2.1 Plug

| September 2, 2020

H. José Plug. (2012). Obscurities in the Formulation of Legal Argumentation. International Journal of Law, Language & Discourse 2(1), 126-142.

Abstract: The Dutch Supreme Court hears grievances against motivations of judicial decisions that are based on the ground that formulations in a motivation of a decision are obscure. It is, however, difficult to determine if such an appeal against the decision will be successful. From a pragma-dialectical perspective, the use of obscure or ambiguous language may be considered fallacious if it obstructs the resolution of a dispute. In this contribution I will discuss the way in which the Dutch Supreme Court decides on differences of opinion about the obscurity of the motivation of a legal decision. I will demonstrate how insights provided by argumentation theory may be used to clarify criteria that are used in Dutch legal practice to evaluate complaints about obscure and ambiguous language in motivations.

Keywords: legal argumentation, legal language, fallacy of unclarity


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Category: Volume 2