The uses of precedent in legal argument

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This paper addresses attempts to demonstrate the importance of paying attention to the types of authoritative precedent-relying argument employed by courts for a theory of judicial precedent. It demonstrates that different argument types leave diverse argumentative footprints (i.e. rely on different assumptions, support different claims, offer different support to the argument’s conclusion, etc) by discussing three types of precedent-relying arguments: the so-called “legal syllogism,” legal analogies, and inferences to the best explanation. It argues that authoritative precedent performs different argumentative roles in each of these argument-types and concludes that a sufficiently complex theory of authoritative judicial precedent must take into account these different roles.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPhilosophical Foundations of Precedent
EditorsTimothy Endicott, Hafsteinn Dan Kristjánsson, Sebastian Lewis
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)9780192857248
Publication statusPublished - 18 Apr 2023

Publication series

NamePhilosophical Foundations of Law
PublisherOxford University Press

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • judicial precedent
  • precedent
  • precedent application
  • legal analogy
  • inference to the best legal explanation


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