Argumentation, reasoning and justification have always been inherent parts of lawyers’ work. Lawyers themselves are obviously well aware of the fact and would almost unanimously acknowledge that enhancing one’s knowledge and skills in argumentation has a direct impact on the quality of their work.
The issue of argumentation has been generally approached from two directions. The pragmatic approach has appraised the argumentation as a field mostly concerned with the persuasion of others (e.g. an opposing party or a judge) in order to succeed in legal battles (e.g. negotiation or court trial). It includes training in legal writing, legal advocacy and negotiation. The approach aims at developing extremely valuable soft skills that can be directly applied in everyday legal practice.
The theoretical approach to the argumentation is usually concerned with the study of the nature and structure of arguments, development of models and frameworks of argumentation and assessment of ways to strengthen or attack arguments. The possibilities of engaging AI techniques in the evaluation and development of arguments have been explored quite recently as well.
However, by many academicians the pragmatic approach is often disproved as a kind of sophism allowing to effectively uphold any intended conclusion. Practicing lawyers on the other hand have certain strong reservations regarding the theoretical approach. They are usually aimed at its (supposedly) very low potential to be actually applied in everyday legal practice.
The ambition of the conference is to establish a permanent platform to discuss and explore the alternative methods of legal argumentation, i.e. those that are not regularly employed in everyday legal practice, but would prove extremely valuable if adopted. It is thus our intention to bring new stimuli to both the approaches to the argumentation by showing that the outcomes of both are valuable and can be combined in coherent theories.
The conference consists of four workshops/streams each specialized in a specific and unique method of studying legal argumentation:
- Formal Methods in Legal Reasoning
- Law and Literature
- Law and Language
- Visualization of Law
For further details please refer to the Stream section and sites of the individual workshops.