© 1997

Logical Models of Legal Argumentation

  • Henry Prakken
  • Giovanni Sartor

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-III
  2. Henry Prakken, Giovanni Sartor
    Pages 1-5
  3. Kathleen Freeman, Arthur M. Farley
    Pages 7-41
  4. Robert A. Kowalski, Francesca Toni
    Pages 119-140
  5. Aleksander Peczenik
    Pages 141-173
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 213-216

About this book


In the study of forms of legal reasoning, logic and argumentation theory long followed separate tracks. `Legal logicians' tended to focus on a deductive reconstruction of justifying a decision, disregarding the dialectical process leading to the chosen justification. Others instead emphasized the adversarial and discretionary nature of legal reasoning, involving reasonable evaluation of alternative choices, and the use of analogical reasoning.
Recently, however, developments in Artificial Intelligence and Law have paved the way for overcoming this separation. Logic has widened its scope to defensible argumentation, and informal accounts of analogy and dialectics have inspired the construction of computer programs. Thus the prospect is emerging of an integrated logical and dialectical account of legal argument, adding to the understanding of legal reasoning, and providing a formal basis for computer tools that assist and mediate legal debates while leaving room for human initiative.
This book presents contributions to this development. From a logical point of view it covers topics such as evaluating conflicting arguments, weighing reasons, modelling legal disputes as a dialogue game, the role of the burden of proof, the relation between principles, rules, reasons and facts, and the relation between deductive and nondeductive arguments. Written by leading scholars in the field and building on recent developments in logic and Artificial Intelligence, the chapters provide a state-of-the-art account of research on the logical aspects of legal argument.


Argumentation Argumentation Theory Legal Logic analogy legal argumentation logic

Editors and affiliations

  • Henry Prakken
    • 1
  • Giovanni Sartor
    • 2
  1. 1.Computer/Law Institute, Faculty of LawFree University of AmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.The Queen’s University of BelfastNorthern Ireland

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors