The Role of Arguments from Reasonableness in the Justification of Judicial Decisions

Eveline T. Feteris


In this contribution, I develop an argumentation model that can be used for the analysis and evaluation of arguments from reasonableness in a legal context. First, I discuss the legal background of the use of arguments from reasonableness and Fairness. I explain the rationale for the use of arguments of reasonableness, I explain the similarities and differences with other forms of legal argumentation and I establish under what conditions arguments from reasonableness form an acceptable justification of a judicial decision. Then I develop an argumentation model for the analysis and evaluation of legal arguments from reasonableness and I describe how the requirements of the argumentation model are specified further in Dutch law. Finally I give an exemplary demonstration of how the argumentation model can be used to analyse and evaluate two examples from Dutch law in which this form of argumentation is used. 


application of legal rules; legal argumentation; reasonableness and fairness

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Studies in Communication Sciences | ISSN: 1424-4896