What Is Legal Reasoning About: A Jurisprudential Account

  • Damiano Canale
  • Giovanni TuzetEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Institutions, Economics and Law book series (PSIEL)


Legal reasoning is about the creation, application, and extinction of legal norms (rules, standards, or principles). Legislators and lawmakers argue about the creation and extinction of norms, or, more technically, about the enactment and abrogation of norms by the competent legal authorities. Judges and other officials argue about the application of norms, on the basis of the interpretation of the relevant legal texts.

In the judicial context, in particular, participants make arguments about the relevant facts and the application of law to these facts. Legal arguments divide into evidentiary and interpretive ones, where the former point at the reconstruction of what happened and the latter point at the ways in which legal texts can be interpreted. Both are necessary in the application of law.


Legal reasoning Interpretive argument Evidentiary argument Fact Norm 


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© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Università commerciale Luigi BocconiMilanItaly

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