Legislation and Argumentation: Towards a Model for the Analysis of Legislative Reasoning

  • Manuel AtienzaEmail author
Part of the Legisprudence Library book series (LEGIS, volume 5)


In some articles and books I have suggested a twofold approach to the analysis of legislative argumentation—as carried out within parliaments—which combines two perspectives. On the one hand, in an attempt to reconstruct the process of legislative argumentation, I have outlined a framework or scheme that accounts for the different stages of a legislative discussion; for the issues or questions raised at each stage; for the arguers’ attitudes towards these questions (basically, approval or refusal); and for the reasons advanced for and against these attitudes or positions. On the other hand, this approach entails an empirical study of pieces or fragments of legislative argumentation—i.e. of the argumentation by an MP in relation to one of the issues discussed in parliamentary debates. Drawing on this previous work, my objective now is to further develop my account of legislative argumentation in the light of two recent (series of) legislative debates held in the Spanish Parliament. One is about the reform of the regulation of underage girl’s access to abortion (2015), and the other is about the controversial Citizen Security Act (2015). Upon examining these two “legislative cases”, I will discuss the implications of the analysis and evaluation of legislative argumentation in parliament, drawing several conclusions that may hopefully stimulate further research—both theoretical and applied—on this topic. In this connection, I think that by delving into the study of parliamentary reasoning about legislation (as a special variant of argument in law) we may well find strong support for a more complex and less “unifying” conception of legal reasoning than the one underlying the “standard”, judicial-oriented theories of legal argumentation.


Legislative reasoning Parliamentary debate Legal argumentation Argumentation analysis Fallacies 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Facultad de Derecho, Universidad de AlicanteAlicanteSpain

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