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Consequence-based arguments in legal reasoning: a jurisprudential preface to law and economics

Cserne, Peter

Authors

Peter Cserne



Abstract

One of the persistent problems surrounding the discipline of law and economics is the role of economic arguments in legal reasoning. The problem has been extensively discussed in the literature but has not been ultimately solved. The present paper is a contribution to this ongoing discussion. The argument goes as follows. First, I will argue that insights from law and economics, to the extent that they claim to be directly relevant for legal reasoning, should carry a jurisprudential preface that states that this very relevance is limited and conditional. Secondly, I will introduce the concept of consequence-based reasoning and show that the typical normative claims of law and economics based on economic efficiency can be interpreted as consequence-based arguments of a special kind. Finally, in the analytical core of the paper, the conceivability, feasibility and desirability of the judicial appreciation of general social consequences of legal decisions will be considered. Referring to the philosophical, jurisprudential and institutional dimensions of the issue I will argue that in a modern constitutional democracy the scope of consequence-based judicial reasoning is limited mainly by the expertise of courts. A more general implication of this analysis is that the impact of law and economics scholarship on law can only be understood through a close look at legal reasoning in general and consequence-based arguments in particular.

Publication Date 2012
Journal Efficiency, sustainability, and justice to future generations
Print ISSN 1572-4395
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Volume 98
Pages 31-54
Book Title Law and Philosophy Library; Efficiency, Sustainability, and Justice to Future Generations
ISBN 9789400718685; 9789400718692
APA6 Citation Cserne, P. (2012). Consequence-based arguments in legal reasoning: a jurisprudential preface to law and economics. Law and Philosophy Library; Efficiency, Sustainability, and Justice to Future Generations, 31-54. Springer Verlag. doi:10.1007/978-94-007-1869-2_2
DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-1869-2_2

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