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3. On Legal Inquiry

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Chapter Summary

Legal inquiry seeks to understand the topography highlighting certain accidents and fault lines, which the author calls features. The techniques used to highlight the features of the legal topography are quite diverse, but they are a function of two abilities: (i) the ability to set the proper scale of the chart by zooming in on certain areas of the topography to focus on particular features or, conversely, by zooming out in order to capture more general features; (ii) the ability to select, at a given scale, the most appropriate criteria to highlight certain features. These abilities define the types of concepts to capture and analyse certain features of the topography. The concepts shed light on the topography that can be called a conceptual chart and the reflection on how to craft such charts a legal cartography. This chapter illustrates preliminary understanding of legal inquiry by reference to one conceptual chart.

Keywords: conceptual chart; international law; legal inquiry; legal topography; Pierre-Marie Dupuy



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