The Normative Classification of Legal Results
This chapter draws a formal distinction between optimal and suboptimal results and uses that distinction to define suboptimal-result cases: cases in which the judge would have an all-things-considered reason to reach a different result than the result required by law, if the law permitted him to do so. It is explained why a case in which the law requires conviction for a malum prohibitum offense is not typically a suboptimal-result case. Numerous examples that reasonable people might regard as suboptimal-result cases are mentioned. Two assumptions underlying the existence of suboptimal-result cases are identified: that the law is at least partially determinate and that the legal system is imperfect. The chapter also explains why the existence of legal principles would not preclude suboptimal-result cases. It also addresses the question whether all suboptimal-result cases are “hard cases.”
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.