Open-endedness in law (paperback)

Open-endedness, a type of vagueness, is a telling philosophical issue profoundly affecting life in society. It is an uncared-for matter whilst it should be a foremost concern for citizens and regulators.

Because open-endedness may generate arbitrariness and impair liberty, it needs to be tackled urgently and efficaciously.

This sylloge offers real-life illustrations and schemes allowing to latch onto the problem of open-endedness in law.

Open-endedness in law: Three essays is also available in Portable Document Format.


Overview of the three essays this volume is comprised of

  1. When law needs plenification deals with open-endedness in a European Union measure (secondary law), and show law can unjustifiably be convoluted and include empty obligations, thus rendering it extremely distant from Law, i.e. the archetype of law. Vagueness has been much studied. However, certain of its features have not been examined enough. The facts that uncertainty is inherent to language and that law is often vague are not a justification for unconditionally accepting all forms of vagueness. With an unconditional acceptance of vagueness arbitrariness may emerge. Law, though made according to necessary control processes, may well need plenification despite the appearance that it does not. Because it is deceptive, open-endedness is to be examined and schematised so as not to be used. The essay resorts to compelling examples extracted from an EU piece of legislation, which have been red-flagged by other commentators. A strength of the essay is its revealing a consequential chain of possibly noxious outgrowths.
  2. The note on open-endedness in constitutional law sheds light on open-endedness being not only confined within secondary law. It actually also affects primary law.
  3. On the necessity to properly define the term natural and its by-products sets forth another instance of open-endedness. It provides a definition of natural. This definition connects with Proto-Indo European (PIE), and shows that only vivid and deepening reflection can keep regulation from unleashing discomfiting repercussions. Society cannot be exonerated from defining, since words markedly contribute to fashioning it. Defining the term natural impacts on how we produce goods, how we treat species, and how we treat ourselves. Yet, the terms natural and organic (a by-product of the term natural) are oftentimes mishandled, or even undefined by legislators or market players.