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  • A Unified Theory of a Law

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The Nature and Structure of a Legal Argument

Module by: John Bosco. E-mail the author

     
In our adversarial system, sides are taken. Because conduct has two ends, there are commonly two sides. Sides can be taken to dispute the facts. Sides can be taken to dispute the law. Just as there are allegation of fact and evidence of fact, there are allegations of law and evidence of law. Let us look at the structure of a legal dispute.

     
Let us call one side the proponent of a permutation of a law or just a proponent of a law. Let us call the other side the opponent of a law. Each side has a legal hypothesis and has gathered evidence to support it. The hypothesis is the permutation of a law favored by one side. The supporting evidence is the statutes, cases, rules, and other precedent that support it. A Judge, like a scientist, weighs the evidence and deems a hypothesis valid and another invalid based on an inspection and weighing of the evidence.

     
Because we know that a Lawmaker has only three options - the three core permutations of a law - with regard to any particular flow of conduct from Source to Recipient through circumstances, it is easy to understand the legal argument.


The Universe of Possible Legal Arguments

     
Suppose a proponent argues for affirmative regulation. The opponent either argues for deregulation or for negative regulation.

     
Suppose a proponent argues for deregulation. The opponent either argues for affirmative regulation or for negative regulation.

     
Suppose a proponent argues for negative regulation. The opponent either argues for deregulation or for affirmative regulation.

     
These are the only possible legal arguments that can be made. It is really quite simple. The universe of possible legal arguments is really quite small.


John Bosco
Project Director
The Legal Literacy Project

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Definition of a lens

Lenses

A lens is a custom view of the content in the repository. You can think of it as a fancy kind of list that will let you see content through the eyes of organizations and people you trust.

What is in a lens?

Lens makers point to materials (modules and collections), creating a guide that includes their own comments and descriptive tags about the content.

Who can create a lens?

Any individual member, a community, or a respected organization.

What are tags? tag icon

Tags are descriptors added by lens makers to help label content, attaching a vocabulary that is meaningful in the context of the lens.

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