Legal Argumentation 2012

This is a web page for the course Legal Argumentation, which is part of the Core training programme of the PhD training programme of the Faculty of Law, University of Groningen.

Henry Prakken. Groningen webpages Utrecht webpages

Dates, exact times and locations:
February 23, March 1 + 8;
13.00-14.00, room 1312.0012
14.00-15.00, room 1312.0107A

Course description:

Being able to argue is an essential skill of both legal scholars and legal practicitioners. This part of the course aims to provide the student insight into theoretical accounts of the structure of rational legal argumentation, as well as practical skills to analyse the argumentation structure of a given legal text, to assess the quality of legal arguments and to give a clear logical structuree to one's own argumentative texts.

The following topics will be discussed:

  • The structure of arguments
  • Argument and counterargument
  • Legal argumentation schemes
  • Assessing the quality of legal arguments

The course is a mixture of lectures and exercises


Educational software:

Exercises: (to download files, click right mouse and choose "Save target as ..". When downloading an .aml file, make sure to give the file an extension ".aml" and to save it as "all files").


Thu 23-02 Theoretical background
The structure of arguments
Implicit premises
Walton Chapter 1 sections 1,2,6; Chapter 4 sections 1-6, or:
Henket: Chapters 1+2; ch. 3 sections 3.1, 3.2, 3.3; ch. 4 sections 4.1, 4.5, 4.6.
Practicing with Araucaria
slides 23/2
Thu 01-03 Counterarguments
Dialectical status of arguments
Deductive and defeasible arguments
Walton Chapter 1 sections 4,5,7; Chapter 2 sections 1,2,5,6,7; or:
Henket sections 3.4, 3.6, 5.5.
Prakken (2012), sections 1-3
slides 1/3
Thu 08-03 Argumentation schemes
Assessing the quality of arguments
Walton Chapter 3; or:
Henket sections 5.1-5.5.
Prakken (2012), sections 4-5
slides 8/3