Interpretation of Undefined Legal Concepts and Fulfilling of Legal Gaps, in Juri Lotman’s Semiotic Framework
The article examines whether the structure of meaning proposed in cultural semiotics by the Tartu–Moscow School of Semiotics is applicable for the interpretation of undefined legal concepts and to the filling of legal gaps. With the assistance of Lotman’s cultural semiotics, one is able to formulate the regularities that operate in legal interpretation in the same way as in culture. One of these is the binary structure of legal concepts and gaps. In interpreting norms and striving to overcome legal gaps, it is necessary to define the external reference (‘utterance’) and the self-reference (‘text’) in law. The article clarifies and examines these in the legal context and reiterates the value of bearing in mind throughout the process that interpretation always takes place in relation to this binary structure.