Bobrovnyk S. V.

The scientific-practical Law Journal
“Almanac of Law” Volume 12 (2021), 50-57 p

DOI: 10.33663/2524-017X-2021-12-8

Bobrovnyk S. V. Judicial interpretation: features and practical significance

Reforming the main spheres of life of modern society causes a significant increase in the importance of law as a social value, a means of ensuring a compromise of social needs, interests and opportunities. Thus, the need for interpretation in law is due not only to the imperfection and ambiguity of the law itself, but also the essence of the right of implementation, which requires interpretation of the law. Violation of the rules of interpretation has serious consequences associated with the violation of human rights and freedoms.

The difficulty of understanding the interpretation is related to such factors as: the complexity of the law itself and the sources of its manifestation; the complexity of the interpretation process, which includes clarification and clarification of norms; prevalence of interpretation at all stages of legal regulation; features of subjects of law performing interpretations; multifaceted purpose of interpretation; the prevalence of interpretation results. This makes it possible to argue that there are peculiarities of interpretation in relation to the type of legal activity.

The process of interpretation also has its peculiarities in the activity of judges. Judicial interpretation can be defined as the intellectual and volitional activity of courts, based on professional knowledge, carried out in certain ways and using special methods to clarify the content of the applicable law; making a judicial decision; finding a compromise of different interests. Its necessity is determined by the general nature of legal norms; features of the external expression of legal norms; features of the language of law and the rules of presentation of legal norms in the text of the normative legal act; systematic legal requirements; a significant amount of regulatory material used; ambiguity of legal terminology and normative consolidation of several options of behavior, which are chosen by the subjects at their own discretion; conflict and inconsistency of regulatory material.

An important aspect of the analysis of judicial interpretation is to clarify its features as a process of thinking. First,in the process of mental activity, the judge can not only find out the direct meaning of the norm, but also reveal its hidden meaning. We are talking about the ambiguity of the wording of legal norms, which directly affects their content. In this case, the judge chooses the meaning of the rule that most fully takes into account the circumstances of the case. Such a situation is possible in the absence of the content included in the norm, which is objectively caused by the practice of its application and the objective needs of society. Secondly, the judge’s mental activity takes place in the case of studying the case file, the evidence presented and the degree of validity of the decisions of the bodies conducting the pretrial investigation or the materials and evidence provided by the parties. Interpreting these documents, the judge chooses those that constitute the evidence base of the case and are sufficiently substantiated. Third, it is the choice of the necessary method of interpretation that corresponds to its purpose. 

It is important to understand the interpretation and concretization of the legal prescription in order to understand the content of the norm in the process of interpretation. As we know, concretization is the extension of an abstract norm to a certain case or subject. Concretization is the meaning of law enforcement. It is through the issuance of a judicial decision that a rule of law acquires a concretized meaning, extends to a certain situation or regulates the behavior of a certain individually determined subject.

If the formal interpretation obliges the judge to clearly follow the text to be interpreted guided solely by the principle of legality, which can lead to an ill-considered, unjust decision, then a realistic way allows in the interpretation to apply the principles and ideas of morality, justice, which can increase the efficiency of judicial activity. Both of these approaches have positive and negative features. After all, if a judge is guided exclusively by the provisions of the law, then, on the one hand, he will ensure compliance with the rule of law and create conditions for improving the effectiveness of law and legal regulation and, on the other hand, he may not ensure fairness and compromise of conflicting interests. law-making in the conditions of dynamic development of social relations.

Overcoming the negative aspects of judicial interpretation depends on a number of objective factors related to the quality of legislation, lack of political influence on justice, provision of judges with decent remuneration and working conditions, lack of pressure from higher courts, formation of respect for judicial activity by society. Of great importance in this process is the subjective factors related to the level of training of the judge, the presence of practical experience, his idea of justice, the level of awareness of the generalizations of judicial practice, its legal culture and legal awareness. These factors may affect the appropriate combination of factual and realistic interpretation of legal norms in the justice process. It is important to achieve the goal of interpretation, which can be interpreted with a certain opposite. After all, on the one hand, it consists in intellectually comprehending the will of the legislator and ensuring its concretization in the judicial decision, and on the other hand, this goal should be connected with ensuring justice of the law by taking into account the specifics of a particular case. The combination of these seemingly opposing aspects of the purpose can be ensured by the judge’s justified and appropriate choice of method and method of interpretation. The peculiarities of judicial interpretation are that a judge must not only know the law, but also be able to apply it; must choose the alternative provided by the legal act, which is appropriate and ensures the fairness of the decision; to overcome the double meaning of the legal requirement by intellectual and volitional activity and inner conviction; take into account the causal relationship of interpretation - decision – execution of the decision; adhere to the powers granted and the procedural requirements for their implementation; be aware of the importance of judicial interpretation not only for a particular decision, but also for judicial practice. 

Interpretation is an important prerequisite for the concretization of law, a means of ensuring its legitimacy and the fact of its high efficiency. In our opinion, interpretation in the process of concretization can take place:

  • in the case of application of imperfect rules of legal technique, which has an incomplete wording and ends with a statement, etc., in other cases;
  • in case of availability of evaluation categories that need clarification;
  • in case of making changes, additions to the legal instruction or its cancellation;
  • in case the judge clarifies the content of the norm in the process of judicial discretion.

Keywords: law, law enforcement, interpretation, court interpretation, judicial decision.


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