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Irving Tragen Lecture on Comparative Law: Professor Intisar Rabb, “Metacanons: Comparative Textualism at SCOTUS and in Islamic Law,” UC Berkeley Law, April 13, 2022 @ 3:50 – 5:00 pm ET
April 13 @ 15:50 - 17:00
This talk will take a comparative law look at shared methods of interpretation for textualists in two very different legal systems: American law and Islamic law. The focus is on the history and use of certain legal canons– principles of interpretation that judges derive from a kind of interpretive common law and use to resolve ambiguity when confronting novel issues that the text alone does not plainly address. For reasons that a comparative law look will make clear, there is an area of shared textual/linguistic legal canons with shared features about how language works: metacanons. Recognizing them in each system and across systems can inform how best to define textual canons, and to what ends American judges should use them in an era of increased use of legal canons but decreased Court-Congress dialogue.