Rhetoric and The Rule of Law: A Theory of Legal Reasoning by Neil MaccormickRhetoric and The Rule of Law: A Theory of Legal Reasoning by Neil Maccormick

Rhetoric and The Rule of Law: A Theory of Legal Reasoning

byNeil Maccormick

Paperback | October 9, 2009

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When cases come before courts can we predict the outcome? Is legal reasoning rationally persuasive, working within a formal structure and using recognisable forms of arguments to produce predictable results? Or is legal reasoning mere 'rhetoric' in the pejorative sense, open to use, and abuse,to achieve whatever ends unscrupulous politicians, lawyers and judges desire? If the latter what becomes of the supposed security of living under the rule of law?This book tackles these questions by presenting a theory of legal reasoning, developing the author's classic account given in Legal Reasoning and Legal Theory (OUP, 1978). It explains the essential role syllogism plays in reasoning used to apply the law, and the elements needed in addition todeductive reasoning to give a full explanation of how law is applied and decisions justified through the use of precedent, analogy and principle.The book highlights that problems of interpretation, classification and relevance will always arise when applying general legal standards to individual cases. In justifying their conclusions about such problems, judges need to be faithful to categorical legal reasons and yet fully sensitive to theparticulars of the cases before them. How can this be achieved, and how should we evaluate the possible approaches judges could take to solving these problems? By addressing these issues the book asks questions at the heart of understanding the nature of law and the moral complexity of the rule oflaw.

About The Author

Neil MacCormick was formerly the Regius Professor of Public Law and the Law of Nature and Nations (1972-2008) at the University of Edinburgh. he was appointed Queen's Counsel (QC) honoris causa, England and Wales in 1999 and was knighted in the Queen's Birthday Honours in 2001 in recognition of services to scholarship in Law. He is th...
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Title:Rhetoric and The Rule of Law: A Theory of Legal ReasoningFormat:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0 inPublished:October 9, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199571244

ISBN - 13:9780199571246

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Table of Contents

1. Prologue2. Rhetoric and the Rule of Law3. The Legal Syllogism4. Defending Deduction5. Universalising Deduction6. Judging by Consequences7. Being Reasonable8. Arguing About Interpretation9. Using Precedents10. Legal Narratives11. Principles, Consistency and Coherence12. Arguing Defeasibly13. Judging Mistakenly