GRAMMATICAL AND SYSTEM-BASED APPROACHES TO INTERPRETING THE LAW: THE NATURE OF INTERACTION
The article covers the nature and significance of the grammatical approach to interpreting the law and points out its primary role in interpreting legal texts. Grammatical interpretation has a complex structure. On closer examination, the verbal layer of the law proves to consist of, at least, several components such as lexical, syntactic, logical and stylistic. The basic, i.e. lexical component is clarified with “the golden rule” of grammatical interpretation: firstly, words and expressions should be assigned the meaning implied by a statutory instrument; secondly, in the absence of a legal definition, we should rely upon common professional (special) practice of the word usage; otherwise, we should apply to explanatory dictionaries of the Russian language (i.e. to a common meaning). Regardless of all significance of the grammatical interpretation, examples from the current legislation of the Russian Federation substantiate its lack of instruments that prevents an interpreter from going beyond the verbal layer of an interpreted law. An interpreter aided with a mere grammatical approach has neither desire nor is ability to go beyond the particular syntactically completed utterance. Such lack of instruments in grammatical interpretation should be tackled by other approaches to interpretation. First of all, it is the system-based approach that enables addressing the over-regulatory level. Unlike grammatical interpretation, the system-based approach is able to interpret not only the initial regulation but also other related regulations. System-based interpretation relies on the presumption of a logical unity of law and its meaning integrity is achieved due to the system saving function of interpretation.
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