Theories of Legal Reasoning (LAWS5170)


This unit of study explores the nature of legal argumentation from a philosophical perspective. With reference to various theories, it examines the process from which legal conclusions result. The main theme is the relationship between legal and other forms of decision-making. What, if anything, is distinctive about legal rationality? How, if at all, does legal reasoning differ from other forms of argumentation? Topics for discussion include the role of morality in legal decision-making, the politics of legal reasoning, rules and their application, the nature of legal principles, the practice of interpretation and the objectivity of legal decisions.

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Further unit of study information


2x2hr seminars/week for 10 weeks


Class-participation (20%) and 1500wd report (20%) and 4000wd essay (60%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules


LAWS3470, LAWS3083

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