San Diego Law Review

Document Type



Although I believe that the collapse of the interpretation—construction distinction follows from some of what I have argued here, that conclusion is, at least for me, decidedly secondary. Far more important is recognition of the importance of the question of technical language in law and of the relationship between that question and the purposes of and audiences for law. If we are to understand what law is and how it operates, we need to understand to whom it speaks. If it speaks to everyone, as Bentham urged, then technical language in law is something to be lamented and expunged. But if law is substantially the internal dialogue of a professional culture with public goals but a nonpublic way of achieving them, then seeing law as a largely technical language, as Fuller and Holmes urged, is the natural corollary. I cannot resolve this tension on this occasion, but I can, at the very least, suggest that the entire subject of law as, possibly, a technical language needs much more attention than it has received to date.

Included in

Law Commons