Doctrine of intentionalism in the interpretation of laws

  • V. Yu. Seredyuk  Candidate of of Legal Sciences, Associate Professor, Head of the territorial service center № 8049 regional service center of the Main service center of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Kyiv (branch of the Main service center of the Ministry of Internal Affairs)
Keywords: doctrine of intentionalism, legal technique, interpretation of legal norms, purposive approach, purpose of law adoption.


The purpose of the article is to highlight the question of the doctrine of intentionalism in the interpretation of law and in justifying its application.

The scientific novelty of the article lies in the characterization of the doctrine of intentionalism in the interpretation of the law, which is used by most countries of continental Europe in the process of interpreting their own legislation. It has been found that the prevailing view in English legal doctrine is that the processes of analyzing the text of a legislative act and the attempt to identify the legislative intention (intent) are interrelated, but preference is given to the text. Therefore, the role of the judge is to find the intention of the author of the rule of law, based on what is stated in the text of the law, and not on the basis of the subjective opinion of the author. It is shown that the doctrine of intentionalism, in particular the method of interpretation, based on the purpose of the law in addition to the European Union is also used in the practice of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine and the Supreme Court of the United States. The idea of clarifying the general purpose of the adopted law puts in the first place not the motivational component of the legislative process in the person of the author of the law and its intention, but the general local task for which parliamentarians pass the law. It has been found that this approach does not answer the question of how to resolve a dispute when the formulation of the common purpose of the law does not indicate direct ways to resolve complex situations and cases that arise in real life during the application of the rule of law.

Conclusions. From a methodological point of view, the rule of law as a criterion of justice is a fiction of legal thinking. In the process of its interpretation, it will be inevitable to produce the desired right of the law enforcer, which remains the only criterion of fairness, especially in case of coincidence with the desired right of a judge of a higher instance. The results of the interpretation should be reduced to revealing the will of the legislator, expressed in the verbal wording of the law or other normative legal act. Otherwise, it is possible to deviate from the true meaning of the rule of law for the reason that the true intentions (intentions) of its creator were different.


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How to Cite
Seredyuk , V. (2021). Doctrine of intentionalism in the interpretation of laws . Scientific Papers of the Legislation Institute of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, (6), 81-88.