it equates the meaning of a conceptual term with its functionality, that is, with what the uttering of a conceptual term potentially does to the beliefs, attitudes, and behaviour of participants in international legal discourse. The investigation proceeds in two steps. As Section II argues, a functionality-based theory of meaning suggests a method (referred to throughout the article as functionality analysis) that can be used for the analysis of international legal discourse. Sections III, IV and V illustrate the ramifications of functionality analysis by applying it relative to the usage of one particular conceptual term, namely jus cogens. (Less)
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author
organization
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Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
folkrätt, public international law, Conceptual Terms, Concepts, International Legal Discourse, Jus Cogens, Legal Meaning, Peremptory International Law, Pragmatics
in
German Yearbook of International Law
volume
56
pages
351 - 386
publisher
Institut für Internationales Recht an der Universität Kiel
ISSN
0344-3094
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
f45c33b9-696a-4ac9-946d-51cf373bb605 (old id 3631879)
date added to LUP
2016-04-01 14:36:36
date last changed
2018-12-13 11:21:20
@article{f45c33b9-696a-4ac9-946d-51cf373bb605,
  abstract     = {Investigating the meaning of conceptual terms is an important task for international legal scholars. In the analysis of the usage of conceptual terms in international legal discourse, traditionally, most international lawyers have confined studies to the descriptive meaning of those terms. They have assumed that conceptual terms describe a relationship between, on the one hand, the particular properties identifying a particular phenomenon or state of affairs as one that belongs to the extension of a particular concept, and on the other hand, the legally relevant inferences ensuing from the categorisation. While this theory works reasonably well as long as studies are confined to the meaning of conceptual terms in law, it is ill-suited for any similar study of international legal discourse. In the search for possible alternatives, this article adopts instead a pragmatic approach to legal language. More specifically, it equates the meaning of a conceptual term with its functionality, that is, with what the uttering of a conceptual term potentially does to the beliefs, attitudes, and behaviour of participants in international legal discourse. The investigation proceeds in two steps. As Section II argues, a functionality-based theory of meaning suggests a method (referred to throughout the article as functionality analysis) that can be used for the analysis of international legal discourse. Sections III, IV and V illustrate the ramifications of functionality analysis by applying it relative to the usage of one particular conceptual term, namely jus cogens.},
  author       = {Linderfalk, Ulf},
  issn         = {0344-3094},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {351--386},
  publisher    = {Institut für Internationales Recht an der Universität Kiel},
  series       = {German Yearbook of International Law},
  title        = {All the Things That You Can Do With Jus Cogens: : A Pragmatic Approach to Legal Language},
  volume       = {56},
  year         = {2013},
}