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Argumentation in Legal Reasoning

  • Trevor Bench-Capon
  • Henry Prakken
  • Giovanni Sartor
Chapter

A popular view of what Artificial Intelligence can do for lawyers is that it can do no more than deduce the consequences from a precisely stated set of facts and legal rules. This immediately makes many lawyers sceptical about the usefulness of such systems: this mechanical approach seems to leave out most of what is important in legal reasoning. A case does not appear as a set of facts, but rather as a story told by a client. For example, a man may come to his lawyer saying that he had developed an innovative product while working for Company A. Now Company B has made him an offer of a job, to develop a similar product for them. Can he do this? The lawyer firstly must interpret this story, in the context, so that it can be made to fit the framework of applicable law. Several interpretations may be possible. In our example it could be seen as being governed by his contract of employment, or as an issue in Trade Secrets law.

Keywords

Argument Scheme Legal Reasoning Legal Argument Legal Certainty Dialogue Game 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag US 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Trevor Bench-Capon
    • 1
  • Henry Prakken
    • 2
  • Giovanni Sartor
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of LiverpoolLiverpoolUK
  2. 2.Department of Information and Computing SciencesUtrecht University, and Faculty of Law, University of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Law Department, Florence, and CIRSFID, University of BolognaEuropean University InstituteBolognaItaly

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