Use and Misuse of Language in Judicial Decision-Making: Russian Experience
In my paper I will analyze decisions of the Russian Constitutional Court and courts of general jurisdiction, in which they interpret ordinary and seemingly unambiguous words and phrases. In a number of cases this interpretation is made in a manner, which is suspect from a linguistic point of view. The analysis shows that there is no consistency in the application by Russian courts of the ‘‘plain language’’ rule and that literal interpretation may be used selectively as a means of legitimizing the decisions made on non-linguistic grounds. Though literal interpretation can be often incompatible with the concept of justice and therefore judges should also take into account other criteria, there are examples of court decisions, in which literal interpretation would have been more appropriate from the perspective of justice, separation of powers and human rights. The article shows how use and misuse of language by judges is employed as a tool in judicial decision-making.
Article contains analysis of the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights on freedom of expression, in which the Court had to balance public interest against the protection of commercial structures from unfair competition or injury to their business reputation.
The article describes the history of development of the English law and the scien-
tific and practical approaches reflecting concepts of judicial interpretation in England,
value of interpretation and construction at a stage of application the law, the author does
the conclusion about formation of the English doctrine of statutory interpretation.
The chapter examines the academic dispute in newspapers between two legal scholars on details of the judicial reform in Russia in terms of rhetoric.
The report addresses the methodological challenge of studying judicial reasoning in a Codified Systems of such Western countries as France and Germany in the 19th century and Russia in the late 19th early 20th century. The difference in style of Western European and Russian decision should be explained by taking into account national legal consciousness along with black letter rules of the codes and statutes.