Workshop `Dialectical Legal Argument: Formal and Informal Models'

University of Brabant, Tilburg, The Netherlands, Q building, room Qz 206. Hosted by the Center for Law, Administration and Informatization.
12 December 1996
10.30 to 17.30
Free. A joint lunch will be organised by the host.
To facilitate the organisation, prior registration with the organisers is, although not required, highly appreciated.

The day before the JURIX'96 conference an informal workshop will be held under the auspicies of JURIX , on formal and informal models of the dialectical aspects of legal reasoning. The workshop will have the form of a `dialectical' confrontation between two groups of researchers from, respectively, AI & Law and argumentation theory.

Recent logic-based AI & Law research on defeasible legal reasoning has resulted in several dialectical models of legal argumentation, where a proponent and an opponent argue about the tenability of a claim, according to the rules of a formally defined dialogue game. (Loui, Gordon, Hage/Leenes/Lodder, Nitta, Prakken & Sartor). This development has several sources of inspiration: argument-based AI research on nonmonotonic reasoning (Pollock, Loui, Vreeswijk), AI & Law research on case-based reasoning (Rissland/Ashley/Skalak), philosophical logic (dialogue logic), epistemology (Rescher) and legal theory (Alexy).

In argumentation theory a `pragma-dialectical' model has been developed for argumentation in criticial discussions aimed at a rational resolution of disputes (Van Eemeren and Grootendorst). A critical discussion is conducted between a protagonist and an antagonist about the acceptability of a claim, according to a system of rules for rational discussions. Recently, this model has been applied to legal argumentation (Feteris, Van Haaften, Jansen, Kloosterhuis, Plug, Van der Tol). These applications are inspired by research in argumentation theory of norms and procedures for general argumentation, such as research in dialectics, logic, pragmatics and rhetoric, and by research in legal theory of norms and procedures for legal argumentation, such as legal logic (Klug, Tammelo, Weinberger) and theories of legal interpretation and argumentation (Aarnio, Alexy, MacCormick, Peczenik, Summers, Wroblewski).

Many connections between the two developments exist. In particular, they have two main themes in common:

Yet the difference in background and emphasis makes that both communities can learn from each other. The present workshop aims at bringing the two fields together and starting a fruitful exchange of ideas.

Questions that could be addressed are

The following representatives of the two fields have accepted an invitation to speak:

For travel guides, hotels and maps consult the JURIX'96 homepage.

For more information and for registration please contact the organisers:

Henry Prakken
Computer/Law Institute
Faculty of Law, Vrije Universiteit
De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
tel: +31 (20) 444 6216
fax: +31 (20) 444 6210

Eveline Feteris
Instituut voor Neerlandistiek
Spuistraat 134
1012 VB Amsterdam, The Netherlands
tel: +31 (20) 525 4705
fax: +31 (20) 525 4644