- Strategic manoeuvring with linguistic arguments in the justification of legal decisions
- 8th OSSA Conference: Argument Cultures
- Book/source title
- Argument cultures: proceedings of OSSA '09
- Windsor, ON: Ontario Society for the Study of Argumentation
- Document type
- Conference contribution
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA)
Participants to a legal process often use linguistic arguments to support their claim. With a linguistic argument it is shown that the proposed interpretation of a rule is based on the meaning of the words used in the rule in ordinary or technical language. The reason why a linguistic argument is chosen as a support for a legal claim is that linguistic arguments are considered to have a preferred status in justifying a legal decision. However, this preferred status can also be ‘misused’ for rhetorical reasons. In my contribution I analyse and evaluate an example of a form of strategic manoeuvring with a linguistic argument that often occurs in discussions about the application of legal rules and I explain how the strategic manoeuvring derails. I explain that the strategic manoeuvring with the linguistic argument constitutes a complex form of strategic manoeuvring that consists of a combination of two manoeuvres.
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