Natalino Irti

From the far province of civil law

  • Abstract

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The struggle over legal interpretation has its roots in the ongoing debate between formalism and anti-formalism. In the history of Italian civil law, a distinctive anti- formalist approach can be traced in those authors, like Emilio Betti and Luigi Mengoni, who stressed particularly (albeit from different perspectives) the role played by 'values' in legal interpretation and in the elaboration of legal concepts. The author highlights the risks of contemporary declinations of this approach, since it paves the way to subjectivism, and remarks the crucial relevance of the artificial nature of law and legal concepts.

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