Christie provides a few examples of how lawyers utilize superimposition of several vague terms to arrive at a controllable precision. Through the 1938 Restatement of Atteinte:
An activity is usually ultrahazardous if this (a) actually involves a risk of critical harm to anybody, land or perhaps chattels more which cannot be eliminated by exercise of the utmost care, and (b) is not only a matter of common usage. (p. 896)
Differences can is to do exist and even though they are challenging to articulate in words, that mean they should be ignored. The courts and juries happen to be left to make distinctions between such terms as “slight” negligence, negligence, “gross” neglectfulness and recklessness. In other words, “distinctions are identified in the regulation even though the distinctions cannot, in just about any very helpful sense, be sufficiently articulated” (p. 902).
When distinctions are produced in several preceding cases, after cases that align with these cases can be decided in the same fashion. The judge can notify the jury members that in past instances “slight” neglect meant driving at thirty-five miles hourly and neglect meant driving at 62 miles hourly. The court members therefore have a criterium where to foundation their perseverance.
Vagueness, Christie concludes, is a necessity. Initially, because it is too difficult to plainly articulate all situations. Second, and even more important, mainly because flexibility is essential in rules. He does have one caveat:
there are some careers which our linguistic equipment, partly even because of vagueness, cannot completely perform without the adi of other communicaiton devices. The error to be avoided in this article, it has been published, is that of let’s assume that because basic rules are not able to do it alone the job may not be done, or is certainly not worth doing. That would be a blunder of the first magnitude. (p. 911)
It is hard to find fault with Christie when he discusses the problem with trying to make clear every regulation in particular black-and-white conditions. It would be nearly impossible to attempt to cover almost all bases. There needs to be room for interpretation. As well, there has to be a few flexibility. That is one of the strengths, and weaknesses (depending for the situation and who is involved) with American law. For instance , trying to especially define pornography is too hard. The vagueness of the term has to be made the decision case by judgment.
However , I have additional personal worries. One of them is definitely clearly explained by Christie. A decision should not be put aside because it can not be articulated or factors cannot acknowledge. This, however, does happen.
Another concern is that society and the distinctions manufactured are constantly changing. A jury can look back on how 60 kilometers per hour was considered neglectfulness, but have to keep in mind that automobiles go much faster and tracks are much better. Some people reside in the past and cannot recognize change.
Finally, with Christie’s approach individuals have to trust in the jury and/or judges decisions. Most of us would rather the future lifestyle not become left up to the arbitrary decision of a lot of judge or perhaps jury people who almost certainly have their personal beliefs involved with their decisions. A newspapers I go through last week said that a man whom killed ten puppies must have 30 years in jail, although another person plea bargained for five years in jail to get rape. This vagueness is difficult to handle.
In the event that not specific word-for-word, laws have to be since narrowly defined as possible to rule out arbitrariness. Laws will be valuable human institutions inasmuch as they give predictable reliability, delimit in a clear and understandable approach the boundaries of permissible behavior.
Christie, George C. (1964).