Evaluate the facts of the problem in light of the legal authority presented in the second step;
Illustrate your powers of analysis and persuasion as you discuss the extent to which the facts in your particular question live up to the general legal standard identified in your discussion of the law
Demonstrate some originality in your thinking and writing style;
A legal rule is an oral or written statement guiding the conduct of individuals and / or groups infringement of which may or may not result in compulsory or discretionary action being taken to enforce the observance of the rule.
A rule often represents the view of a group concerning lawful, moral, social, acceptable, good action.
A rule often contains statements about values – it can communicate statements about justice, ethics, equality and fairness.
In deductive reasoning, the argument has to follow a prescribed form:
A major premise: states a generality
A minor premise: states a particularity
This form of argument is called a syllogism : the subject in the major premise becomes the predicate in the minor premise and the conclusion is necessary, or compelled.
The major way of attacking a deductive argument is through the premises. The conclusion is logically compelled and cannot be attacked. The major and minor premises, however, may be attacked for argument.
Deductive reasoning is a closed system of reasoning, from the general to the general or the particular, including cases where the conclusion is drawn out; it is, therefore, analytical.
Inductive reasoning is an open system of reasoning, involving finding a general rule from particular cases and is inconclusive – which suggests the end processes of legal judgements are inconclusive. The courts ensure that inconclusive reasoning can be enforced.
Like deductive reasoning, the logic of inductive reasoning has no interest in the actual truth of the propositions that are the premises or the conclusion.
Just because a logical form is correctly constructed, it does not mean that the conclusion expressed is true. The truth of a conclusion depends upon whether the major an minor premises express statements that are true.
Judges are involved in a type of inductive reasoning called reasoning by analogy. This is a process of reasoning by comparing examples. The purpose is to reach a conclusion in a novel situation.
This process has a three-stage process:
the similarity between cases is observed;
the rule of law (ratio decidendi) inherent in the first case is stated (reasoning is from the particular to the general: deduction);
that rule is applied to the case for decision (reasoning is from the general to the particular: induction).
Relationship between deductive and inductive arguments
At the level of factual analysis, in relation to law, deductive argument requires extension by tracking through the process of inductive reasoning, starting with the minor premise of the deductive argument.
Inductive reasoning involves putting forward a conclusion that seems strong, based on inferences that provide evidence in favour of one party.
The final argument will consist of propositions or assertions that will invariably be backed by evidence. For some law problems, a cluster of arguments may need to be set up dealing with separate issues.
Lawyers inevitably look at possible inductive reasoning that counters their own argument, otherwise they could be caught by surprise. This involves constructing opposing hypothetical theses.
The evidence a lawyer has may suggest alternatives, and perhaps even more plausible alternatives. This creative process which tends to argue around the data based on hypothetical matters, rather than on matters known, is called abductive reasoning .
It is always a good idea to try and predict counter-arguments to your own. Then you can consider how you would deal with them.
The essential quality of a well-structured argument is that it takes the reader / listener from the beginning to the end and makes them hold the opinion that the argument is correct or the most plausible argument.
Sometimes, the process of argument uses bridges from one fact to another that are not made of evidence but inference.