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An Automated System for Argument Invention in Law Using Argumentation and Heuristic Search Procedures

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A heuristic search procedure for inventing legal arguments is built on two tools already widely in use in argumentation. Argumentation schemes are forms of argument representing premise-conclusion and inference structures of common types of arguments. Schemes especially useful in law represent defeasible arguments, like argument from expert opinion. Argument diagramming is a visualization tool used to display a chain of connected arguments linked together. One such tool, Araucaria, available free at, helps a user display an argument on the computer screen as an inverted tree structure with an ultimate conclusion as the root of the tree. These argumentation tools are applicable to analyzing a mass of evidence in a case at trial, in a manner already known in law using heuristic methods ( Schum 1994) and Wigmore diagrams ( Wigmore 1931). In this paper it is shown how they can be automated and applied to the task of inventing legal arguments. One important application is to proof construction in trial preparation ( Palmer 2003).
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Winnipeg Department of Philosophy Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 2E9 Canada, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 2005-12-01

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