Judicial Decisions: A Normativist and Inferentialist Notion of Justification

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The aim of this work is to analyse the notion of justification of judicial decisions. In a nutshell, the analysis is carried out in two directions: firstly, criticising the notion of justification of the deductive model –i.e. one of the most well-accepted theoretical models about judicial decisions; and secondly, proposing a new notion of justification, that has better theoretical performance. The main argument begins by making the deductive model explicit. The argument continues with Juan Carlos Bayón’s objection to the deductive model. Bayón argues that this model is implicitly committed to a conception of rules and the application of rules that is afflicted by the rule- following paradox. The argument then shows that this paradox, in its most threatening version, contains two other problems that Bayón did not consider. The argument is further developed by specifying a conception of rules and the application of rules, that is in keeping with Wittgenstein- Brandom’s normativist and inferentialist theoretical project, which in itself avoids these philosophical problems associated with this paradox. Finally, this article concludes by proposing a meta-theoretical criterion of justification, based on the avoidance of those problems, which is more rigorous and appropriate to be used in theories about judicial decision practices.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Pages (from-to)9
Number of pages42
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


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